History of Piano Day
Piano Day of Pittsburgh was created by Peter Stumpf in 2016. Mr. Stumpf has been a piano technician since 1994 and has had many roles. Currently, he works as the piano technician for Heinz Hall, the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, and University of Pittsburgh Music Department. Mr. Stumpf opened his business, Pianoburgh, servicing pianos throughout the Pittsburgh region. In 2016, Steinway and Sons approached Peter to serve as the only authorized Steinway Piano and Technical Service Provider in Western Pennsylvania. With his personal business and Pittsburgh Steinway, Piano Day of Pittsburgh was created.
Mr. Stumpf put a piano in Schenley Plaza at the University of Pittsburgh and allowed people from the community to come up and play a brand new Steinway & Sons Model B piano. There were a few people scheduled to play, but most of the day was filled with people passing by stopping to piano this beautiful instrument. The event gained a lot of attention and prompted Mr. Stumpf to ask a question: Is this something that people would like to see annually in Pittsburgh?
After months of planning, August 8, 2017, arrives in Pittsburgh. With the help of five volunteers, Peter and his team traveled to over six stops around the city of Pittsburgh and showcased over 60 musicians from the area. The day consisted of jazz, pop, classical, and everything in between. It was filled with aerialists, chamber groups, yoga, and soloists of all ages, all with a common area: the love of music and the piano.
Peter Stumpf attributes the success of this event to every performer and participant; without them, it would not be possible. “I am not trying to sell anything. This event is made up of all volunteers and is free and open to the public. My goal for this event is to showcase the love for the piano, and use the piano to build community throughout the city of Pittsburgh.”
In 2017, Mayor Bill Peduto declared August 8 to be “Piano Day” in the city of Pittsburgh, and for good reason. Peter Stumpf decided to hitch a concert-grade Steinway onto an open-bed trailer and haul it around the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. Showcasing over 80 local musicians, the piano made its way to six different locations, featuring piano-accompanied yoga, aerialists, and even a silent movie in Schenley Park.
The event has more than doubled in size, taking over downtown Pittsburgh on August 26. But, in the original spirit of Piano Day Pittsburgh and to honor our City’s new holiday — a Steinway will once again tour the city on August 8, 2018, featuring musicians from all backgrounds, all experience levels, and all walks of life. Join us throughout parts of Downtown Pittsburgh Strip District, Lawrenceville, Squirrel Hill, Oakland, as well as South Side, and North Side. Come and share in the joy of Pittsburgh’s musical history! All are welcome to attend, play, and simply have fun.
Follow the day on our Facebook page, which can be found by clicking here.