Flower Piano Back to San Francisco Botanical Garden this Summer

Pianos were awesome. Such a much needed positive environment in our world today. Thank you!

This July for twelve days only, San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG) once again becomes the city’s own outdoor concert hall and everyone is invited to play and listen. From July 13 – 24, visitors are encouraged to seek out one of the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within SFBG’s 55 acres and play what they like, from Bach to boogie-woogie.  On select days, professional pianists will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch the performances. 

Families can enjoy special family friendly theater activities by The Rabbit Hole Theatre Company on Saturdays, July 15 & 22 from 10-11:30 am; special music making materials in the Children’s Garden on those same Saturdays from 1-4pm; and performances by youth performers from Oakland School for the Arts and the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.

Back by popular demand and now in its third year, Flower Piano is a project of Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell who together launched Sunset Piano in 2013 when ffortissimo covertly rolled an old grand piano onto the bluffs over Half Moon Bay. Since then, Sunset Piano has expanded this impromptu musical and social experiment, temporarily placing pianos in a wide variety of unexpected natural and urban settings around the Bay Area every year, from the top of Montara Mountain to Market Street.

WHAT:            
Flower Piano – twelve pianos installed for twelve days in San Francisco Botanical Garden are available for public play with some scheduled performances by professional musicians and family activities on select days

WHEN:                        
July 13 - 24, 2017

TIME:                        
9 AM to 6 PM

WHERE:                        
San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

COST:                        
FREE with regular admission as follows:

San Francisco Residents: FREE with proof of residency
Non-residents: $8 general, $6 youth 12-17 & seniors; $2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE; families of 2 adults and one or more child pay just $17

The Garden is free daily 7:30-9am and all day on second Tuesdays of the month

INFORMATION:            
www.SFBotanicalGarden.org, (415) 661-1316

SCHEDULE

It was an amazing experience - the concerts felt perfectly planned and the open play felt organic and wonderful. Thank you!

Thursday, July 13

9am-6pm - Opening Day
Pianos open to all at 9am. No scheduled performances or events. 

Saturday, July 15 

10-11:30am - Rabbit Hole Theatre
Family-friendly theater activity will focus on pianos and locations nearest Friend (North) Gate

12-2pm - Piano Extravaganza #1

  1. Great Meadow  ; Joshua Raoul Brody, w. or w/o Friends : Standards, Substandards, Originals, Aboriginals
  2. Exhibition Garden - Thomas Church Pavilion: Dual Pianos; Esther Aeschbach & Benjamin Gribble : Original Compositions for 4 Hands; The CMC Piano Marathoners : Classical 2, 4, and 8 Hands, featuring The Danse Macabre
  3. Garden of Fragrance; Paulo Sultanum and guests : Original repertoire of bossa-nova, tango, classical and pop
  4. Rhododendron Garden; Holly Mead and Friends : Originals, Classical, Jazz, and Improvisations
  5. Ancient Plant Garden; Antony Ty : Beat, Gospel, Punk, and Chopin
  6. New Zealand Garden; Jonathan Miller : Chopin & Scriabin
  7. South Africa Garden; Ander Meyer, Piano & James Argo, Tenor Sax : Jazz Standards and Original Compositions
  8. California Native Garden; Kitten on the Keys : Flapper, Rock, Originals, Punk, Blues, Standards 
  9. Redwood Grove; Kevin Gerzevitz Trio : Monkish Bebop and Soul Jazz
  10. Conifer Lawn; Sandra Simich : Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy 
  11. Moon Viewing Garden; Eric Chase : Classical Music From Beloved Composers and Improvisations
  12. Zellerbach Garden; Allison Lovejoy, Piano and Peggy Gyulai, Live Painting
I loved walking through the gardens and hearing the music and then trying to walk towards the source of the music. I felt like a Disney princess!

1-4pm - Bean Sprouts Family Day
Mini-pianos and music-making materials in the Children’s Garden

3-5pm - Beatnik’s Corner
Mauro ffortissimo, Dean Mermell & Guests : Open & Prepared Pianos, Poetry, Improvisations  

3-6pm - San Francisco Symphony performances
Performances by SF Symphony’s Chorus Group and Alumni from their Youth Orchestra at Zellerbach Garden

7pm – Twelve Pianos Documentary Film Screening
Enjoy a special screening of Dean Mermell's documentary film Twelve Pianos, followed by Q&A with Dean Mermell and Mauro ffortissimo at San Francisco County Fair Building, Auditorium. Ticket purchases benefit Flower Piano 2017. Space is limited. 
Tickets available here.
Twelve Pianos Film Trailer: www.twelvepianos.com 

The overall decency of everyone involved and the sincere talent and goodwill on display were life-affirming, moving, transcendent. My favorite arts event of the year!

Sunday, July 16 

10-11am - Story Time and Family Walk
Regularly scheduled Family Program in the Library

12–3pm - Exhibition Garden - Thomas Church Pavilion: Dual Pianos
Esther Aeschbach and Benjamin Gribble : Original Compositions
Allison Lovejoy and Kymry Esainko : Works by Saint-Saens, Milhaud and others.

