An evening filled with music and friends. That sums up the grand finale for Pianos in the Parks, hosted by Laird Norton Wealth Management this past Friday at the Olympic Sculpture Park Pavilion. Supporters of the nine different organizations that made Pianos in the Parks possible mingled, nibbled and toasted the success of the first-ever effort to bring 20 pianos to 20 Seattle-area parks and public spaces for a month (July 17 – Aug. 17, 2014).
As Seattle Symphony Conductor Ludovic Morlot noted (at left), Pianos in the Parks is a great example of how music can bring together communities, as well as the deep and vibrant musical culture we have here in the Northwest.
All evening long, two monitors flashed hundreds of photos of people who had played the pianos in the parks. And for three hours virtually non-stop, music filled the Pavilion. The evening’s centerpiece was a Porsche-designed piano built by Austria’s Bosendorfer, donated for the evening by Classic Pianos of Bellevue, which also provided the 20 pianos for the parks.
The pianists for the evening included Kim Russ, pianist for the Seattle Symphony, Yelena Balabanova, and local jazz legend Overton Berry (at left).
Three of the Pianos in the Parks contest finalists also played and got many rounds of applause: Dave Otis (85 years old and still playing strong); teenager Matt Greisen his mother Kathy; and the charming Monty Banks, who’s working on a Seattle song to rival “New York, New York.”
LNWM CEO Bob Moser (left) emphasized that Pianos in the Parks was an extra-ordinary community effort. While LNWM was the program originator and underwriter, Pianos in the Parks wouldn’t have been possible without our eight partner organizations in the arts, music and parks: Classic Pianos, Gage Academy, KEXP, King County Parks, Play Network, Seattle Office of Film + Music, Seattle Parks, The Seattle Symphony.