PianoForte Foundation is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of the piano in Chicago and creating a vibrant piano community that closely connects audiences and artists.
The foundation serves to bring excitement and appreciation for piano music to a wide audience through high-quality concerts, festivals, competitions, education, outreach, and public broadcasts.
Thomas Zoells established PianoForte Foundation in April 2005, one year after he opened PianoForte Chicago, a piano store, in the historic Fine Arts Building in downtown Chicago. Shortly after the store’s opening, Thomas began organizing a concert series as a natural extension of his business, demonstrating his passion for the instrument and its repertoire. Quickly, the concert series took on a life of its own and inspired a vision of an organization that would enrich Chicago’s piano music culture, artists, and audiences alike. That vision led to the creation of PianoForte Foundation, an independent, nonprofit, separately incorporated entity. Though the two businesses share a name, the Foundation does not exist to promote the piano store, however, much support is given in-kind from the piano store to the Foundation. The Foundation currently animates its Piano Donation Program, our MeetUp Group and the much anticipated annual Schubertiade.
PianoForte’s Piano Donation Program serves schools in Chicago’s low-income communities (CPS primarily), where resources are not available to purchase a piano for the benefit of music programs. By donating gently used, refreshed pianos, the Foundation provides hundreds of students and educators the gift of music and re-purposes pianos that are no longer used. The donors can benefit from the tax write-off provided by law of their gift to PianoForte Foundation. If you are interested in donating a piano please visit http://pianofortechicago.com/partwithmypiano/ to fill out a donation application.
PianoForte has created a MeetUp group dedicated to amateur pianists interested in cultivating their performance skills. Pianists of all skill levels have the opportunity to perform quarterly in PianoForte’s beautiful performance space. All genres of music are welcome. From veteran pianists returning to performance after a long absence to newer pianists learning to shake performance anxiety, the PianoForte Meet Up is a great way for pianists of all ages and stages to share their love of music with a group of fellow aficionados.
Every year, PianoForte Foundation celebrates the music of Franz Schubert close to his birthday, on January 31st. Harkening back to Vienna in the early 19th century, The Schubertiade brings more than 60 professional musicians together with an eager audience to 1335 S. Michigan Avenue for a full day of Schubert on two stages. A great variety of songs, chamber music and piano can be heard and admission is free!
Thomas Zoells, Founder and Executive Director
PianoForte Foundation, NFP
1335 South Michigan Avenue, 3rd floor
Chicago, IL 60605