The West

Grand gift hits high note

A new grand piano has struck a fresh note in a duet composed over a generation by the McCusker family and the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

Former State governor Malcolm McCusker and his family have donated a $280,000 Italian handmade Fazioli grand piano to the institution he and his late father Sir James McCusker presented its original grand piano to 24 years earlier.

The new piano was showcased in a performance by WAAPA music students this week after it was delivered from the Fazioli factory near Venice to the Mt Lawley campus of Edith Cowan University. Mr McCusker, who retired as governor in June, said he was delighted the McCusker Charitable Foundation could repeat the gesture initiated by Sir James in 1990.

WAAPA piano technician Paul Tunzi travelled to Italy to inspect the Fazioli pianos - considered by many experts superior to the better known Steinway - and engaged Italian concert pianist Alessandro Taverna to test three short-listed instruments.

"It's very difficult for a piano to play jazz, do intimate solo work and then be a concerto piano as well," Mr Tunzi said. "This piano does this very well and is why this piano is truly remarkable."

The West Australian

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