By Stephanie Simon Manhattan
Normally, only the most renowned musicians in the world get to play piano at the Metropolitan Opera House, but as NY1's Stephanie Simon tells us, there is an opportunity this weekend for anyone to play at the Met — and maybe even take a piece of musical history.
It's quite a sight: more than 80 pianos on display at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Perhaps even more memorable is the opportunity to sit down and play one of them.
Each year, the world's largest piano maker, Yamaha, loans about 50 pianos to the Met for rehearsals, recitals, auditions, and performances. Every few years, Yamaha sells them, usually at locations around New York City.
But for the first time since World War II, the pianos are being sold at the Met.
"Pianos have a lot more intrinsic value because of who played it, and also how they are maintained here," said event organizer Tony Falcetti, an organizer for Falcetti Pianos. "They're maintained by…Yamaha's technicians, as well as the Metropolitan technicians. So they're maintained at the highest level."
Depending on the model, they will sell anywhere from $2,000 to over $200,000 — actually a big discount.
Bob Baker, classical pianos director for Yamaha, said anyone could be a potential customer.
"Everyone — people who are even just curious," Baker said. "So you've got the concert pianists coming in, beginners, people that are looking for their kids."
Anyone, even those who do not know how, can come and play the pianos this weekend. There are traditional acoustic pianos, digital pianos, and hybrids, which have no strings but still feel and respond exactly like an acoustic.