Don’t be fooled by the dramatic undertones he is known for on television shows like the Amazing Race. Accomplished pianist Stu Goldberg is a self-proclaimed ham.
“I like making those dramatic sounds but I am definitely a ham and love playing solo. If I could, I would do many more solo gigs,” said Goldberg. “I improv all my concerts and feed off the atmosphere of the room. The audience should expect some surprises.”
What makes his next solo gig — at the Shatford Centre on Saturday in a fundraiser concert for the building’s planned community kitchen — even more unique is he will be hammering the keys of a refurbished Bechstein piano that is 103 years old. The pianist has a special connection with the brand. He played Bechsteins while touring throughout Europe.
This piano has been part of Bea Smith’s husband’s family since 1910, when Ben Bodenhoff’s mother graduated from the National Conservatory. A photo of this memorable event was captured and will be featured in the evening’s program along with other history of the Bechstein, through its journey to the Shatford Centre.
“I think the Shatford is the appropriate place for the piano. It is such an old building and this is an old piano, so it seemed like the perfect match,” said Smith, a Penticton resident.
Goldberg is a composer, producer, arranger, keyboardist and has a history of innovation from years of performing on the world’s concert stages with artists such as John McLaughlin, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Freddie Hubbard, Al Di Meola, Wayne Shorter and Jack Bruce, to 20 years in the Los Angeles, Calif. studio trenches as a composer and recording musician. As a composer, his film and TV scores (Amazing Race, Rescue:911) have garnered awards and entertained audiences worldwide. Goldberg is a recording studio owner and engineer, producting, arranging and recording albums for diverse artists as well as releasing his own albums on his Dedication Records label.
Goldberg moved from the “rat race” in California to Penticton — he now resides in Peachland — by chance. His wife had been cruising the internet looking at possible relocation sites near Saltspring Island when she came across some property in Penticton.
“There was these beautiful lakes, mountains and vineyards all in one picture in the listing and we thought it had to be photoshopped. We came in the middle of winter to see it and were disappointed because we just were in warm California but as we got out of Kelowna the lake opened up and we fell in love. We finally came to this property and looked out and saw this beautiful vista and realized it wasn’t a photoshop trick,” said Goldberg.
All proceeds from the vent will go toward the commercial community kitchen at the Shatford Centre, which the Penticton Rotary Club is a fundraising partner for. The kitchen is being planned as a teaching and demonstration kitchen where culinary arts, lifestyles and wellness will be shared with many organizations and individuals in the community.
The Shatford would also like to see the kitchen used in conjunction with the heritage recital hall that accommodates banquets, celebrations, dinner theatre and other events.
Goldberg plays on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Shatford Centre. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students in advance. At the door they will be $25 for adults and $15 for students.
Advance tickets are available at the Shatford Centre, by calling 250-77-7668 or at YGO Music & Art at 101-207 Main St.