After a few gentle accords, familiar tunes are played with gusto in Terminal 2B of Budapest Airport. There is a merry mood in the transit area since the piano with the quite visible lettering “Play me” was set up there – anyone can sit down to it and play. The joint initiative of Budapest Airport and Rotary Club was also supported by Művészetek Háza Gödöllő [Center of Arts, Gödöllő]. The only goal is to offer additional entertainment to passengers.
Over upcoming months, the piano will be available for passengers 24/7 right next to boarding gate B12, and the brave – and musically gifted – passengers are welcome to make use of it by playing a couple of pieces of their own repertoires before boarding. Similar initiatives have been made all over Europe; London, Paris, Athens, and Prague have all seen successful public displays of ‘communal’ instruments set up at airports and railway stations.
“Our goals was to contribute to the uniqueness of this airport, to make passengers feel better, and to make it possible for anyone who plays the piano and feels like it to sit down and hammer out their favorite childhood songs or a few popular tunes,” said Kata Pál, vice-chair of Rotary Club Budapest Center. She added, “I am sure that the pieces played in the Terminal will guarantee some happy moments for thousands of people going through it each day, as music does boost your mood and it will make the time spent at the airport more enjoyable, brightening up the overall vibe. And this is exactly what Rotary as a club of people who would like to make the world a better place had in mind.”
At the ceremonial handover of the public piano, it was inaugurated by Imre Rakonczai, a singer-pianist who has received the Kornay-Szenes Iván prize. “I don’t think there is a single point in the world where a piano would be in the wrong place,” he said. “It was a real pleasure to be the first one to play the airport piano which will bring joyful moments for millions of passengers,” he added.
The “Play me” piano was also welcomed on behalf of Budapest Airport by public affairs director Gábor Szarvas: “It was our pleasure to bring this excellent initiative to the airport together with Rotary Club. The first few days have already shown that this popular instrument is really sought after by our passengers. The goal of Budapest Airport is to keep the prizes and awards we received in recent years including the Skytrax awards and the prize received from ACI Europe, and efforts like this will further enhance the international reputation of the airport.”