Music News

Yamaha Music London marks World Piano Day with ambassador performances

As part of World Piano Day today, Yamaha Music London is welcoming its ambassadors Beth Keeping and Bertie Green, and jazz pianist Nina Fine to its Piano Hall in its flagship Wardour Street music store in London.

Piano Day is held on the 88th day of the year (March 29th in normal years and March 28th in leap years) in celebration of and reference to the 88 keys on a standard piano.

The idea came from German pianist and composer Nils Frahm in 2015, who said, “because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most importantly, the listener.”

The event has grown in subsequent years – each year live concerts and online events have been held in Moscow, Alicante, Helsinki, Rennes, Leeds, Melbourne, Sacramento and Copenhagen.

The Yamaha Music London ambassadors will take centre stage today and will post exclusive performances from the Piano Hall, where they will put the Yamaha pianos through their paces, host interviews and share playing tips throughout the day.

In partnership with Yamaha Music London, Headliner recently offered an exciting opportunity to emerging solo artists in the UK whereby the winner would become the 2023 ambassador for Yamaha Music London’s unique flagship UK store.

Indie/pop artist Green and pop artist Keeping were awarded joint winners of the ambassadorship prize.

Green is an unsigned artist, songwriter and multi instrumentalist from North West London that has played at Glastonbury and writes for a wide range of artists, spanning the genres of folk, pop, indie and rock, and he’s a regular on the live music showcase circuit in London.

“The Yamaha employees and team are so kind,” says Green. “As independent artists, we're so used to being sold a dream and then you get there and it's just not what they said. What was so funny about this was it was the complete opposite – what was advertised was brilliant and you got there and it exceeded all expectations.

“The first note I ever played on an instrument was on a Yamaha piano,” he points out, “so that's just crazy to think that I started my musical journey on a Yamaha piano and now I'm an ambassador for them. Their grand pianos are absolutely amazing – best in class.

"To be working with a brand who produces the most beautiful instruments and then also back that up with such a kind, welcoming, warm and genuine love of music is so nice.

“I don't think that you can put a limit on how important and special this is,” Green says of his win. “Being an emerging or an independent artist in the early stages of your career is difficult for such a range of reasons, so when someone gives you support and space to express yourself in such a genuine way, it is transformative.

"Beyond that, the biggest thing is the feeling of welcome and love, and knowing that you're being supported by people who owe you nothing, but because of your craft, they've really listened. It just means so much to be working with Headliner and Yamaha who really care and really want us to succeed.

"When you have that support, that pushes you further than anything, and you can't really put a number on that.”

I started my musical journey on a Yamaha piano and now I'm an ambassador for them! Bertie Green

Joint-ambassador, Keeping is a UK-based singer/songwriter who started out writing for other artists in Singapore, Ireland and the USA before recording her first EP in Nashville.

After gaining close to a million views on TikTok over the pandemic, Keeping felt inspired to start focusing on her own music as an artist. Keeping’s desire to champion and empower women is evident not only through her lyrics, but also in her initiative, Write Like A Girl, which shines a light on female songwriters 

“I didn't really understand how big and important this opportunity was at the time – I just applied and then the more I heard about it, and then when I got into the final, I started to get a little bit nervous!” says Keeping.

“I'm so excited for 2023 and to be able to work with Yamaha. Their instruments and their brand is just amazing. The first few songs I performed on this beautiful concert grand piano that is worth a lot of money – it's so big, it's for huge, orchestral halls – it wouldn't even fit in my house! It was so beautiful – it was an absolute joy to be able to play my songs on it.

“I'm so grateful to Yamaha and Headliner for this opportunity, because I've grown as an artist over the last year through doing live shows and through social media, and I've gained some new fans, but actually, gaining the attention of industry is a whole other ballgame, and it's actually really hard sometimes.

"It’s a real privilege to have this opportunity and hopefully to open some doors that maybe were closed to me before. I'm really excited for these incredible opportunities and to be able to really throw myself into 2023, full pelt, and see what happens.”

As joint winners, Green and Keeping now have access to Yamaha's extensive collection of award-winning instruments for a year, a free recording session each at a professional studio, a chance to perform at some of London's best venues (including Yamaha's Soho-based music store) and will receive exclusive mentorship to develop their future success as artists.

Gaining the attention of industry is a whole other ballgame. Beth Keeping