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CMC receives a well-loved treasure

Carolyn Curtze, who passed away in 1992, was a member of a philanthropic Pennsylvania family, whose family properties were donated to the city of Erie, Penn., for a museum and planetarium. Her daughter, Lynn Scarlett-Atkinson of Steamboat Springs, is continuing her motherís legacy by donating her motherís Steinway to Colorado Mountain College. A free concert and reception to celebrate the piano's donation will be held Nov. 8, 2 p.m., at Colorado Mountain College's Spring Valley Center near Glenwood Springs.
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SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – When Lynn Scarlett-Atkinson hears her mother’s Steinway grand piano being played on Nov. 8, it will be a time for remembering her mother’s passion for music and for letting go of a well-loved family heirloom so that others may enjoy it.

“I was fortunate enough to grow up with the beautiful sounds of this piano in my ears,” Scarlett-Atkinson said. “Now, once again, the piano will be appreciated by those who love it for its incredible Steinway acoustics.”

Scarlett-Atkinson of Steamboat Springs is donating her mother’s 1936 Steinway M piano to Colorado Mountain College. Her generous gift is being celebrated with a free public concert at the New Space Theatre at the college’s Spring Valley Center near Glenwood Springs at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8. Scarlett-Atkinson will attend the concert, which will feature pianist Andrew Todd and vocalist Kathleen Allen.



“My two brothers and I grew up with this musical piece of furniture in our lives,” said Scarlett-Atkinson. “This donation is really from them as well as through me.”

Aspen-based pianist Andrew Todd said the concert will include works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Liszt, among others. A piece by Samuel Barber, “A Green Lowland of Pianos,” will feature coloratura soprano Kathleen Allen. Allen is a friend of Scarlett-Atkinson’s with a true appreciation for the Steinway.



Allen studied voice with Jayne West and the late Olga Averino Federovsky. She gave numerous recitals at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while on the faculty there, and appeared as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s “Zauberflote” and as the Amazon in Schubert’s “Des Teufels Lustschloss.” She now lives in Hayden.

“Kathleen probably has done the most to educate me on this beautiful piece,” said Scarlett-Atkinson.

Scarlett-Atkinson believes the piano was given to her mother at age 12, when it became one of the young Carolyn Curtze’s lifelong treasures.

“I have memories of my mother playing like a concert pianist – at least in my mind – so full of passion and with truly an ear for music,” Scarlett-Atkinson said.

The piano originated in New York and was part of the Curtze family’s households in Erie and Edinboro, Penn., for years before it was put into storage. It was later moved to Colorado where it became part of The Alpine Rose, Scarlett-Atkinson’s bed and breakfast in Steamboat. Scarlett-Atkinson has been looking for a permanent location for the piano since then. Now, with this donation, the piano will once again be heard and appreciated.

“I am very excited that my mother’s special ‘baby,’ her piano, will at last have a home,” said Scarlett-Atkinson.


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