Barcelona installs Spain’s first solar piano at Plaça Catalunya

Initiative is result of collaboration between Maria Canals International Music Competition and 1000pianos

Unveiling of Barcelona's first solar-powered piano in Plaça Catalunya
Unveiling of Barcelona's first solar-powered piano in Plaça Catalunya / Eli Don
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 16, 2024 01:01 PM

March 16, 2024 01:02 PM

On Thursday the first solar-powered grand piano was unveiled on Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya.  

Behind the project is the Maria Canals International Music Competition, which is currently celebrating its 69th edition at the Palau de la Música in the Catalan capital until March 21. 

The piano is the first of its kind in Spain, and has been specially designed with sustainable materials that are suitable for outdoor spaces and can withstand harsh weather, said Mariona Carulla, the president of the Maria Canals International Music Competition Association.


“We are giving this piano to the city,” she said, adding “It is a commitment to the city to promote values of sustainability, participation, civility and a sense of community.” 

The innovative instrument includes software that remotely controls the piano, including regulating the volume of the music and when it can be played, and it is this software that is run on solar energy

The idea behind the piano is to bring music closer to the people and create “new cultural spaces” that are open to everyone, Carulla said. 

Barcelona’s deputy mayor for culture, Maria Eugènia Gay, celebrated the piano’s permanent installation on the “emblematic” Plaça Catalunya square, where she hopes it will “transmit emotions and connect musicians with their audience.” 

Gay emphasized that the piano will be “the benchmark for similar projects around the world.”  

The installation of the piano was made possible thanks to a collaboration between the Maria Canals International Music Competition and 1000pianos, a non-profit cultural initiative, whose goal is to place 1000 permanent all-weather, eco-friendly smart pianos in city centers around the world in order to “enliven the streets with music and cultural activity, fostering a sense of community through the universal language of music all year long.” 

According to Carulla, these values allign with those of the competition, which for years has made it possible “to reach new audiences and break down cultural, social and mental barriers that exist with regard to classical music and music in general.”