More Damage At Kimmel Center

Update: (Philadelphia-AP) — It turns out a second Steinway piano was damaged in an accidental downpour from the sprinkler system inside Philadelphia's new Kimmel Center for Performing Arts — and eleven orchestra musicians have reported some damage to their pricey instruments. Incoming music director Christoph Eschenbach, who was rehearsing Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" when the deluge occurred Tuesday morning, refers to it as "The Rite of the Sprinkler."

Officials also say some wood flooring appears warped under the first few rows at Verizon Hall, the cello-shaped, mahogany auditorium where the Philadelphia Orchestra was practicing when sprinklers above the stage accidentally went off.

Damage to the eleven instruments — ten of them string instruments, worth up to a (M) million dollars — ranges from cleaning to perhaps fairly extensive work. But it's too soon to tell if other instruments were warped or damaged.

In-House Floods

Wednesday, December 4, 2002 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Steinway grand piano caught in an accidental downpour inside the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts may be permanently out of tune.

Philadelphia Orchestra musicians had to run offstage with their instruments after the fire safety sprinklers above the stage accidentally went off during a late-morning rehearsal in Verizon Hall on Tuesday.

The piano, worth roughly $80,000 to 85,000, was left with its top open and collected “quite a bit of water,” Kimmel Center President Janice Price said.

The water damage extended from the stage into the first five rows in the audience, but Tuesday evening’s performance was able to continue as scheduled. Dry chairs for the 104 musicians were borrowed from the Academy of Music.

“Within about one hour and a half, we were bringing the percussion section of the orchestra back on the stage,” said Price.

The Kimmel Center’s second Steinway piano was used in place of the damaged piano.

Price said Kimmel Center officials are still investigating the cause of the accident. Steinway experts are evaluating the damage to the piano and did not yet know whether it could be salvaged, she said.

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