P I A N O   3 0 0
Celebrating Three Centuries of People and Pianos


Piano Grand!
A Smithsonian Celebration

Photo of Joel by Robert Smith

Billy Joel, Host

Dubbed "Piano Man" after the success of his first Top 20 single of the same name, singer/songwriter/entertainer Billy Joel has been burning up keyboards ever since. Since the age of 14, Joel has been entertaining audiences everywhere with his uniquely American sound. Classically trained on the piano, yet moved to play boogie-woogie renditions of his favorite Beethoven sonatas, the foundation was laid early on for his future career. Nominated for 23 Grammy Awards overall and winner of six, including the Grammy Legend Award, Billy Joel continues to "rock the house." In 1999 he received the American Music Awards Award of Merit and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From his earliest days of Piano Man, Only the Good Die Young, to Uptown Girl and We Didn't Start the Fire, Billy Joel has been challenging himself with new and different avenues of creativity. Most recently, his creativity has taken him into the realm of writing classical compositions based strongly on inspirations from the 19th century. One of those compositions is Fantasy ("Film Noir"), performed in PIANO GRAND! by Hyung-ki Joo, who has been collaborating with him on his foray into classical music.

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Piano 300
American History
National Museum of American History