Karolína Horáková from the Czech Republic plays an old piano at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter. The 20-year-old, sporting a full head of dreadlocks, was playing Chopin’s second piano sonata as I walked into Silo Park. Despite being cold from a cool wind that had come with a change in the weather, Karolína went on to play music from the movie, Amélie. (Click here to see her play.)
The painted piano is an old Justin Browne model made in London more than 100 years ago. It was a family heirloom that was gifted to Auckland Council for public use. Local artist, Krystie Wade, painted it and piano tuner, Kevin Bennett, has been keeping it in working order as it weathers the elements and trials of living a life in public.
In June this year the piano was vandalized to such an extent that it was thought to be beyond repair. However Kevin and Krystie managed to bring it back to life and return it to its regular place under Silo 7 in Silo Park where it has become a much-loved local landmark.