11am-4:30pm - Great Meadow

11am Diva Marisa Lenhardt, Pianist Kymry Esainko: Arias and Interludes

12pm Serene: Liszt, Ravel, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more

1-2:30pm Tango No. 9ish : Tangos, Waltzes, Milongas & Art Songs - Then & Now

2:30-4:30pm Francisco Rosales: Musica Cubano

11am–4pm - Zellerbach Garden

11am Dawn Oberg

12pm Tom Jonesing: Rock & Pop Remodeling & General Improvements

1pm Michael McIntosh, Piano & Karina Deniké, Vocals: Early Jazz, Torch Songs, Vintage Soul

2pm Cellista & the Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble: The New Classics

3pm Van-Anh Nguyen: Chopin, Schubert, Tchaikovsky & Piazzolla with a twist.

4pm Kash Killion and Killion’s Trillions: World Music, Jazz, Blues and Tango
 

We loved Flower Piano but also the amazing scope of trees, flowers and the beautiful settings of each venue. What a great resource in our backyard!

Tuesday, July 18

4-6pm - Oakland School for the Arts Student Performances
Performances by Oakland School for the Arts students across piano, guitar, and jazz programs at the Great Meadow and Garden of Fragrance
 

Wandering around, listening to an amazing assortment of players in such a beautiful setting; loved the audiences, too, and the relaxed, happy atmosphere - so many diverse people enjoying the event...

Wednesday, July 19

4-6pm - Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts Student Performances
Performances inspired by the Garden from students of the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts at the Great Meadow
 

The soul and passion people put into their music. It was such great therapy to see and hear, especially in light of all the recent senseless violence in the world. The garden is truly an oasis of peace and serenity.

Thursday, July 20 

6-8pm - Flower Piano Member Event  
Come tickle the ivories at this special member evening. The Garden will remain open at dusk exclusively for members to experience the magic of the pianos in a special reception. 
 

Friday, July 21 

4-6pm - Community Music Center Summer of Love Sing-along  
Join Community Music Center’s Billy Philadelphia at the Great Meadow for a lively sing-along with some of the top songs from 1967.  
 

Saturday, July 22 

10-11:30am - Rabbit Hole Theatre  
Family-friendly theater activity will focus on pianos and locations nearest Friend (North) Gate

12-2pm - Piano Extravaganza #2

  1. Great Meadow; Rob Reich : Tribute to Ellington, Waller, and Monk
  2. Exhibition Garden - Thomas Church Pavilion; Caroluna, Soprano & Jennifer Lee, Piano : Romantic, Impressionist, & Contemporary Art Songs, Arias.
  3. Garden of Fragrance; Daniel Sullivan : Mad Tea Party - Mad Scenes, Sarchasms & Surprises
  4. Rhododendron Garden; Colleen Torianne : Modern Edwardian Interpretations
  5. Ancient Plant Garden; Gerry Bassermann : Music of Major Minimalists
  6. New Zealand Garden; Kitten on the Keys : Flapper, Rock, Originals, Punk, Blues, Standards
  7. South Africa Garden; Kat Downs : Originals, Classical, Pop Covers
  8. California Native Garden; Joseph Willcockson & Friends : Classical, Ragtime, Blues & Jazz Standards, Favorites
  9. Redwood Grove; Joshua Raoul Brody, w. or w/o Friends : Standards, Substandards, Originals, Aboriginals
  10. Conifer Lawn; Dizzy Victrola & Co. : Boogie and Jazz Parlor
  11. Moon Viewing Garden; Joe Magdalena : Standards, Pop, Sinatra, Happy Stuff
  12. Zellerbach Garden; Benjamin Gribble : Original Compositions with Prepared Piano and More

1-4pm - Bean Sprouts Family Day
Mini-pianos and music-making materials in the Children’s Garden

3-5pm - Beatnik’s Corner
Mauro ffortissimo, Dean Mermell & Guests : Open & Prepared Pianos, Poetry, Improvisations

7:30-10:30pm – NightGarden Piano  
Let beautifully lit pathways guide you to pianos aglow at a special evening event featuring twelve performances by Sunset Piano all-stars, open pianos to play, food, drink, and more. Your ticket purchase for NightGarden Piano goes directly to supporting Flower Piano 2017. Purchase tickets for this one-of-a-kind evening in Garden today and support Flower Piano! 
 

Sunday, July 23

12-4pm Great Meadow

12pm Jonathan Miller : Chopin & Scriabin

1pm Kat Downs : Originals, Classical, Pop Covers

2-4pm Francisco Rosales : Musica Cubano

11am-6pm Zellerbach Garden

11am Daniel Sullivan : Pas De Deux: Dream Sequences & Psychedelic Reveries

12pm Allison Lovejoy and Guests : Solo and chamber music

1pm Jill Tracy : Elegant, Eerie Noir, Haunting Post-Classical Originals

2pm Craig and MacGregor Group : Jazz

3pm Serene : Liszt, Ravel, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more

4-6pm Paulo Sultanum & Casulo : A Brazilian Bossa-Folk-Nova Experience
 

Monday, July 24

9am-6pm – Closing Day
Pianos close at 6pm. No scheduled performances or events.