Jacobs Music Company, the Philadelphia region’s exclusive dealer of the renowned Steinway & Sons pianos, proudly announces that award-winning Kennett Square pianist Catherine Marie Charlton has been named to the elite category of Steinway Artist. Steinway & Sons, the New York company which hand-crafts the pianos of choice for the world’s great virtuosos, confers the honor of Steinway Artist on only a very select group of musicians who personally own and exclusively perform in public on their instruments. The roster includes hit-makers from the pop realm like Billy Joel and Harry Connick, Jr and giants of the classical repertory like Lang Lang and Emanuel Ax. Whenever Steinway artists appear in the greater Philadelphia region, their performance pianos are selected from Jacobs’ instruments and tuned to each artist’s
exacting standards by the specially-trained technicians of Jacobs Music. Steinway Artists are not paid to endorse these special instruments, so their inclusion in this roster further demonstrates their personal commitment to and appreciation for the unique expressive qualities of these legendary instruments.
Charlton has earned a worldwide audience for her impressionistic, album-length piano improvisations entitled River Flow - Sanctuary and River Dawn: Piano Meditations, and says she fulfilled a twenty-year dream in May 2013 when she was named a Steinway Artist. “I was a student at Cornell University when I showed up at Steinway’s New York City Concert and Artist offices to
ask them how I could become a Steinway Artist one day,” recalled the pianist, a wife and mother of two young children who has lived in the Kennett Square area for six years. “I’ve wanted to be a Steinway Artist as long as I can remember. In that visit so long ago, they were very kind to me and gave me great advice and encouragement. I learned that they ask that everyone on the roster own a Steinway piano --- definitely a tall order. Soon after college, while I was working in Wilmington, managing technical projects for a large credit card company, I traded in my upright and bought a used 7-foot Steinway B, and made the down payment with some money I had saved from an award in college. It took me eight years to pay off the loan I took out on top of my student loans. In fact, that’s one reason I started teaching piano in the evenings after my full time job with the bank, to make some extra money for my monthly piano payments!”
Charlton is proud that the Steinway purchased at so much personal sacrifice is the one heard in the albums River Dawn: Piano Meditations recorded in 2001 and her newest “one-take” 60-minute improvisation River Flow – Sanctuary, recorded in her home studio in 2012 while her family, including a newborn, was sleeping. Another album, Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations, has won multiple awards including the Instrumental EP category in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards in 2013. River Dawn is licensed for wide use throughout the United Kingdom as meditative music to accompany hypnotherapists and in hypnosis for childbirth training. “There are thousands of little British babies who are hearing it in the womb and at their birthings!” Charlton recently told an interviewer for the website MainlyPiano.com. “For me personally, that’s one of my proudest accomplishments.”
“Preparing Steinway pianos for inspired artists like Catherine Marie Charlton is the highlight of our profession,” explained Mark Love, Vice President of Institutional Development at Jacobs Music Company. “When the audience hears a Steinway Artist in concert or on a recording, they can be assured that the pianist is enabled to express themselves through a superb instrument with unrivaled sound and responsiveness. It’s a joy to welcome Catherine Marie Charlton to the fold and play our part in bringing her highly emotional music to life.”