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1979 Baldwin L


Cornelia "Nellie" Vertenstein at the piano. Hoffman Music's Baldwin pictured in background. Photo Credit Rachel Woolf for the New York Times

Hoffman Music is honored to showcase the 6" 3" 1979 Satin Black Baldwin L previously owned by renowned piano teacher Cornelia "Nellie" Vertenstein. ["Quote by Michael about how special it is to have the piano in the studio, and how he feels it's important to honor the life of such an amazing teacher by continuing to use the piano to enrich the lives of young musicians"]

Known worldwide due to a wonderful New York times piece on the then 92-year-old piano teacher, Dr. Vertenstein (as her students and their parents referred to her) was born in Sibiu, Romania. She began playing piano as a child, quickly establishing herself as a great talent. At 14, she began giving lessons, which became her greatest passion and life’s work.

Nellie displayed an amazing adaptability, resilience, and ability to learn over her whole life. After surviving the holocaust in her early teenage years, she continued her education, and became known as a respected concert pianist in Bucharest. In 1961, she, her husband, and her young daughter were forced to flee communist Romania and make a harrowing journey to Israel. Two years later, they immigrated to the United States, settling in Denver, where Nellie built a successful piano studio. 

Nellie never stopped teaching. She was fluent in six languages, and learned Hebrew, then English, in order to continue her work. In 1980, she earned her Doctorate in Music from the University of Colorado, and throughout her 79-year career, she continuously adapted her style, exploring new pedagogical methods in a mission to instill a deep love of music and learning in her students. Nowhere was this more evident than during the pandemic, where despite her relative inexperience with technology, she quickly learned to give lessons over FaceTime, moving her entire studio online at the age of 92. Always a woman of incredible strong will, she gave one last piano lesson just before going to the hospital for the final time. 

Hoffman Music is deeply honored to be using Nellie's personal piano to continue her love of teaching to the next generations of students.

Portions of the biography taken from Dr. Vertenstein's Obituary

Read More about Nellie here:


1905 Schiller Baby Grand

Visit us again soon to learn more about our fabulous 116-year-old piano!


Our Pianos

Every piano has a story to tell, and ours are no different!

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