This Saturday marks Piano Day 2020, a celebration of the most versatile and beloved instrument in the world, and, while scores of events have had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still some that you can watch live streamed online.
Unlike a normal concert or sporting fixture, Piano Day can’t just be delayed until later in the year. German composer and What Hi-Fi? favourite Nils Frahm designed the worldwide event to be celebrated on the 88th day of each year, to represent the number of keys on a piano.
And it’s been growing each year. We’ve picked out some of the best Piano Day live streams that are still happening across the weekend, interspersed with some gorgeous piano performances to whet your appetite.
Sydney Opera House
Australia will be able to wake up to the sounds of some of the world’s finest pianists playing at the Sydney Opera House via the venue’s YouTube channel (10.30am local time) – and for many of the rest of us it will be an early Piano Day treat on Friday evening. Blending performances with exclusive interviews, the broadcast will include works from Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Joep Beving, Margaret Leng and more.
Said And Done by Nils Frahm
We should of course include a piece here by the man responsible for all of this: Nils Frahm, who will feature on the above broadcast from Sydney Opera House. This piece was recorded for the German composer's live album, Spaces, and has a gorgeous complexity belying its minimalist opening bars.
Classical music label Deutsche Grammophon is celebrating Piano Day 2020 with an international virtual festival featuring performances from its family of artists, including Maria João Pires, Rudolf Buchbinder, Evgeny Kissin, Víkingur Ólafsson and more.
"Technology allows us to turn this year’s World Piano Day into an online space where masterful pianists can share positive and uplifting messages through music, performing on their own pianos and reaching people in their homes," says Dr Clemens Trautmann, president of Deutsche Grammophon. The performances begin at 3pm CET.
Eyes Closed And Traveling by Peter Broderick
Peter Broderick is a label mate of Frahm's, on Erased Tapes, and shares his ear for striking melody and ethereal accompaniment. Here he is performing on Piano Day in 2016.
Sonoraspace Virtual Piano Festival 2020
As Piano Day events around the world began to be cancelled, Sonoraspace took it upon itself to set up the first Virtual Piano Festival, to take place on Sunday 29th March. Available on Facebook and YouTube, it will feature streamed performances from Italy, Spain, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Lebanon, Poland and the UK.
Abandon Window/Nightfall/Autumn Hill by Jon Hopkins
Jon Hopkins is an artist who will be featured alongside Frahm on Sydney Opera House's live Piano Day broadcast. The pair share a penchant for blending their piano compositions with electronics to create at once organic and industrial-like soundscapes.
Hall Of Halls Piano Week
Hall Of Halls at the Kiyosato Moeginomura Museum has been delivering piano performances from Japan all week. A new recital is posted on its YouTube channel at 1pm local time each day, and will be until Sunday 29th March; or you can wait until next week and watch them all at once.