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#1309878 - 11/21/09 03:40 PM Which famous pianists are/were good techs?
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Or at least know a lot more about the technical side of a piano than most?

I'm pretty sure Anton Kuerti and Mordecai Shehori are good techs. Not positive though.


Edited by pianoloverus (11/21/09 03:41 PM)

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#1309880 - 11/21/09 03:47 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Granting that this is a limited thing because it only covers a small group of pianists, most or all players of "original instruments" (i.e. fortepiano and the like) are good techs because much of the time they have to be able to take care of their pianos.

I studied with Malcolm Bilson when he was first getting involved with those early instruments (and replicas) and he would often tinker with them.

Aside from those types, I would think it's rare for prominent pianists to mess with this.
It would be pretty neat if Kuerti and/or Shehori do.
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#1310103 - 11/21/09 11:00 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: Mark_C]
musicman123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 12
Zimerman is his own tech. He always performs on his own piano, and I believe he even drives it around himself.

This has actually given him some problems, as sometime after the 9/11 attacks US customs agents destroyed his piano after concluding that some glue in the piano was possible an explosive.

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#1310105 - 11/21/09 11:03 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: musicman123]
apianostudent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 128
Loc: CA
I read that Gregory Sokolov is a piano tuner/technician.

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#1310111 - 11/21/09 11:18 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: apianostudent]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
A little tangential smile but hope you and the others don't mind.....

In case not everyone knows who Sokolov is (and I wouldn't know except that I saw this video on an "Arts" TV channel) -- this is one of the most remarkable 2-3 minutes of pianism I've ever witnessed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glg99Zc0JjU

btw.....It's MUCH harder than it sounds. The hands are basically on top of each other and are constantly repeating a note that the other hand just played. The piece (by Couperin) was written for 2 manuals, and therefore some editions say to play the hands an octave apart if it's on the piano -- which of course makes it much easier but makes it into something completely other than what it is.
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#1310311 - 11/22/09 10:44 AM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: Mark_C]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1663
Loc: Toronto
Great clip! But what does it have to do with the OP?
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#1310329 - 11/22/09 11:18 AM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: AJF]
Steve Jackson Offline
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Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 672
Loc: Toronto

Anton Kuerti does indeed maintain and move his piano, but sometimes calls a tech. I'm not sure if he still is moving his piano. He had/has a van that is modified for this purpose.

Steve
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#1310373 - 11/22/09 12:31 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: Steve Jackson]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Well, Mozart to start (actually built a piano); Alfred Brendel is NOT a tech but certainly knows the finer(est) points. He wrote in his book that all pianists should be better technicians and all technicians should be better pianists. How's that for a dream? And, of course, there is Paul Badura-Skoda.
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#1310376 - 11/22/09 12:35 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: Steve Jackson]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Steve Jackson

Anton Kuerti does indeed maintain and move his piano, but sometimes calls a tech. I'm not sure if he still is moving his piano. He had/has a van that is modified for this purpose.

Steve


I saw him play at Mannes in NYC quite a few years ago. I happened to be there when he first came in to look at/try out Mannes' Steinway D. The regular Mannes piano tech was there but perhaps not used to someone who was as precise/demanding as Kuerti may be. I remember Kuerti saying the key dip wasn't correct(and the tech not agreeing) and also, I think?, looking at how fast the dampers were engaged.

He played stupendously in the concert.

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#1310383 - 11/22/09 12:57 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: pianoloverus]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Where I used to live, Kuerti was engaged to do a recital, and it was without his own piano. His habits were well known (one of the local professors had studied with him in the past), and the concert organizers made sure that his contract included a prohibition against modifying their piano himself. They had their regular technician on special call for a couple of days, and (to the best of my knowledge) anything Kuerti wanted done, was done - but the local technician did it, so that any secrets of the modified piano didn't disappear after the concert along with Mr. Kuerti. smile

I had a similar experience to pianoloverus, of seeing him arrive and try out the piano, and on that piano as well (also a Steinway D) it was the operation of the keys themselves with which he was concerned - for the few minutes I was there anyway.
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#1310391 - 11/22/09 01:16 PM Re: Which famous pianists are/were good techs? [Re: AJF]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AJF
Great clip! But what does it have to do with the OP?

Nothing smile except that the previous poster mentioned Sokolov and so I took the opportunity to post this great little piece of his, especially since a lot of people might not know who he is.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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