Billy Joel has long taken an interest in educating younger generations of musicians. This runs from his acclaimed Evening of Questions and Answers and a Little Bit of Music series to today’s news that he has given a piano to the music department of Stony Brook University on his native Long Island.

The piano, a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand, is considered to be one of the finest in the world. Handcrafted in Austria and with a value of $250,000, the Imperial Grand is known for having 97 keys rather than the standard 88, resulting in a deeper and richer tone. The donation was made through the artist's Joel Foundation, which provides “seed money, musical scholarships and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities and music schools.”

“I ran into Billy Joel last August in Sag Harbor and thanked him for the Baldwin Grand Piano he donated several years ago,” Perry Goldstein, of the university’s music department, said. “He told me he’s heard very good things about the music program at Stony Brook and said that he might have another piano for us. Some months later, we received the Bosendorfer.”

Joel is set to begin his monthly residency at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 27. But you will also be able to see him on TV a couple times in the next week. The broadcast of his receipt of the Kennedy Center Honors will be shown on Sunday, Dec. 29, and he will appear on the annual favorite ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ two days later.

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