22nd Annual Toy Piano Festival

Image of Scott Paulson holding a toy piano
Sep 29, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Here at the Library, toy pianos have been celebrated with great fanfare on or around September 5 to honor the birthday of composer John Cage. Cage was the first composer to write a “serious“ piece for toy piano. This year marks 22 years of celebrating a big passion for tiny music!

The Library will be celebrating with a special performance in the Seuss Room with composers: Scott Paulson, Sue “Queen of Boogie-Woogie” Palmer, Kay Etheridge, Satomi Saito, Christian Hertzog, Kenneth Herman, Barbara Scheidker, Nadiyah Albee, and the Library’s Facilities Staff.

In preparation for that festival, composers visit the Library and pick a specific toy piano from the collection, and a new piece is written specifically for that instrument. Some toy pianos only have nine notes, some three octaves–so each piece has its own special charm and special limitations. Songs from the Cat in the Hat Songbook will also be featured in the Library’s celebration of the festival. 

The UC San Diego Library is also the home of “The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library.” The Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of the Toy Piano Collection’s activities, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69.

This is event is free and open to the public.

Scott Paulson