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Instructors • Bios

Rick Baldassin, RPT
 

Rick Baldassin, RPT
Baldassin Pianos  -  Salt Lake City, UT

Rick received his education and piano technology training from Brigham Young University. He is the author of the book On Pitch, which was recently re-published. Rick served as the Tuning Editor for the Journal from 1987 to 1991. His teaching has taken him to piano factories and conventions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Korea, Indonesia and Australia. Rick has served as the Concert Technician for the Utah Symphony for over 20 years, and has been the Teaching and Technical Consultant for Renner since 1989. He has been trained in the concert and artist programs of Fazioli, Steinway and Yamaha, and has been a consultant to the Falcone, Mason & Hamlin, and Pramberger and Samick Piano Companies. Rick also serves as the Technical Support Director for Fazioli in North America. He has received the PTG Member of Note, Jim Burton, and Hall of Fame awards, and most recently was honored with the prestigious PTG Golden Hammer award. Rick and his wife Cindy currently operate Baldassin Pianos, a full-line rebuilding and retail showroom located in the Salt Lake City area.

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Christian Bolduc
 

Christian Bolduc
Pianos Bolduc  -  Quebec, Canada

Internationally renowned rebuilder, Christian Bolduc is the Factory Manager at Pianos Bolduc. A technician specializing in soundboards and pinblocks, he is also a cabinet and furniture expert. Christian studied cabinetmaking at Ecole du Meuble de Victoriaville, and spent one year at the Schimmel factory in Braunschweig, Germany studying piano structure and design. He has apprenticed in piano restoration with his father, André Bolduc, and in the art of soundboard replacement with Peter Mohr of New England Classic Piano Restoration.

Pianos Bolduc has grown and developed over 34 years into an institution known world wide for its superior quality White Spruce Soundboards and Maple Pinblocks, as well as products used in the manufacturing and restoration of fine pianos.

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Christopher Brown, RPT
 

Christopher Brown, RPT
TPR Tools LLC  -  Boston, MA

A North Bennet grad, Chris has worked as a rebuilder and service technician for 35 years. In 2005, he set up his shop exclusively for action work, out of which came the development of the Grandwork™ Regulation Station: a patented suite of tools designed by Chris to take as much grand action work out of the piano as possible and make it more predictable, more accurate, and easier to perform (www.tprtools.com). He is also a founding member of the Piano Rebuilders, a consortium of piano specialists offering comprehensive rebuilding services to the Boston area and beyond.

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Gregory Cheng, RPT
 

Gregory Cheng, RPT
Jacobs Music  -  Southeastern Pennsylvania

Gregory Cheng graduated from West Chester University with degrees in Music Performance and Computer Science. Tuning pianos since he was a teenager, Greg worked through college apprenticing with the Chief Technician at West Chester University. During his tenure at the university, he learned and refined his skills in aural tuning, repairs, and action rebuilding.

Greg is the Service Manager for Jacobs Music Company, Philadelphia’s Steinway and Yamaha Dealer. He is responsible for a service department of 16 full-time technicians that take care of thousands of in home customers, concert venues, and universities. Greg also specializes in modern player piano repair, action rebuilding, touch weight analysis, and polyester/lacquer furniture repair. Greg is highly regarded and sought after by the top manufacturers for his customer, technical and problem solving skills.

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Richard Davenport, RPT
 

Richard Davenport, RPT
Los Angeles, CA

Richard Davenport, RPT, renowned piano technician for Hollywood film studios and concert halls. Richard has serviced all of 20th Century Fox’s pianos since 1980. In 1999, he completely restored their 1928 Steinway D. This piano has been featured in hundreds of movie and TV scores, including Star Wars, MASH, the Simpsons, and Planet Of The Apes. In 2013, Richard was the lead technician along with 'The Happy Merry Workers' in the film "American Grand", capturing the transformation of a 1913 Steinway from wreck to shining beauty with setbacks, skirmishes, and heartfelt revelations. The film premiered on PBS and is available on Amazon and can be viewed online with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Richard has taught hundreds of technical classes over the last 45 years on every piano subject imaginable. He enhanced his concert skills at Yamaha’s concert grand factory in Japan, the Fazioli factory in Italy, and the Bösendorfer factory in Austria. He assisted building new instruments at all three factories and restored countless Steinways, both American and German. Yamaha employed Richard as a Technical Service Consultant for 24 years. An RPT since 1976, Richard was one of the first five Certified Tuning Examiners in the country, and helped design the current tuning exam. He received the prestigious PTG 'Hall of Fame' award in 2008.

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Luke Ehresman
 

Luke Ehresman
The Gazelle Network

Luke is a 15-year veteran of web-based software development. With both a Bachelor and Master of Computer Science, he has spent his career developing sustainable software solutions for both small and large organizations. He is our Co-Founder and CTO for The Gazelle Network.

