Edinburgh-based community benefit society Pianodrome has begun construction of a 78-seater structure made entirely of recycled pianos which is due to open to the public in June.
During a proposed four-month residency from June to September this year, the CIC Pianodrome, in partnership with a range of Scottish cultural institutions, will offer artists and audiences a first taste of what it will be like to have a new world-class cultural center. with excellence and accessibility in the heart of our World Heritage City.
The new custom-built Pianodrome amphitheater is a circular structure 10 meters in diameter made up of bleachers incorporating more than 40 pianos whose expiry date has passed. The Pianodrome was commissioned following a relationship with St. Mary’s School of Music and will spearhead community and heritage engagement during the development phase of the new National Music Center.
The new Pianodrome amphitheater will have its world premiere as part of the Hidden Door Festival, with a full program of music, theatre, dance and spoken word events. The culmination of a seven-year creative partnership with Hidden Door, the joint venture is set to bring to life the grand and ornate Calton Hill landmark that has stood largely empty since 1968. A special program of performances is also planned for the Festival Edinburgh Fringe this August. Both teams have yet to be announced.
Building on previous successes with hundreds of performances and thousands of visitors and volunteers across the world’s first ‘Grand Pianodrome’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (Fringe 2018), The Pitt, Leith (Fringe 2019) and Leith Theater (November 2019) and most recently the 10 new interactive public piano sculptures of the ‘Piano Trail’ (Leeds International Piano Competition September 2021) Pianodrome will host a full range of walk-in events, workshops and performances you for all ages, abilities and cultural perspectives over the course of four months.
Peter Thierfeldt, project manager for the National Center for Music bid, said, “It’s so great to have a young, creative and dynamic organization like Pianodrome involved in this phase of the formation of the National Center for Music. This custom-built amphitheater will be a welcoming new space of community and heritage engagement within the Old Royal High that will create a sense of wonder and delight for audiences and musicians alike. Pianodrome works with a range of partners, some of whom might not consider a building like the Old Royal High, or its location, as a place for them. During the proposed ‘Resonance’, it will be a pleasure to hear musicians of all abilities take the stage, and I particularly look forward to the performances of the students and teachers of St Mary’s Music School.