The Non-Piano / Toy Piano Weekend is an annual toy piano festival that has for over seven years delighted its audience with interpretations of contemporary music as well as reinterpretations of classical and pop pieces on toy pianos and other unusual instruments such as typewriters, toys, shoes, melodicas, kalimbas and balloons. This year's festival offers a magical journey through enchanting fairytale worlds under the motto "Once Upon a Toy Piano".
The Non-Piano / Toy Piano Weekend delves into a magical world of princesses, princes, witches, enchanted creatures and magical objects, exploring traditional versions, as well as present day takes and twists on fairy tales and their characters. In light of current events, we would very much appreciate your support on this journey.
Every year since 2014 we have been putting on our toy piano festival here in Hamburg, each year with a new theme. Our theme for this year's festival is fairy tales. In a magical kingdom of good and evil, the audience is given a completely new perspective of well-known fairy tales and fairy tale characters. The weekend is divided into four concerts spread over two evenings.
The first eveningCinderella (November 13th, 2020) with its five new commissioned works from composers Laura Livers, Ewelina Nowicka, Dong Zhou, Steffen Wolf and Sascha Lino Lemke give new interpretations of Cinderella and her comrades Rapunzel and the Little Mermaid. Strong-headed, brave, good-hearted and kind: do they all have the fate to become simply the wives of handsome, rich princes?
The second eveningWitchcraft (November 14th, 2020) brews up a gust of black magic with sinister characters and ominous sounds. In the depth of our fairy tale forest, we will encounter storytellers, magical kisses, magic spells, the Three Little Pigs and a rabbit hole that may lead into Alice's Wonderland. The highlight of the evening is the rarely performed classic Trilogia by composer Adriana Hölszky - a vocal quintet that conjures up a dark, malicious mischief with the hissing, rattling and scratching of a witches' meet.
On both evenings spectators can expect enchanting and magical performances on a diverse selection of toy pianos and other toy instruments.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
It has always been our goal to make contemporary and experimental music experiences accessible to a wide range of audiences. We aim to capture the joy of unusual sounds as well as present them visually and with that: amuse, captivate and astonish you, our audience. And we would like to show you that, whether it's a toy piano or a concert grand, great music is hidden everywhere: you only need to look for it!
Our target group are all music and theater enthusiasts who want to take a fairytale journey into unfathomed worlds of sound.
Why would you support this project?
Your support helps us pay our wonderful performers the kinds of fees they deserve despite this year's limited budget. Putting on every single Non-Piano / Toy Piano Weekend involves months of rehearsing and preparing and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We would like to adequately remunerate them for that and would greatly appreciate your help.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
The €5000 of the first funding goal will benefit the two concert evenings on November 13th and 14th. Room rent, artist fees, additional staff, licensing fees and costumes all need to be paid for. Part of the costs are covered by funding, but due to the reduced capacity of our concert venue and the resulting losses in ticket sales, we would be very happy to receive additional support from you. The money raised via crowdfunding will be used to raise artist fees and our costume budget.
Should we reach our second funding goal of €10,000, we will use the extra funds to host an additional digital-only Non-Piano evening which will be available to all crowdfunding backers. Here the performers will present their highlights from the concerts, grant a peek behind the curtain of this year's festival, answer audience questions and premiere a number of artistic music videos specially produced for the evening.*
*The date of this digital-only evening is yet to be determined. The program for this evening is still in the planning stages and subject to change.
Who are the people behind the project?
I'm Jennifer, the founder and artistic director of the Non-Piano / Toy Piano ensemble. I received degrees of music at UC Berkeley and Mills College and have been performing as a pianist ever since.
It has always fascinated me to expand the musical possibilities of my instruments and to elicit unusual sounds from them. After I discovered Karlheinz Essl's Kalimba for toy piano, I fell in love with this little instrument.
In 2014 I organized the first Non-Piano / Toy Piano Weekend. Since then, this project has brought our audience, the ensemble, our guest musicians and me many unique and joyful experiences. I am very happy that it is now in its seventh year!