For 12 days, 12 pianos lie hidden in the San Francisco Botanical Garden in a sort of musical game of hide-and-seek. Or, maybe since you'll gather around the pianos once you find them, it's more like Sardines.
Regardless, just listen for a distant melody, find a piano, and you can play it for yourself or listen to others as they show off their chops. All styles of play are encouraged and all ages and skills are welcome. At certain times, professionals will even step in to to perform, including the notable Lara Downes.
The project comes from Sunset Piano, or Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell. In 2013, ffortissimo "covertly" rolled an old grand piano onto the bluffs over Half Moon Bay, and Sunset Piano was born.
Sure, Davies Symphony Hall may sound good, but it doesn't have flowers like the Botanical Garden. The aptly named Flower Piano runs from the 9th through the 20th. It's open when the Botanical Garden is: From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Here's the schedule of planned performances, but seriously, go anytime. Impromptu concerts are always more exciting, and they're sure to be hiding behind the next tree.
Saturdays, July 11 & 18
Great Meadow - Mauro ffortissimo: Bach, Beethoven & Brahms Saturday, July 11 & 18, 12-2p
Exhibition Garden - Martha Cooper: Bach, Bartok, Vocal Surprises & more Saturday, July 11 & 18, 12-2pm
Garden of Fragrance - Heather Yager: Ragtime, Schumann, Debussy, Liszt & Ravel Saturday, July 11, 1-2pm as part of Garden Member Event, Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Rhododendron Pavilion - Freddi Price: Nilsson, Newman, Russell, Carmichael & more Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm Colleen Torianne: Contemporary Edwardian Interpretations Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Mediterranean Garden - Joshua Raoul Brody: Beatles, tango, standards & “other” Saturday, July 11 & 18, 12-2pm
Waterfowl Pond - Esther Aeschbach: Debussy, Schubert, Bach & more Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm Rupa: Original Compositions Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Zellerbach Garden - Allison Lovejoy: Ravel, Chopin, Rachmaninov & New Nocturnes Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm; Steinway Recording Artist Lara Downes Saturday, July 18, 11am; Benjamin Gribble: Satie, Milhaud, Beethoven & prepared piano Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Moon Viewing Garden - Serene: Ravel, Gershwin, Chopin & Liszt Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm Sarah Cahill: Redwood Shrine by Pauline Oliveros & Garden Music by Danny Clay Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Redwood Grove - Eric Chase: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert & more Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm Tom Jonesing (Dean Mermell & Steffanos X): Rock Interpretations Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
California Native Garden Stone Circle - Kitten on the Keys: Flapper, Cabaret, Standards & Punk Rock Saturday, July 11 & 18, 12-2pm
Mesoamerican Cloud Forest - Ander Meyer: Cocktail Classics Saturday, July 11 & 18, 12-2pm
South Africa Garden - Joe Magdalena: Standards/Pop, Sinatra & Happy Stuff Saturday, July 11, 12-2pm Gerry Basserman: Joni M, Mozart, Mingus & Monk Saturday, July 18, 12-2pm
Sunday, July 12
Concerts Redwood Grove
Eric Chase: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert & Classical Improvisation 10am - 12pm
Serene: Ravel, Gershwin, Chopin & Liszt 12 - 2pm
Esther Aeschbach and Benjamin Gribble: Duets of Debussy, Stravinski, Ravel & Originals 2pm - 4pm
Allison Lovejoy: Ravel, Rachmaninov, Chopin & New Nocturnes for Piano 4pm - 6pm
Sunday, July 19
Concerts Redwood Grove
Eric Chase and Ashley Roof, soprano: Schubert, Mozart, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff & Debussy 10am - 12pm
Alex Conde: Piano Flamenco & Thelonious Monk 12 - 2pm
Benjamin Gribble: Original Compositions, Jazz Standards, Shostakovich, Clementi, Chilly Gonzales & variations on Chopin Preludes 2pm - 4pm
Ander Meyer & his Orchestra: Piano Lounge 4pm - 6pm
San Francisco Botanical Garden, 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco
San Francisco Residents: FREE with proof of residency
$5 youth 12-17 & seniors;
$2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE;
families of 2 adults and one or more child pay just $15
The Garden is free daily 7:30-9am and all day on second Tuesdays of the month
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