Watch Now: Make Music with the Salon Piano Series | Music
“The company will be 50 years old next year,” said Renee Farley. “We’re planning a big party then. “
His son Aaron works at Farley’s as a workshop piano technician, and his daughter Shannon teaches violin and viola there. Her daughter Megan is a nurse at UW Hospital and her daughter Elizabeth lives on the East Coast.
The halls of Farley’s House of Pianos are covered with framed photos of some of the many musicians who have performed in the Salon Piano series over the years.
“We have a lot of artists asking to play here now, so it’s harder to choose,” Renee Farley said. “But we also have covers, because some of these artists are very popular with our audience. So every once in a while one of them comes back. “
One of those recurring performers was pianist Ilya Yakushev, who was so determined to perform at Farley’s again that when his flight from New Jersey to Madison was canceled due to a snowstorm, he drove the entire overnight in a rental car and arrived a few hours before playing “Rhapsody in Blue” to a full house.
“He played beautifully,” Renee Farley said. “It was just phenomenal.”
In these tough times for the arts, how would you rate the “state of the art” in Madison?
Renée Farley: There is all kinds of music in this city. There are so many things that you could never do it all. It’s just amazing how many good opportunities there are, so we’re thankful. Madison will survive this. It’s harder now, because during the pandemic artists are at the mercy of organizations that can get donations to provide them with income.