Today is the ninth annual Piano Day. Founded in 2015 by composer Nils Frahm, the event takes place annually on the 88th day of each year, representative of the 88 keys on the piano.

Photo © Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas/Pexels

In the mood to celebrate? Listen to the official Piano Day playlist (curated by Frahm) or check out some piano-centric events near you tomorrow to join in!


Melbourne’s The JazzLab is hosting one of the two dedicated Piano Day events, as recognised by the organisers. Composer and pianist Nat Bartsch has curated a program of Melbourne pianists performing in both classical and jazz styles. Romy Hernandez and Bartsch will perform their original works, Georgina Lewis plays works from across the 20th and 21st century, and Josh Hook presents Chopin and Mompou.

Shift

Nat Bartsch performing at Shift. Photo © Liam Mulligan.

Though not official, you can also hear the sound of two pianos (and a harmonium) at Opera Scholars Australia’s performance at the Hawthorn Arts Centre, in performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.

Hobart has the other recognised Piano Day event. Local composer Frances Cameron will premiere her debut album, Piano For Dreaming, in an afternoon on the Mona Lawns. Over in Launceston’s Theatre North, Ian Stenlake and Michelle Fitzmaurice will be performing a string of songs that have won Academy Awards, accompanied by pianist Kym Alexandra Dillon.

At North Adelaide’s Baroque Hall, pianist Claudia Chan joins forces with violinist William Grigg for a from Beethoven and Prokofiev.

In Perth, pianist Tal Cohen is currently undertaking a three-day residency at The Ellington Jazz Club, returning home from his new base in the US. Piano Day marks the second day of his residency, where he’ll be playing with saxophonist Jaime Oehlers. The duo, whose history spans almost a decade, will perform both jazz classics and their original works.

Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson at 100 Ways to Listen

Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson at 100 Ways to Listen.

In Brisbane, the Queensland Conservatorium hosts a lunchtime concert in celebration. Erik Griswold and Steve Newcomb, with guest musicians, will perform on a variety of keys – synths, toy pianos, melodicas – as well as on the Con’s Steinway. Later, at the Doo-Bop Bar, Floridian Spencer Chester will take over the piano bar for the night. You can also catch a pianistic tribute to the band Queen, performed by classically-trained pianists Daniel Le and Xinyu Allie Wang on the one piano, at Brisbane City Hall.

For something a little different in Sydney, Apphia Campbell’s play Black is the Colour of My Voice is inspired by the story of piano legend Nina Simone and features a handful of her songs, performed live at the Seymour Centre.

In Casula, a new opera composed and performed by pianist Sally Whitwell – alongside her mezzo-soprano sister Margaret Plummer and baritone Michael Honeyman – is screening at the Powerhouse. A Sydney Festival presentation, Margaret and the Grey Mare used a specially-coded chatbot to produce the libretto.

And finally, young Indonesian-born, Sydney-based pianist Jacob Jayasena brings his trio to Foundry616 – with  bassist Craig Scott and drummer Andrew Dickeson – for a series of jazz standards, original works and Australian compositions alongside vocalist Keala.

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