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Nick Gravagne, RPT
 

Nicholas 'Nick' Gravagne, RPT
Phoenix, AZ

Nick Gravagne combines a formal engineering background with over 40 years of hands-on experience in piano design, manufacturing, and rebuilding. A technician since 1973, and an RPT since 1975, much of Nick's business currently revolves around rebuilding and soundboard manufacture for the trade, as well as distribution of his popular Action Geometry Program and instructional DVD's. Prior to concentrating most of his energies to the workshop, Nick was quite active in concert prep and maintenance of fine grand pianos.

Nick has been a prolific writer for the Piano Technicians Journal, as well as a frequent teacher at PTG annual and regional conferences and technicals nationwide. He has also served as the Technical Service Manager for Kawai America. His credentials and awards include a BA from William Paterson University, an AST in Mechanical Engineering, and the PTG Member of Note. Nick most recently received the prestigious PTG 'Hall of Fame' award in 2012.

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Scott Jones, RPT
 

Scott Jones, RPT
Curtis Institute of Music  -  Southeastern Pennsylvania

Scott received a Bachelor of Music in composition in 1984 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After college he started his own business as a piano technician, serving the Raleigh, NC area. In 1989, Scott joined Steinway & Sons in New York City. During his 12 years at Steinway, Scott held positions as concert technician, manager of technical education and also worked in product development (R & D) where he authored five U.S. patents in the field of piano design; Piano escapement action 1996, Piano escapement action 1999, Piano Sostenuto assembly 2000, Damper Adjustment device 2003, Pianos playable in acoustic and silent modes 2010.

Scott is the Founder and President of PitchLock Inc., where he developed the PitchLock Piano String Couplers, TouchRail, Dial-A-Press, TouchScale, and Crown Voicing Kit. Scott also serves as a Steinway & Sons Factory Consultant and is a technician at the Curtis Institute of Music. Curtis is a renowned conservatory leading to a music performance degree. It is among the most selective institutes of higher education in the world, with a 5% admissions rate.

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Carl Lieberman, RPT
 

Carl Lieberman, RPT
Reyburn CyberTuner  -  South Bay, CA

Carl has been a piano technician in Los Angeles since 1972, passed his RPT exams in 1979 and has 45 years tuning experience. He studied aural tuning with David Safir and learned repair, regulation and voicing skills in David's shop at Pianos Wholesale. Carl tuned aurally only until 1981 and has been integrating both aural and electronic tuning since taking an ear opening class from Steve Fairchild. He studied math and computers eons ago at UC Berkeley. Carl is "Imagineer" for the Reyburn CyberTuner Development Team. He has worked for 3 local Yamaha dealers and has tuned for countless concerts and recording sessions.

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Don Mannino, RPT
 

Don Mannino, RPT
Kawai America  -  South Bay, CA

Don began an apprenticeship with a piano rebuilder while completing his studies at San Diego State University as a piano performance major in 1979. After working for 11 years as an independent piano technician in the San Diego area, he held the position of National Service Manager for Young Chang Pianos, then Manager of Technical Support for Kawai Pianos for North America, and now serves as the Director of Field Services for Kawai America Corp. Don and his wife Patty are the editors of the Southern California Combined PTG newsletter. In 2010 he was certified in Japan as a Kawai "Master Piano Artisan" (or MPA), the highest level of technician for the Kawai company. In 2013 Mr. Mannino was inducted into the PTG Hall of Fame.

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Ray Negron
 

Ray Negron
Ronsen Piano Hammer Co.  -  Hudson-Adirondack, NY

Ray is a second generation piano hammer maker, following in the footsteps of his father, Marty Negron, who was co-founder of Ronsen Piano Hammer Co. as well as former manager at Pfriemer Piano Hammer Co. Ray started working summers at Ronsen in 1961, and has been working full time since 1971, becoming company president in 1983. Ray is always looking to learn more about piano hammers, and enjoys talking with piano technicians regarding hammers, but will always find time for a conversation about baseball.

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Charles Rempel
 

Charles Rempel
Dampp-Chaser Corp.  -  Western Carolinas, NC

Charles Rempel is a piano technician with over 30 years’ experience. He has spent countless hours on the concert stage working with the world’s top artists as well as servicing thousands of pianos in private homes, churches, and educational institutions. He has worked not only as a technician, but also as a sales person, manager, district sales manager, and owner of a piano retail store where he sold Steinway & Sons, Bosendorfer, Schimmel, Mason & Hamlin and various other brands of instruments. Charles background comes from the perspective of someone who has seen and experienced nearly every side of the piano industry.

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Nate Reyburn, RPT
 

Nate Reyburn, RPT
Reyburn CyberTuner  -  Western Michigan

Nate trained in piano technology both with Dean Reyburn (his dad) and is a graduate of the prestigious North Bennet Street School two year Piano Technology course in Boston Massachusetts, and passed his RPT exams in 2008. Nate's passions are not only for piano tech but for making tools for the trade, including the Reyburn Rigid tuning hammer and the Reyburn CyberHammer, the industry's finest impact tuning hammer. Nate constructs the PTG's Golden Tuning Hammer award starting in 2013. Nate, his wife Bethann and three daughters live in Kent City, Michigan. Nate and Bethann enjoy paintball, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor sports.

