Release Date: November 17, 2008
Kennesaw State arts dean named "International Steinway Artist"
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Dean Joseph Meeks with Sally Covaleskie, national sales director for Steinway & Sons
photo by Tim Goldman
KENNESAW, Ga.—Joseph Meeks, dean of the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, has been named an International Steinway Artist, by the legendary piano maker Steinway & Sons. He was presented with this honor during the university’s All-Steinway Celebration concert on Nov. 15 in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center.
The International Roster of Steinway Artists includes many of the most prestigious pianists of the last 150 years, such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein. Contemporary performers on the list include Lang Lang, Diana Krall and Billy Joel.
Meeks, who has served on the KSU for nearly 40 years, is a concert pianist who began playing as a young child. As a youth, he won numerous piano competitions and graduated from high school early after winning the Walter Spry Memorial Piano Scholarship to study at Converse College School of Music in South Carolina. He later earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts degrees in piano performance from the University of Georgia and a Master of Music degree from Georgia State University. He completed additional studies at Yale University and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria where he was selected to perform in an international concert during the Salzburg Music Festival. In recent years, he has been honored as a Lexus Leader of the Arts. He also received the Coca-Cola Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts Leadership at the 2000 Abby Awards in Atlanta.
Meeks performed works by Barber, Bach and Poulenc during the concert in which he was honored on Nov. 15. The concert was planned to celebrate the university being named an All-Steinway School, a designation that places KSU among the finest music schools in the world, including Yale, Juilliard and Oberlin. It indicates that all of the university’s pianos have been made by Steinway & Sons, the world’s most prestigious piano company. This designation was made possible by the purchase of 27 pianos by Atlanta philanthropist Dr. Bobbie Bailey on behalf of the university. Bailey also donated $1.75 million last year to name the university’s new music performance center.
“I never would have thought this recognition would have been possible for me,” Meeks said. “I am deeply moved by this honor.”
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.