Cubans Heard a Steinway Piano for the First Time in Over 50 Years

havana-live-steinwayHAVANA, Oct. 11 When the United States and Cuba announced they would normalize relations in December 2014, it signified many things, and one: change.

For Cuba, that meant an influx of investment, tourists, and cross-cultural interactions. Last night, it meant a historic moment in Havana’s musical arts scene, after musicians from across the globe performed in Havana’s Cathedral Plaza on a Steinway piano, the first new American piano imported into Cuba since the revolution, reports the NY Times.

The $150,000 Steinway piano, which was donated to the Cuban Institute of Music, was played by musicians including Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang, who performed alongside Cuban music star Chucho Valdés, playing a second piano, and the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by American Marin Alsop.

The concert, free to the 3,000 Cubans and foreigners packed in the plaza, included pieces by Tchaikovsky, “Victory Stride,” by American jazz pianist James P. Johnson, songs by Valdés and two other Cuban composers, Ernesto Lecuona and Antonio María Romeu, and the fitting Gershwin piece, “Cuban Overture.”
Inspiring, no?