Steinway & Sons Donate Piano To Jennifer Hudson’s Foundation

Steinway & Sons has announced a collaboration with MGM Studios to celebrate the release of new Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, and to raise money for Jennifer and Julia Hudson’s foundation, The Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

To coincide with the release date of the film, Steinway & Sons has donated a bespoke Steinway-designed Boston piano painted in bright colours and adorned with glittering crystals.

The piano is now up for auction, and all proceeds will be donated to The Julian D. King Gift Foundation, which was founded by Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia in 2018 to honour Hudson’s nephew, Julian.

The Julian D. King Gift Foundation provides stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds. The Foundation acts as a catalyst for change in children’s health, education and welfare.

Each year, they produce large-scale giving events in the city of Chicago which benefit low-income families in the Chicago area who may not normally have access to the resources they need to succeed.

This collaboration is a natural outgrowth of the long affinity Aretha Franklin had for Steinway. The singer was known to consistently play Steinway pianos throughout her life and performance career, and Respect honours her preferences by featuring Steinway in some of the film’s most compelling musical moments.

Steinway & Sons arranged for the transport of a new Steinway-designed Boston upright piano to a shop space in Chicago, made possible through the generosity of piano technician Jim Rielley and Rielley Piano.

The Boston UP-118S Performance Edition piano was painted by New York muralists MenaceResa, a duo selected by Hudson for their innovative work combining fine art and graffiti writing.

“Certainly, everyone at Steinway is very proud that our pianos are featured so prominently in this amazing film,” said Gavin English, president, Steinway & Sons Americas.

“But the connection to Respect has become so much more meaningful for our ability to collaborate with MGM Studios and raise money for Ms. Hudson’s foundation. The Julian D. King Gift Foundation has helped so many young people and will continue to do so for years to come. We are thrilled to be able to donate this piano - an outstanding piece of art in its own right, to honour Julian and to help fund the Foundation’s activities.”