Listening Quest #13: 101 Pianists

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 by Vicki Martin | Listening Quest

This last weekend, I had the opportunity to be part of a duet recital called "Two Much Fun" put on by some local Edmonton teachers. "Duets" isn't quite the right word. There were five pianos on stage, each played by two people (most of the time), which meant for 10 people playing at once. For the students, there was a conductor to help keep them together. I was part of the teacher group, playing the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik with 7 other teachers. It was a whole lot of fun! Sorry, but we didn't take a video. Besides, we've been totally bested already.

The concert pianist Lang Lang (pronounced like long long) started a program called 101 Pianists, which gets 100 students together on 50 pianos to play Schubert's Marche Militaire No. 1. He is the 101st pianist, in case you hadn't guessed. It's been done in at least 14 cities around the world including Hong Kong, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and a little closer to home in both Toronto and Vancouver. Try to imagine it, then watch this video which shows some of their rehearsal time:
Sound like something you'd like to do? I can't get you 99 other pianists to play with, but I can get you 9!

Extra Exploring: Well, of course you'd like to hear the entire Marche Militaire, played here as a plain old duet with Lang Lang and Annie, a 13-year old who played with him in Toronto.