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John 'Jack' Stebbins, RPT
 

John ‘Jack’ Stebbins, RPT
Knoxville, TN

Jack received his Master of Music degree in Conducting from Westminster Choir College before enrolling in North Bennet Street School's Piano Technology program in 1981 and studied with Bill Garlick and David Betts. After establishing a private business in Western Massachusetts, he accepted the invitation in 1986 to return to North Bennet Street School to join the Piano Technology Faculty.

Jack has been involved with the PTG since 1985. Locally he served the Western Massachusetts Chapter as president. On the international front he has been active on the Examinations and Test Standards Committee as chairman and, for several years, as a representative from the Northeast Region. He teaches and examines at both the regional and national level of the PTG and has earned a reputation as an outstanding instructor. Jack is now happily retired and resides in Pleasant Hill, TN.

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Bruce Stevens, RPT
 

Bruce Stevens, RPT
South Bay, CA

Bruce Stevens has been a piano technician for almost 40 years providing in-home service and operating a full restoration shop of fine pianos. He began his early years as an accomplished classical pianist before his career in piano technology began. Bruce is the technician for Concordia University in Irvine, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and has assisted the piano technicians at UC Irvine, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach, and Claremont College.

Bruce has served the PTG as an instructor at national and regional conventions. He was a founding member and President of WestPac along with serving many leading roles over the years with his chapter, state and regional conferences. He is the AV Director for the Piano Technicians Guild Annual Convention. Bruce has been awarded the PTG 'Member of Note' in 2005 and most recently was honored with the prestigious 'Hall of Fame' award in 2015.

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Starr Taylor, RPT
 

Starr Taylor, RPT
St. Piano Rebuilders  -  Southwest Florida

Starr Taylor has been in the piano tuning & rebuilding business since 1985. An amateur musician and journeyman machinist, he studied with Andrew Snowden in Indiana and started his own business in Tampa, Florida in 1987. A Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technician's Guild, he attends regional and national conferences on a yearly basis to update his training. At the local level, he lectures on piano maintenance and rebuilding and has served as president for the Tampa Bay PTG chapter. When not tuning pianos and installing soundboards in vintage instruments, he collects art, makes sculpture from found objects and builds trebuchets for fun.

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Emily Townsend, RPT
 

Emily Townsend, RPT
North Bennet Street School  -  Boston, MA

Emily is a 2008 graduate of the NBSS piano technology program and a Registered Piano Technician. Before enrolling at NBSS, she earned a degree in piano performance from Trinity University. In addition to establishing a successful tuning and rebuilding business, Emily has served as the head technician at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and a concert technician at Aspen Music Festival and School and Tanglewood. Emily is on the faculty for the Piano Technology program at North Bennet Street School.

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Atsushi 'Ace' Ugai
 

Atsushi ‘Ace’ Ugai
Yamaha Corporation of America  -  Piano Technical Manager

Ace graduated from the Yamaha Piano Technical Academy in Japan in 1990. He went directly to work for Yamaha Piano Service in Japan. In 2005 he was promoted to the Concert Piano Factory and given charge of voicing and Artist Service in that facility. In 2007 he was relocated to Yamaha Europe Belgium, and in 2010 moved to Yamaha Europe Germany.

He came to Yamaha Corporation of America in 2014 to supervise piano service in the U.S., and has been very active in providing service and support, especially for the CFX concert grand piano. Ace has also been heading up training for technicians in the U.S.

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David Vanderlip, RPT
 

David Vanderlip, RPT
Orange County, CA

David Vanderlip has been a piano technician for over 30 years. He and his wife, Kathy Smith, work with schools, concert halls and private clients, and have a shop in Anaheim, CA. David is the piano technician for Pomona College School of Music. He is active with giving PTG RPT tuning and technical exams for Southern CA. David is an instuctor at the PTG Academy and has been teaching at national and regional conventions for over 20 years. David most recently received the PTG 'Member of Note' Award in 2016.

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Ruth B. Zeiner, RPT
 

Ruth B. Zeiner, RPT
Allied Piano and Finish LLC  -  Southeastern Pennsylvania

Ruth Zeiner, RPT is the President of Allied Piano and Finish LLC. She joined the PTG in 1981, becoming an RPT in 1982. But her first tunings were done during her high school years, when she purchased a hammer, mutes, and guide to tuning, and also assisted with pipe organ tuning at her church. Primarily a field technician servicing 30-35 pianos a week for many years, Ruth became an expert in understanding the effects of humidity on pianos. She branched out into finish repair in the mid 1990s. Ruth has served the PTG as the first president of the Southeastern PA chapter, and was Regional Vice-President for the Northeast Region for three years. She received the Member of Note, Hall of Fame and the prestigious Golden Hammer awards from PTG, and has been a sought-after instructor for humidity control and finish repair throughout North America.

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