So imagine that you’re strolling down Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) or rushing around the Main Train Station, when all of a sudden you hear sweet music from somewhere nearby. Capricious jazz, a wistful sonata or a popular ditty… You turn your head in every direction, wondering where the music’s coming from. Then suddenly you notice something extraordinery. Right in the middle of the Main Train Station or Náměstí Míru stands – a piano.
All this was begun by the coffeehouse owner Ondřej Kobza. At first he placed pianos only in front of his cafés. Anyone could come and play it. The people found this very entertaining and soon pianos started appearing in various parts of Prague. This isn’t, of course, any novelty; pianos are to be found on the streets of all the world’s biggest cities. Even so, it’s still something entertaining and refreshing, and the pianos keep thousands of people amused in the capital city every day.
Anyone can play the piano, even if you are not exactly a virtuoso. Sometimes you can hear little children plainly tapping out children’s songs in Heroldovy sady (Herold’s parks); and it’s just as nice as when a student of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts begins to play one of Mozart’s symphonies at the New Town Hall.
Sometimes people can really surprise us with their talents. The founder of the Czech project Pianos on the Street, Ondřej Kobza, says what surprised him the most: “For example one old lady with a walking stick, who sat down to the piano and masterfully played the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.“
It’s being taken into account that somebody could try to vandalize the pianos, though nothing like that has happened yet. According to Ondřej Kobza, you can get a piano like this quite cheap. And it’s definitely worth the excitement which he sees in the eyes of passersby. He sees a certain symbolism and unexpected inspiration in the pianos.
Have you “met” a Piano on the Street? And would you play it?