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Piano Day

Poppy Ackroyd + Marina Baranova + Florian Christl

Piano inspired artwork

Celebrate the sound of one of the world’s favourite instruments with Piano Day, which returns for its fourth year in 2018 with performances from Florian Christl, Marina Baranova and Poppy Ackroyd.

Taking place on 29 March – the 88th day of the year, representing the number of the keys on a piano – the event sees performances from artists that continue to find new ways to approach this ages-old instrument. There’s German pianist Florian Christl, whose compositions reflect the scenery of his beloved home in the Bavarian Alps. Later, Ukrainian pianist Marina Baranova reinterprets Debussy compositions with a uniquely 21st century voice. And finally there’s British composer and performer Poppy Ackroyd, who uses extended techniques to achieve new sounds as she performs pieces from her new album Resolve.

Founded by pianist and composer Nils Frahm, Piano Day is a platform to bring together piano lovers of all ages and abilities. He says, 'Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.'

‘I find playing the piano a very cathartic experience. Very few instruments give you such tonal range and dynamic contrast with which to express your musical ideas. ‘
Poppy Ackroyd
‘For me, the piano is the most beautiful, fascinating and perfect instrument. The expressive power and the possibilities of this instrument are limitless, I am addicted to it.‘
Florian Christl
‘I heard piano already in my mother’s womb, so I literally can‘t imagine my life without piano‘
Marina Baranova

Lunchtime concert

Thu 29 Mar 1pm, Barbican FreeStage

Before the concert, contemporary pianist Neil Cowley presents a free lunchtime performance in celebration of Piano Day.

Cowley has performed with Brand New Heavies, Zero 7, as a solo artist and as part of Neil Cowley Trio – the group that took home 2007’s Best Album title at the BBC Jazz Awards for their record Displaced (Hide Inside Records, 2006). 'Grace' from their most recent album has been streamed over sixteen million times on Spotify.

Classically trained Cowley has recently announced that the Trio is on hiatus whilst he launches a new solo project, which debuted athe Barbican in early March 2018 supporting Roy Ayers.


poppy ackroyd playing live

Watch: Poppy Ackroyd playing live at Union Chapel

Poppy Ackroyd performs live at the beautiful Union Chapel in north London.


Photo of man playing drum

Listen: Contemporary Classical on Spotify

Discover music from across the Contemporary Classical spectrum – from Judith Weir and George Benjamin to Nils Frahm and Max Richter.

£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

Aged 14-25? Sign up for free and unlock £5 exhibition tickets for you and a mate

Milton Court Concert Hall