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


The Exhibition: Romantic Superstars

A Liszt performance in Berlin, 1842
By Adolf Brennglass

From Märkisches Museum, Berlin


The early 1800s were the age of Romanticism, an artistic movement that stressed emotion, imagination, and self-expression on a heroic scale. The same period saw the rise of a new kind of performer: pianist-composers who dazzled their listeners with dramatic, emotional playing. Manufacturers produced bigger, louder, and more resonant pianos to accommodate the virtuosity of the passionate new music, and to fill the increasingly large concert halls where audiences flocked to hear it. These artists were the first musical superstars; they would not be the last.

Grand Piano, 1854
Maker: Erard, London

SI photograph by Robert C. Lautman

In the Beginning

Across Europe and Beyond

Pianos In the Home

Romantic Superstars


Americans Take the Lead

Pianos for Everyone

New Communities, New Voices

Circling the Globe


[Introduction] [Performances, Tours and More] [Exhibition] [Timeline]
[Credits] [Donors and Collaborators ] [Play Some Music!] [Piano Resources]

Piano 300
American History
National Museum of American History