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Thomas Zoells opened PianoForte after quitting his job as a banker. (CBS)

Thomas Zoells opened PianoForte after quitting his job as a banker. (CBS)

Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan
Kate Sullivan is co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago News at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m....
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CHICAGO (CBS) — If you love music and have ever wanted to learn to play the piano, there is a store on Michigan Avenue, PianoForte, that you need to know about.

Thomas Zoells’ passion for piano is obvious. From the carefully collected keepsakes of famous composers to the impressive three-story showroom of the world’s best pianos, this is a man in the midst of his passion.

Eight years ago, he switched careers from banking to the unknown: owning a piano store.

“We focus on not that many pianos but high-quality pianos,” Zoells says of PianoForte.

Lisa Siwek agrees it’s no ordinary piano shop. She admits she was lured to the store to play the Fazioli but then fell in love with the store’s mission.

“PianoForte is a foundation that helps launch the careers of a lot of young and upcoming artists with phenomenal talent,” she says.

Like young pianist Soheil Nasseri, who played in a recent PianoForte concert.    The free or lower-cost performances are held at all hours of the workweek.

Just last weekend, PianoForte sponsored a Schubert festival, with six hours of free musical performances on stage.

“I pretty  much immediately started putting on concerts because what I really wanted was for people to love the piano,” Zoells says.

PianoForte is located on South Michigan Avenue in the old Fine Arts Building. In addition to hosting concerts, the store also gives away pianos to organizations in need. Click here to learn more.

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