Best Belarusian musicians performed piano music for 12 hours straight for residents and guests of Minsk. The great hall of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society was filled to capacity. There were many times more visitors than expected. More than 3,000 people came to see eight hands playing on two grand pianos.
The event is part of the cultural programme of the 2nd European Games 2019 in cooperation with Mir Klassicheskoy Musiky space and Artyom Shaplyko Art School.
The marathon was opened by Igor Olovnikov and Yuri Gildiuk with the 'Two Maestros and Apprentices' programme which featured pieces by Frederic Chopin. Then the relay was passed on to Veronika Sakharova, winner of international contests, Academy of Music associate professor, and her wards. Students of the College of the Academy of Music took part with the 'Children Play' programme. The marathon was continued by professional pianists Natalia Kotova and Valeria Borovikova, Aleksandra Musykantova and Marina Romeyko, Aleksei Sobol and Vlada Shatskaya, Artyom Shaplyko and Marina Shaplyko, Svetlana Kudina and Yulia Arkhangelskaya, Aleksei Pshenichny and Yulia Ermolaeva, Anastasia Alekseichik and Aleksandra Danilova. Bizet's Carmen-inspired fantasia for two pianos and eight hands was the culmination of the marathon and part of the 'Virtuosos of the Stage. Piano Duels" concert.
Visitors could attend an exhibition of electronic piano. In the foyer, the organisers put up a grand piano for amateur pianists, and anyone could play the open piano. Young spectators took part in contests for children.
Artyom Shaplyko, the inspiration behind the marathon, soloist of the Belarusian Philharmonic Society, pianist and founder of Artyom Shaplyko Art School, expressed hope that the marathon would become an annual event.