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Art Music (genre)

Franchot's wrong chord

Franchot's wrong chord

If nothing else, state Comptroller Peter Franchot's objection to Bowie State University's purchase of 32 new Steinway pianos for the $79 million new performing arts center it will open next year shows the state's top financial watchdog has a tin ear for value. Who would spend that kind of money on a state-of-the-art music facility and then fill it with penny-whistle instruments?

At a meeting of the state Board of Public Works on Wednesday, Mr. Franchot suggested the $553,264 price tag for the Steinway-designed pianos — a mix of concert, budget and entry-level instruments — was excessive at a time of fiscal austerity. He went on to ask whether the school had sought...