PULLMAN, Wash. — The creator of an exquisite piano recently acquired by Washington State University will attend a gala recital showcasing the instrument at 7 p.m., Jan. 23, at the Kimbrough Concert Music Hall on the WSU campus. A reception will follow in the lobby.

Paolo Fazioli, the Italian craftsman of WSU’s Concert Grand Fazioli, will be on hand to hear WSU faculty members Michelle Mielke, Susan Chan, Charles Argersinger and Gerald Berthiaume perform works by Modest Moussorgsky, Frederic Chopin, Alexina Louie, Claude Debussy and Sergei Rachmaninov.

WSU is the only university in the United States to own a Fazioli Concert Grand, considered by many to be the finest piano in the world.

H. James Schoepflin, the director of the WSU’s School of Music and Theatre Arts, describes the piano as an investment that will be available for music students and faculty and attract acclaimed international pianists for years to come.

“A world-class piano of this quality is going to last a good part of the century,” Berthiaume says.

Fazioli pianos are entirely handcrafted from red spruce cut from Italy’s Val di Fiemme, the same forest where Stradivarius gathered wood for his violins. A rigorous two-year testing and construction process creates superior sound quality, says Berthiaume.

“All of these things together combine for an incredible sound and ringing quality,” he says. “It is unlike any other piano I’ve ever played.”

This piano is particularly special because it contains an inscription from Fazioli stating the piano was the first completed in the new millennium, Berthiaume says.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Berthiaume at (509) 335-3239.