March 28th is Piano Day 2020.
Piano Day takes place on the 88th day of each year and is a celebration of the “king of musical instruments” — the piano.
Back at the end of 2014 the German pianist/composer Nils Frahm was looking for a suitable occasion to release his new solo piano album. And he came up with the brilliant idea of holding a festival dedicated to the piano, and using that as a suitable release date.
The idea was to highlight the instrument through events, lectures, masterclasses, etc. and to involve performers, manufacturers, tuners, and piano lovers around the world. A standard piano has 88 keys so he chose to hold the festival on the 88th day of the year.
The inaugural Piano Day 2015 was on 29th March. It is held on that date every year, save for when there is a leap year. So in 2020, it is on the 28th.
In addition to the various concerts, lectures, and events around the world, Piano Day also promotes various piano-related projects. These include the Give a Piano scheme whereby unwanted pianos are donated to various organizations and individuals who are desperate to have access to an instrument.
And one of the first projects back in 2015 was the building of the Klavins M450 – the world’s tallest piano.
COVID-19 and this year’s programme
A full list of events can be found on the Piano Day 2020 website – there were more than 100. But unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected matters, and organisers have encouraged the cancellation of all live events.
However, it is hoped that some part of the programme can be live-streamed. And various links should be available from the Piano Day website. Further information is also to be found on the Piano Day Facebook page.
One example is Virtual Piano Day, curated by Sonarspace. This is a live-stream taking place on March 29th at 7.00pm (Central European Time).
The Jazz Girl, the Piano, and the Dedicated Tuner
Piano Day is a catalyst for many piano-related projects, including the release of albums, new instruments, books, guides, etc.
One such publication is Nicky Gentil’s book The Jazz Girl, the Piano, and the Dedicated Tuner. The Kindle version is available from March 29th (the paperback version is already out). The book, set in Paris, is autobiographical, but uses fictional names, and tells various fascinating stories from the piano-tuners viewpoint. It can be purchased from the Amazon website.