LEWISTON – The pianist who chose the Franco-American Heritage Center’s piano – at the Steinway factory in New York City – plans to perform a benefit recital on the instrument Saturday.

George Lopez , who has performed at venues across Europe and America, is scheduled to play works by Mozart, Rachmaninoff and contemporary composer Romeo Melloni.

His aim is to show off some of the Steinway grand piano and its marriage with the Lewiston performing arts center.

“It sounds gorgeous,” said Lopez, who has played the piano several times since its arrival in March.

“The first time I heard it, I thought, Oh my God, this is way beyond anything I expected,” Lopez said.

In New York, Lopez had labored over the choice, floating between six identical pianos in the factory’s specially designated selection room.

His aim was to determine which of the handmade, $100,000 pianos made a sound that would best fit the former church in Lewiston’s Little Canada.

“I didn’t expect the hall to accept it the way it did,” Lopez said.

The Saturday concert will be the first solo recital held with the piano.

Pianist Frank Glazer was the first to perform with the Steinway, performing in a March concert with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra.

Glazer plans to return for another concert in the fall, the first in a new piano series at the center.

“My recital will be a kind of prelude to the series,” Lopez said.