Ready to play: Play Me, I’m Yours launches July 18 at Toby’s Plaza

Photo of the Cleveland Clinic's piano for Play Me, I'm Yours
Piano decorated by Cleveland Clinic.

Discover first hand the true harmony of art and music brought to life when a few dozen colorful, artistically decorated pianos appear throughout University Circle and other Greater Cleveland sites—all yours to play.

Play Me, I’m Yours, an interactive, musical public art installation inspired by British artist Luke Jerram, kicks off with 21 pianos on display simultaneously (the only time this will occur) at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, at Toby’s Plaza at Case Western Reserve University. (Toby’s Plaza is at the Uptown development, on Euclid Avenue at Mayfield Road, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art.)

Play Me, I’m Yours is a collaboration of the university and Cleveland International Piano Competition. The installation of pianos coincides with the piano competition from July 30 to Aug. 10.

Local music students will play a musical invitation, encouraging the public to step forward, take a seat and play the music forward to the next in line.

Piano decorated by members of University Marketing & Communications
Piano decorated by members of Case Western Reserve’s University Marketing & Communications.

Following the musical debut at 11 a.m., the pianos will be disbursed throughout University Circle. About half the pianos will be available for playing until Aug. 12 at many University Circle organizations. Some will remain at the university and in Uptown until Monday, Sept. 9, to give returning students a chance to have their piano time.

“Play Me, I’m Yours is the type of activity we envisioned for Toby’s Plaza—interacting fun and creativity. We are happy to be a sponsor of this event,” said Lara Kalafatis, Case Western Reserve University’s vice president for university relations.

As part of the launch, Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder and Pierre van der Westhuizen, executive director of CIPC, will explain how Play Me, I’m Yours arrived in Cleveland.

“We hope pianists at all levels, from absolute beginners to those who have been playing for years, will be inspired by the creativity of these delightful works of art to share their love of music with others,” van der Westhuizen said.  “The CIPC is about celebrating the camaraderie that is created by music—and Play Me, I’m Yours is the perfect way to take that message out of the concert hall and into the community.”

Play Me I’m Yours is supported by a grant from the George Gund Foundation, the generosity of Steinway Hall-Akron, which donated more than 20 pianos, paint from Sherwin-Williams, and the moving services of Allied Piano.

Painters work on the Cleveland Orchestra's piano.
Painters work on the Cleveland Orchestra’s piano.

The pianos were designed and created by artists and employees/volunteers retained by Greater Cleveland companies and institutions.

Hosts for pianos are Case Western Reserve University with 11 pianos at various campus locations, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Orchestra/Severance Hall, Cleveland International Piano Competition, The Music Settlement, The Cleveland Clinic, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, University Circle, Inc., Heights Arts (Cleveland Heights), Rainey Institute and University Hospitals.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Rebecca Copeland from Case Western Reserve’s University Relations at 216.368.2229 or email