Information for Piano Owners & Clients
I am a Registered Piano Technician in the Piano Technicians Guild. I’ve been a member of the Boston Chapter of the Guild since 2001.
I tune pianos aurally without the aid of an ETD. As a Steinway-trained concert technician, I offer high-quality tuning & voicing, as well as repair & regulation.
I offer complete rebuilding & refinishing options to my clientele by partnering with highly respected rebuilders throughout the U.S. & Europe. My services also include complete appraisals, insurance evaluations, and custom humidity control packages for discerning clients.
I am a Certified Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver installer and a Warranty Service Technician for Steinway & Sons, Mason & Hamlin, Yamaha, and Kawai. I also provide authorized digital player piano service & maintenance for Yamaha Disklavier, and PianoDisc.
I am a Licensed Stanwood Precision Touch Design Installer.
About ten years ago, I worked at Steinway & Sons, inside the famed Steinway Hall “basement” on West 57th Street in New York City. I was employed full-time as a tuner-technician & voicer in both the retail and concert departments, specializing in restored vintage Steinways. My mentors included renowned concert technicians Ron Coners, Jan Kittel, Aleks Markovich, Eric Schandall, and Kent Webb. After my tenure in New York, I worked for Steinway overseas for two years in New South Wales, Australia.
I hold a Certificate of Completion of the Steinway Technician Training Course, CF Theodore Steinway Academy, Steinway Factory Hamburg. I also hold a Diploma in Advanced Piano Technology from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA.
Personal Signature & Life on an Island
My taste in piano tone is influenced by my taste as a musician. My “signature sound” is really the classic New York Steinway sound from the past, especially the 1940s and 1950s.
As a guitarist I have always been on my own “tone quest” for over twenty years. Almost fifteen years ago I thought I should learn a skilled trade that would involve helping other musicians find their own tone. I wanted to mix together my interests in instrument-making & repair, audio engineering & acoustics, woodworking & metalworking, and most of all, preserving & restoring vintage things. Piano rebuilding combines all of these.
I am sometimes asked, “what does being an electric guitar player have to do with piano tone?”
I answer….it’s all from the same place. I play some piano, yes, but for me music-making is about collaboration. I can best collaborate with other musicians as a guitarist and bass player. I collaborate with sound engineers & piano technicians helping them make pianos sound beautiful and play well.
I’ve been a semi-professional electric guitar-player for a long time, over 25 years. I studied musicology and performance at the McGill University Conservatory of Music in Montreal. I began playing guitar at age 12 at the encouragement of my father, learning songs by Buddy Holly & Carl Perkins. By the end of middle school, I discovered several guitarists whose tone influenced my taste greatly: Mark Knopfler, Jerry Garcia, Lowell George and Jimmy Page. This was at a time when the tones these players made were not really in fashion (it was the mid- to late 1980s). Vintage 1960s and early 1970s guitar tones are now considered to be classic, of course. Medium-wattage tube amplifiers, simple pickups/simple guitars made in the late 1950s, and a minimal use of effects – all contributed to the singing, shimmering, round “golden” tone they achieved. This tone aesthetic is my goal as well.
Rehearsing for my 40th birthday concert, January 2014.
L-R: Tauras Biskis, drums. My wife Shelagh Hackett, vocals. Me on guitar. Brian Weiland, drums. Mike Benjamin, guitar & vocals.
All images, video, tool designs, & recordings are ©2009-2015 Boaz Kirschenbaum.
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