Sag Harbor resident and consummate Piano Man Billy Joel just made his second large donation in the form of a piano to Stony Brook University.
Through his Joel Foundation, which provides music scholarships, gifts and endowments to institutions up and down the East Coast, he gave the university’s music department a premier concert piano—a $250,000 Bosendorfer Imperial grand piano. Stony Brook says it is considered the Rolls Royce of pianos.
“I ran into Billy Joel last August in Sag Harbor and thanked him for the Baldwin grand piano he donated several years ago,” Stony Brook University Music Department Chair Perry Goldstein says. “He told me he’s heard very good things about the music program at Stony Brook and said that he might have another piano for us. Some months later, we received the Bosendorfer.”
According to the university, the Bosendorfer has nine more keys than a conventional piano, which enables a completely new octave and elicits a huge, rich, luxurious tone. The piano is located in the Staller Center recital hall, where faculty and graduate piano students can play it.
“We are pleased to add this showcase piano to our fleet of concert grands in the department and thank the Billy Joel Foundation for their generous support of music at Stony Brook,” Goldstein says.
“We are so gratified that our music program was singled out by such a giant in the music business,” says Dexter Bailey, the Stony Brook University vice president for advancement. “Private philanthropy such as this is critical to Stony Brook, enabling our students and faculty to aim higher.”