Kimball Gallagher, Juilliard Piano Alumnus; Founder
In 2005, pianist Kimball Gallagher, having just graduated from The Juilliard School, made history with his entrepreneurial savvy. He purchased his first grand piano for $25,000 by dividing the cost of the piano by 88 and asking for donations on a key-by-key basis. He produced a large poster of a piano keyboard, which donors could sign for the keys they wanted to buy. Those who bought two keys purchased a "trill," 5 keys a major third, and 8 keys a perfect fifth. Twelve keys earned membership into the Glissando club, 24 keys and donors were inducted into the Crescendo Club. With two fund-raising concerts, including one at Faust Harrison Pianos in New York City, where he purchased the piano, Gallagher raised $20,000. An additional $5,000 was received shortly thereafter. On two separate occasions, Gallagher was gifted with $1,000 from donors within 30 minutes of meeting them. There were a total of 54 donors who contributed to this project. Together, they comprise the 88 Key Society.
Gallagher's unique fundraising strategy, coupled with his sharp sense of salesmanship, has since earned him accolades and recognition from colleagues, patrons, and peers. Following this success, Gallagher founded PIANOKEY, a grass-roots organization which seeks to inspire interaction between artists and audiences through the revival of the romantic salon culture. Piano Key now develops and produces performances in intimate concerts in private homes throughout the country. The organization is poised to continually add new homes to its list of venues and new artists to its roster. Within a few short years, the Piano Key organization has built a network of dozens homes throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa. Approximately half of those homes are newly-founded venues, where concerts did not previously take place.
In 2009, Gallagher embarked upon the 88 Keys Home Concert World Tour, a subsequent spin-off of his first fund-raising initiative, where he performs private salon concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, culminating in a 2013 Carnegie finale.