Apply to Reserve the Piano

Come Play a Piece of UW–Madison's History

Before it was wrapped and trundled down University Avenue, the nine-foot grand piano that now sits in the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery was the centerpiece of the Wisconsin Union Theater – where for 40 years it had starred beside Grammy winners, jazz legends and opera divas.

The Town Center will host the Steinway Model D while the Memorial Union undergoes renovations. The piano will return to its permanent home in the Union’s west wing once debris clears in summer 2014. Until then, its chords can be requested for special programs using the form below.

Open play times are being developed, allowing passersby to experience the sounds of an instrument that has performed with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Dave Brubeck, and accompanied sopranos Leontyne Price and Beverly Sills. The signatures of these and more renowned artists are scribbled under the lid. Other famed musicians who have graced its keys include Ramsey Lewis, Ben Sidran and George Winston.    

The instrument was originally purchased by the Wisconsin Union Theater in 1970. For a time it was the “A” piano, used primarily for Wisconsin Union Theater Concert Series events. Through the years it has known hundreds of artists and genres ranging from classical to Broadway, student work and world music.

ºUse this form to submit a request regarding use of the piano. Individual performers and piano teachers looking for a unique venue for a recital are encouraged to apply. A member of the Town Center staff will contact you to discuss your request.