Jacobs Music Company has announced that Kennett Square pianist Catherine Marie Charlton has been named a Steinway Artist.
Steinway & Sons confers the honor on only a select group of musicians who own and exclusively perform in public on their instruments. The roster includes Billy Joel and Harry Connick, Jr., Lang Lang and Emanuel Ax. Steinway Artists are not paid to endorse these instruments.
Charlton is known for her impressionistic, album-length piano improvisations entitled “River Flow - Sanctuary” and “River Dawn: Piano Meditations,” and said she fulfilled a 20-year dream in May 2013 when she was named a Steinway Artist.
“I was a student at Cornell University when I showed up at Steinway’s New York City Concert and Artist offices to ask them how I could become a Steinway Artist one day,” said the pianist, a wife and mother of two young children who has lived in the Kennett Square area for six years. “I’ve wanted to be a Steinway Artist as long as I can remember. In that visit so long ago, they were very kind to me and gave me great advice and encouragement.
“Soon after college, while I was working in Wilmington, managing technical projects for a large credit card company, I traded in my upright and bought a used seven-foot Steinway B, and made the down payment with some money I had saved from an award in college. It took me eight years to pay off the loan I took out, on top of my student loans. In fact, that’s one reason I started teaching piano in the evenings after my full time job with the bank, to make some extra money for my monthly piano payments!”
That piano is the one heard in the albums “River Dawn: Piano Meditations,” recorded in 2001, and her newest 60-minute improvisation, “River Flow – Sanctuary,” recorded in her home studio in 2012 while her family, including a newborn, was sleeping. Another album, “Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations,” has won multiple awards, including the Instrumental EP category in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards in 2013.
“Preparing Steinway pianos for inspired artists like Catherine Marie Charlton is the highlight of our profession,” said Mark Love, vice president of institutional development at Jacobs Music Company. “When the audience hears a Steinway Artist in concert or on a recording, they can be assured that the pianist is enabled to express themselves through a superb instrument with unrivaled sound and responsiveness. It’s a joy to welcome Catherine Marie Charlton to the fold and play our part in bringing her highly emotional music to life.”