As all pianists know, there are 88 keys on a standard piano. Founders of World Piano Day saw this as a great opportunity to throw in a bit of symbolism. The 88 keys represent the date when World Piano Day is celebrated. We get to celebrate World Piano Day on the 29th of March. World Piano Day aims to celebrate pianists, performers, and composers all around the world. This annual event was founded by people who have one thing in common – their appreciation for keyboard music.

Leading musical instrument insurer musicGuard has been protecting pianists across the UK for more than 20 years. To celebrate the day the company has delved into the history of piano music to discover little known facts about the world’s most famous pianists.

Did you know Ludwig Van Beethoven was deaf when he composed one of his most famous symphonies; Ode to Joy: Symphony No. 9 and String Quartet No. 14?

Possibly the most famous pianist and composer there has ever been, Beethoven was born into a musical family in 1770. Beethoven’s grandfather, who was also his namesake, was Kapellmeister in his hometown of Bonn. Beethoven moved to the capital of music and culture at the time, Vienna in 1738 where he would study.

As a pianist, among his many masterpieces, Beethoven was renowned for his deafness. Beethoven first noticed problems with his hearing at the age of 28. By the time he was 45 in 1818, he was completely deaf. It’s not certain what caused Beethoven’s deafness, although there are a number of factors that are rumoured to have possibly caused it, including metal poisoning, syphilis, or lupus. Remarkably, after turning deaf, Beethoven continued to produce a number of symphonies.

Head of Marketing for musicGuard, Alex Bennett said: “The piano is an instrument that has inspired many people, young and old, for centuries. World Piano Day lets us celebrate some of the great pianists from the past and present in a way that will strike a chord with the next generation.”