Piano Sounds Its Last Notes by the Ocean

Posted: February 12, 2013

By: Ellen Huet [SF Gate]

It was a dark and foggy night, and Mauro Ffortissimo, a pianist and sculptor, gathered four burly men and rolled a baby grand piano on its side, like a lopsided wheel, out onto the bluffs overlooking Half Moon Bay.

Every evening at sunset since then, he has played a few pieces by Schumann, Debussy and Chopin, but during the rest of the day the piano sits, waiting for curious passers-by to plink away at its worn keys.

City officials caught on a few days after the piano's Feb. 1 debut and told Ffortissimo he must remove it because he doesn't have the proper permits, but for the sake of art they're turning a blind eye until Thursday.

"I put something up so it looked like I had a permit, but I didn't," said Ffortissimo, 50, whose real last name is Dinucci but who uses a stage name for his art projects. The code enforcer "was super nice about it. I asked him, 'What if I want to go and get a permit?' He said it would take me a year."

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