Help the grand piano to stand on its own (four) feet for the very first time

October 6th, 2019

Not so long ago, I visited Sarah Nicolls at her studio in Brighton, and was introduced to her ‘inside out’ piano: a grand piano with its frame and interior displayed on the vertical plane, opposed to the traditional, horizontal position. There are many benefits to such reorganisation – not least for the opportunity to become fully immersed in its sound, close up; but also for ease of access for the exploration of its (now outside) interior.


Sarah’s idea is to commission a prototype of this instrument, the Standing Grand, from the extraordinary craftsman David Klavins, and thus, moving a step closer to making this concept a reality for all pianists. The idea that one could transport this instrument anywhere, is an extremely attractive proposition for any pianist, whose bookings are almost certainly dictated by the availability of a quality instrument at the venue.

Even if such an instrument is present, those practicing at the more contemporary or adventurous end of the scale may well encounter resistance: choice of repertoire, stylistic predisposition, or pianistic approach, can often be enough for many venues or institutions to categorically refuse access to their ‘good’ piano. Unfortunately, it is the culture of dedicated and persistent ignorance that fails to perceive logical explanation to the contrary. The existence of a Standing Grand would mean an end to this perennial dilemma faced by many pianists.

A little while back, Geoff Smith (also based in Brighton) introduced the Fluid Piano to the world, and, with one masterstroke of  innovation, turned the piano into a multicultural instrument. The Standing Grand is of the same vital importance: a seismic shift needs to occur in the perception of what a piano can and needs to be for pianists, instrument manufacturers, and for the wider context of music making in the 21st Century.

Innovations of this kind are all too rare, but you can help change this! With only nine days to go in the Standing Grand Kickstarter campaign, Sarah is just shy of £8000 too make this a reality so, please share the news of this project as much as you can. If 173 people could give £50, or 87 people give £100…



Standing Grand Kickstarter

Future Pianos

Sarah Nicolls

David Klavins