On the 16th December 2011 is was the date Preludio of Piano City Milano took place. It was a freezing winter night when inside the Mascheroni barracks a thirty-pianist marathon foreshowed Piano City Milano.
A few months later, in May 2012, “Piano Twelve”, “Vinicio Capossela e un Pianoforte Bagnato” opened the festival’s first edition.
In 2013 an ensemble of twenty-one pianos opened the festival in the Rotonda della Besana with a symphony for 1848 keys by Daniele Lombardi. The festival grows to encompass the all city, getting on trams and the navigli ferryboats.
In 2014 “Le Piano Africain” by Ludovico Einaudi who played with eight musicians on a three-story stage in Parco Sempione kicked off the third edition. The event remains to this day in the memory of the public.
In 2015 it was the German born pianist, composer and Academy Awards nominee Hauschka to play the first notes of the fourth edition. Piano City Milano reaches Expo and the Darsena which was opened to the public especially for the occasion.
Michael Nyman in 2016 in the garden of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna opened the first no-stop edition of the festival: fifty uninterrupted hours of music. The festival included even more social initiatives, increased the presene in peripheral quarters and inaugurated a second Piano Center opening the Palazzina Liberty for the entire night with a musical programmed centered around electronic contaminations.
In 2017 it was Jason Beck, aka Chilly Gonzales, Canadian musician, pianist, composer, songwriter but also producer, rapper and brilliant essayist, who, together with the Daft Punk, was awarded a Grammy Award. The following dawn Michael Nyman performed his farewell piano solo concert.
In 2018 Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Azeri by birth but citizen of all arts: pianist, composer, singer and painter. The festival included even more social initiatives, increased the presene in peripheral quarters and inaugurated a second Piano Center opening the Palazzina Liberty for the entire night with a musical programmed of electronic contaminations.
The Icelandic pianist Ólafur Arnalds with two, apparently disabled, upright pianos remote controlled by a mother-keyboard. The 2019 confirms the festival chemistry with its audience despite the heavy rainfalls. The concert in the Rogoredo woods reinforces the festival’s vocation for listening to the city.
Se i milanesi non possono andare alla musica, la muscia andrà ai milanesi. Nell'anno in cui tutto si è fermato a causa della crisi sanitaria dovuta al covid-19, Piano City Milano, insieme ai suoi partner e pianisti più consolidati, non ha voluto far mancare il proprio supporto a tutti i milanesi.<
Gli artisti locali e internazionali si sono esibiti in streaming da casa, per le strade della città con Piano Tandem e Piano Risciò e da alcuni luoghi simbolo della città.
Through the years the festival has searched for new and unconventional venues to describe the city: the imagination has taken pianos onto trams and rooftops, down in the streets on top of the Piano Bici and in the channels on ferryboats.
Every year the pianos invade homes, courtyards, squares, parks, museums, terraces, schools, transforming the city in one grand outdoor stage.