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Over the past thirty years or so, an ever-increasing number of serious musicians has begun to perform classical works on instruments for which that music was originally conceived, rather than on their later counterparts. Cornell's Department of Music has a long history of being involved in this effort, and our collection of important keyboard instruments in particular has made it an international center for performance and historical research.

Malcolm Bilson and Roger Moseley highlight the important expressive differences that historical pianos can help achieve and explain how they shed new light on the notational practices and aesthetic profiles of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert.

They play solo and four-hand compositions and improvise on several different instruments, demonstrating how their variety of tone and touch opens the door to a world of sonic possibilities that lie beyond the reach of the ubiquitous Steinway.

To celebrate Cornell's sesquicentennial, Bilson and Moseley give a brief history of how Cornell came to occupy a unique position in the musical world at large and discuss how this legacy might provide a platform for exciting future developments.