We have studied the influence of hydrostatic pressure on the light emission from a strained GaN/AlGaN multiquantum well system. We have found that the pressure coefficients of the photoluminescence peak energies are dramatically reduced with respect to that of GaN energy gap and this reduction is a function of the quantum well thickness. The decrease of the light emission pressure coefficient may be as large as 30% for a 32 monolayer (8 nm) thick quantum well. We explain this effect by the hydrostatic-pressure-induced increase of the piezoelectric field in quantum structures. Model calculations based on the k x p method and linear elasticity theory reproduce the experimental results well, demonstrating that this increase may be explained by small anisotropy of the wurtzite lattice of GaN and a specific interplay of elastic constants and values of the piezoelectric tensor. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.