Salem College Launches Sandresky/Lister-Sink Steinway Piano Restoration Project

September 25, 2014
artistic S, established 1772

Salem College will launch the Sandresky/Lister-Sink Steinway Piano Restoration Project with a gala concert and reception on Friday, September 26, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. Russian pianist Marina Lomazov and Salem’s Artist-in-Residence Barbara Lister-Sink will perform works by Russian and American composers.

Salem boasts an impressive collection of 17 Steinway pianos, including the 1918 Steinway B, Serial No. 190,000, which was in the studio of legendary Salem teacher Margaret Mueller; a Steinway B used by former Dean of the School of Music Clemens Sandresky; the Hanes Auditorium 1987 concert grand; and the 1938 Shirley Recital Hall Steinway concert grand.

“Pianos require extensive restoration and attention, and the stewardship of these treasured instruments is intricate and costly,” says Amy Orser, a Salem graduate and co-chair, with husband Dr. Paul N. Orser, of the Steinway Restoration Project. “Salem’s 17 Steinways are in urgent need of restoration. Securing $500,000 to restore Salem’s impressive fleet of Steinway pianos will ensure that students, faculty, and audiences continue to receive the very best musical experiences possible.”

Orser said the campaign was ignited through a generous challenge gift in memory of Dean Clemens Sandresky– iconic former dean of the School of Music and beloved piano professor. Achieving this goal will not only honor Dean Sandresky and his student and successor Barbara Lister-Sink, but also the many piano teachers who have opened doors of artistry to countless pianists at Salem College and in the Winston-Salem Community.

Clemens Sandresky served as the dean of the School of Music at Salem College for 34 years. His wife, Margaret Vardell Sandresky, noted composer, organist, and harpsichordist, attended Salem Academy and Salem College, and then taught at Salem College from 1946 to 1986. The Sandreskys were influential to the musical life of the city of Winston-Salem.

Sandresky’s years at Salem were marked by his annual piano recitals, solo performances with the Winston-Salem Symphony, and chamber music concerts with his artist faculty. The first state-of-the-art facility of its kind in the city, the Salem Fine Arts Center (Now the Elberson Fine Arts Center) was constructed during his tenure. Sandresky and his faculty produced many outstanding students and distinguished alumnae. He died in 2009 at the age of 93.

Barbara Lister-Sink, a piano student of Margaret Mueller and Dean Clemens Sandresky, and now Director of the School Music at Salem College, says her teachers and those very pianos changed her life forever.

“The piano in Margaret Mueller’s studio was probably the first Steinway grand piano on which I had ever played,” says Lister-Sink. “And having a lesson in Dean Sandresky’s office with not one, but two impressive grand pianos was an indescribable thrill. Those beloved piano teachers and those pianos enabled me to enjoy a rich, joyous life in music for the past half century.”

Barbara Lister-Sink is an internationally acclaimed pianist and teacher and has been a Steinway artist since 1978. A graduate of Smith College, Lister-Sink holds the coveted Prix d’Excellence from the Utrecht Conservatory, Netherlands. She was Salem’s first female Dean of the School of Music 1986-1992, and has been its Director since 2009. She also holds the positions of Artist-in-Residence and Salem Distinguished Professor. She is a global leader in injury-preventive keyboard technique and now directs the United States’ first fully accredited Professional Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique at Salem College. She is currently finishing her dissertation for a doctoral degree from Columbia University.

Published on September 25, 2014