It takes real talent to transform a silent room into a room echoing with a masterpiece. And now Dr. Richard Steinbach's talent will take him all the way to Carnegie Hall.
"We were thrilled when word came back. It's very difficult to get on the Carnegie Hall roster," said Steinbach.
But Steinbach's long trip to New York City, scheduled for June, actually started with an even longer journey to South America.
"The Carnegie Hall concert came out of an international project, called the Fusion Project, that I launched a couple years ago actually," said Steinbach. "And the first phase of that I received a sabbatical from my university, from Briar Cliff, to travel to South America to do a concert tour./ And from that concert tour I'm now recording a new album called Fusion from all this music that I collected not only from South America but from all over the world. So the Carnegie Hall concert will be the premiere and release of the new Fusion CD in June."
And this concert, that will be held in one of the most famous music halls in the world, is being produced right here in Sioux City.
"I've been working with a really wonderful arts supporter here in Sioux City, Juliette Everist, and we thought this was the perfect project to submit to them," said Steinbach.
Music has been in Steinbach's blood his whole life. He grew up in Colorado and started playing piano when he was 5. He eventually got his doctorate of music from the University of Iowa and has been at Briar Cliff University now for 35 years. It was in 1996 when he burst onto the national scene.
"One of the big turning points in my career was winning the international competition in Paris in 1996 and then subsequently doing my debut in Paris...that was really a life changing experience for me," said Steinbach. "It opened up a lot of doors internationally for me."
Even though there may be many of us who play the piano, seeing someone with Steinbach's ability is rare.
So what separates those that play piano, and those that get to play internationally like Steinbach?
"I think two things really," said Steinbach. "Anyone who is really successful in the art world has a very deep passion for music or art or whatever field they're working in. So that's number one, to have that inner drive. But then the second part of that is pretty much hard work, it takes a lot of diligent practice, practice, practice as they say."
And it's that practice that will put Steinbach at the center of attention at the center of the music world. Sometimes, he can't believe it himself.
"The first time I went to the CarnegieHall.org site and saw my name there and my picture on the Carnegie Hall roster I had a few butterflies happen," said Steinbach. "Like this is really happening?"