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Sandbar Became World Renowned Piano Bar

In early January this puzzling mystery gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “piano bar.”
A grand piano appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Miami.

How and why the piano got there was a mystery.
A grand piano weighs at least 650 pounds and is unwieldly to move, said Bob Shapiro, a salesman at Piano Music Center in Pembroke Park. “You don’t take it out there in a rowboat,” Shapiro said.

A few days ago the mystery was solved:

In this Jan. 2, 2011 photo provided by Nicholas Harrington, Julian Kolevris-Roots, 18, is shown sitting at a piano on a sandbar in Miamis Biscayne Bay.

In this Jan. 2, 2011 photo provided by Nicholas Harrington, Julian Kolevris-Roots, 18, is shown sitting at a piano on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay.

A young man – Nick Harrington, 16 – had intended to make a “surreal video” of the piano perched atop the sandbar’s highest point, with Miami’s glittering skyline as a backdrop, to impress the college admissions officers at the Cooper Union in Manhattan, where he hopes to study art or music.
On January 2, Nick, his older brother, and two neighbors lifted the instrument onto the family’s 22-foot boat and took it out on Biscayne Bay, leaving it on the sandbar’s highest spot.
The video was never made, although Nick and his family took some pictures of him pretending to play it while the piano was on fire. Not long afterward, boaters discovered it, and for days people guessed about the back story of the “piano bar.”


  1. vicki Says:

    This is a shameful waste of money and resources. There are undoubtedly many people (including children) who would give their eye teeth for a piano to practice on or use to take lessons. I’m certain that piano is permanently ruined (the water, moisture, exposure to elements, etc.) I hope those people are paying the bill to retrieve the piano! All for someone’s selfish ego!

  2. Birgit Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I saw this stunt and wondered if the age should really serve as an excuse. To me a piano is like a friend, certainly not something I set on fire and pull into the ocean. Very low, if you ask me.

  3. Jon Says:

    I really really want to know the make! It looks almost as if it were a steinway from the logo :S imagine the waste…

  4. Arturo Cano Thompson Says:

    Good evening everyone! You are definetly right! what a waste of money! There’s no mystery, It’s just a bad way to catch our attention.

  5. davidctool Says:

    Hey lighten up. That piano was wreck before they moved it. It’s value in special interest and national entertainment was a million times more than its intrinsic value.

  6. Lucy Trebotich Says:

    yep i am a piano teacher and have lots of kids that would die for a nice piano to practice on! but really it doesn’t look in all that good of shape! lol oh well hope they find a resting place for it!

  7. Chaz Says:

    Jees – you guys – look at it, it’s a wreck! You’d get more tune out of hitting a railway track with a hammer. Good on ya Nick, nice piece of art. Hope you get into college! ;)

  8. Regina Schlochauer Says:

    Do you really believe that four people, just for the fun of it, were able to lift 650 pounds, in such a comfortable handy shape, – as a grand piano – onto a firm stand, as a boat?

    And than, the nice little grand piano just placed itself on the sand bar?

    I imagine there is more in this story than just that.

  9. Ted Cohrt Says:

    I can appreciate the stunt. But, even a “wrecked” piano may have some value. For example, we donated a baby grand that had been in the family for years to an organization in Seattle that shipped the piano to Kenya (container full of pianos) where it could be restored for very little cost.

  10. Roger Jones Says:

    I really hope the piano was scrap before they dumped it there.

  11. Jackno Says:

    I find the melodramatic comments hilarious. Gasp! Some children are unable to play piano because they don’t have one! You’d think, if you’re all so very caring, you’d really be thinking about how many children you could feed and save their lives by selling the piano, but I suppose music is more important.

    Besides. I’ve yet to meet a pianist who would complain about the magnificence of a performing hall being ‘such a waste’.

  12. Waka Shinko Says:


    I imagined to get that kind of picture,too.
    The piano on the beach became so attractive
    to me since I watch the movie “The Piano”.

    Anybody liked that movie and the music by
    Michael Nyman, so beautiful?

  13. Vince Says:

    You guys are nutz! Take the piano to a piano repairman and donate it to someone who can use it. With all the ugliness and trouble in the world a piano and someone making good music on it would go a long way in helping to make a better world.

  14. YoungJeh Says:

    So sad.
    A piano, a grand piano…
    The spirit of piano is wandering without home.

  15. Micah Says:

    I wish I could just get the piano

  16. sigil5 Says:

    I am one of those kids who wished they had a piano. Thankfully my mum was a cleaner at my school and I played piano every second I could get. I had to teach myself. I was playing grade 8 pieces by the time I was 13. I’m 30 now, and finally I am able to buy a piano – I want to be a music teacher and I’ve lost so much time. I’m studying for my grade 8 piano and I’m hoping to go to university to do a degree in music. If I had a grand piano that I was able to just throw away I would definitely give it to a child who really wanted it. Music is a blessing, it is important. Maybe if I suddenly had no money I might sell it, but it would be the very last thing to go.

  17. Jacaranda Says:

    Poor piano!

  18. Raphael Says:

    Beautiful picture ! Nice piece of art. Liszt would have approved ;)

    PS: You’d rather build a piano from scratch than “repair” this, calm down people

  19. Robin Says:

    There are good pianos and there are junk pianos and there are FREE pianos folks. I get calls every week for pianos that people want to give away.
    Please call ANY ANY ANY PIANO TUNER. There are FREE PIANOS available 7 DAYS A WEEK for the hauling. Read your newspapers and check on line Craigslist or Ebay. Go get them as no one wants them these days.

  20. Mike Says:

    Most of you people are the very reason there is so much trouble in this country. Who was really hurt by this stunt. No one in my estimation. It sure gave many of you reason to wax indignant. What a bunch of holier-than-thou attitudes!
    I think that piano looks very majestic sitting there alone on the beach as if it is the voice and spirit of the world. It breathes freely in the open air and waits patiently for a companion to rest and play an inspired song.

    Well done Nick! I am impressed and inspired myself. I think I’ll go spend some time with my old friend and play a tune.

  21. helen scott Says:

    What a waste!!!!! It should be repaired and given to a young child, as, am sure they would appreciate it. grand pianos need a lot of room and are very, very heavy. if you are going to move it, do it with at least 2 strong men. i hope it won’t go to waste and be left there to rot. helen scott. mitcham vic. australia. on wednesday 2 february. 2011.

  22. cess123 Says:

    even if it didnt work before this project, its still a spectacular piece of carved wood why lite it on fire and dersert it?

    and i think its more likley liszt would disaprove, rapheal!

  23. aperson Says:

    If they hadn’t of burned it, that would be amazing to go out there and play it.

  24. Ian Says:

    Had it been in a good working condition, I would have undoubtedly gone out there in a RAFT if need be and totally started working on some liszt-rachmaninoff.

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