When we started looking for pianos, we actually started on Craigslist and eBay. And that is where we found about 10 pianos throughout the country that we looked at. We eventually zeroed in on Lindeblad restoration company and found this 1919 vintage piano. However, we didn't know at that point that this piano was going to turn out to be really better than a brand new piano. Three of our members of the board played brand new Steinway concert grand pianos and then compared them with this piano. And this piano turned out to have the most depth of sound and just a perfect combination of the old and the new.
An hour before we played this piano at Lindeblad studios, we were playing a brand new, concert grand nine-foot Steinway piano in Paramus, New Jersey, at the Steinway studios. And I was worried that when we got down to Lindeblad's, we were going to say, oh, that new piano was so much better. But the reality was that all the pianists felt, like I did, that this piano had a lot more depth and was just actually far superior to the brand new piano.
Sally Pinkas was born in Israel, went to Brandeis University, has performance degrees from Indiana University and New England Conservatory, and she has a PhD in music from Brandeis. So her career has been entirely concert piano and teaching.
We want to show off this piano in as many ways as possible. And having a pianist of this caliber, audiences are going to be able to see the difference between, say, an ordinary pianist and a truly professional pianist.
When we started on this project, we had no idea exactly how this community was going to respond to a fund-raising of this extent. Our contributions for this piano, the largest is $25,000 and the smallest is $10. And we have gotten a huge response from the community. And that is a wonderful thing because it's showing that it's not an elitist piano, or we're not just having this for special people. It's for everybody in the community.
In our search for our perfect piano, one of the first things I did was go to the Lindeblad testimonials. And that gave me a strong feeling that Lindeblad was a very personal organization and that they really cared about the pianos. As soon as we walked into the Lindeblad studio, Todd was there to welcome us. He really made us feel comfortable. And then we met Paul. Both of them together, whatever questions we had, they seemed to have good answers for them. What I felt was that their work in the shop is always done at the highest level, and that they don't cut any corners.
It has a beautiful personality. It's very clear. It has different colors and different registers, and yet it works as a whole. It's very honest. It gives you back exactly what you give it. You don't get a sense that there is too much reverberation inside it. It's not a muddy instrument. And I think it's suitable for this hall. It's a big hall.
It's not a shouting piano. And I think a lot of it is thanks to the fabulous restoration job. This really is-- it's like 50% the piano, 50% the work that's done on it. You can see amazing pianos that are really run down by not correct type of work and the reverse. And I think this is a very lucky situation because whoever did the work really knew what they were doing. And there's some very interesting things. When you use the soft pedal, instead of just getting a damp sound, you are actually getting kind of a slightly different sound with a different personality.
In general, I have a much better opinion of the older Steinways. And I think this is in that category. They don't make them like they used to. The new pianos that you're buying now are nowhere near as good as they used to be. The demands on a concert instrument are much greater in terms of precision, in terms of evenness. And it really is an art to be a concert technician that's quite different from-- you have to have a very good ear. It's a thrill. I'm getting to play on a great instrument in a very nice, brand new hall. I'm going to have a lot of fun tomorrow.