A musical initiative featuring the world’s first 22-hands piano piece – which was organized by the Israeli Mission to the United Nations — has social media viewers tapping along to a tune based on Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
“United Pianos,” released online on December 12, features pianists from Israel, Turkey, the United States, Vietnam, Bahamas, Germany, India, Australia, Russia, South Africa and Poland. The pianists – stretched across six continents — seemingly play together to convey a message of peace and inclusion. There’s also a drummer in the mix for comic relief.
“Music is a global language; it has the power to unite us together, by bridging cultural and political gaps,” said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon to mark the release of the video.
Israeli musician Idan Raichel opens the piece from the Bardo Studios in Tel Aviv and then 10 other renowned pianists and a drummer join him from around the world.
The video clip includes Australian pianist Anna Goldsworthy playing at the University of Adelaide; Bahamas musician Lee B. Callender, at the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Nassau; German pianist Hauschka, at Glienicke Palace, Berlin; Indian ivory tickler Utsav Lal, at the Bahai Lotus Temple, New Delhi; Poland’s Hanna Lizinkiewicz at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music, Poznań; Russian pianist Kseniia Rychkova at the Bogolubov Library, Moscow; South Africa’s Jason Reolon on location at Milnerton Beach, Cape Town; Turkish pianist Can Çankaya at Yeniköy, Istanbul; Colin Huggins playing at Union Square Park, New York City; Vietnamese pianist Pham Quynh Trang at Vietnam National Academy of Music, Hanoi; and Israeli-American drummer Meytal Cohen, filmed at EastWest Studios, Los Angeles.
Each time a new player appears on screen playing a part of the arrangement, the player’s national flag appears as well.
The United Pianos project – released to YouTube and Facebook — was produced by CRC Media together with Raichel and Israeli composer Tomer Biran.