Keyed in

A newly gifted handcrafted Bösdendorfer piano adds to the Music Department's offerings.

Jennifer Wagner
November 1, 2021

In front of a small, socially distanced audience, David Goodall ’24 takes a seat on the piano bench poised center stage in the Forrestal-Bowld Music Center.

For more than four minutes, his fingers dance along the black-and-white keys and the notes of “Malagueña” from Ernesto Lecuona’s Andalucía fill the room. In a final, commanding crescendo, Goodall completes his first solo program as an Exonian.

Goodall was one of 11 musicians who performed in the May soloist concert, which celebrated the work students and teachers accomplished together over winter and spring terms. The evening was especially exciting because Goodall played his piece on a handcrafted Bösdendorfer piano, recently gifted to the Academy by Caroline Levine in memory of Tommy Gallant, an Exeter music instructor from 1967 to 1998.

Chair of the Music Department Kristofer Johnson calls the piano, now part of Exeter’s permanent collection, “remarkable.” The students agree. “Before coming to Exeter I had no idea pianos were capable of producing such intimate experiences,” says Goodall, who has been studying piano since age 5. “Playing the Bösdendorfer was unlike any piano I had previously played. It was capable of bringing forth stunning emotion that filled the entire Bowld with beautiful tones. I felt that I could play better than I ever had.”