By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For two weeks last June, Brooklyn residents undoubtedly noticed and heard the colorfully decorated pianos that were installed in public places by the arts organization Sing for Hope for anyone to play.
Classical pianist and award-winning composer Gregg Kallor played all 88 pianos throughout the city, including those at such Brooklyn locations as Coney Island, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Anchorage at DUMBO.
Footage of him playing these Brooklyn pianos, along with others, makes up his new YouTube video, “Broken Sentences,” which has now gotten 31,000 views.
Kallor, who grew up in Connecticut and went to Tufts University, has been in the New York area since 2000. He is the recipient of an Aaron Copland Award for composition – named, of course, after the well-known Brooklyn-born composer.
In 2011, at Carnegie Hall, he premiered his nine-movement suite for solo piano, “A Single Noon,” which he describes as a musical tableau of New York life.
The music for “Broken Sentences” is one of the movements for “A Single Noon.” Another movement of the suite, “Espresso Nirvana,” forms the basis of a coffee-drinking music video of the same name.
Kallor straddles the boundary lines between jazz and classical. In addition to “A Single Noon,” he has recorded a CD with a jazz trio (“There’s a Rhythm”) as well as another one consisting of his interpretations of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (“Exhilaration,” with mezzo-soprano Arianna Zabala).
“Broken Sentences,” says Kallor, helps raise awareness of, and funds for, Sing for Hope. The organization has sponsored its piano project, underwritten by Chobani Yogurt, for several years. Kallor's most recent work, "Undercurrent," is a classical chamber piece for piano and cello.