Paweł Olek

Training: Intonation of Historical Piano

Let’s talk about these instruments, Viennese and French, and what they require. There are three types of mechanism we will be examining – Erard double escapement, English and Viennese single escapement. These types have their rules, and we can list each one in the sequence of work for concert preparation. My voicing and tuning methods will be demonstrated, also technical aspects of fortepiano care – Keys need attention, and in so doing, removing the keyboard demands caution.  Extreme dryness does more than crack the soundboard, and there are details to be examined to resuscitate a poorly kept instrument. 

Paul McNulty is a maker of world-famous fortepianos known for their best performance quality. He became interested in instrument building after studying music at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and graduated in piano technology from North Bennet Street Industrial School in Boston, where he earned guild qualification as a tuning examiner.

Paul McNulty made more than 300 fortepianos. His copies of Silbermann, Stein, Walter, Hofmann, Fritz and Graf are used for concerts and recordings in most prestigious concert halls and opera houses, owned by prominent players and leading music institutions, such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Ronald Brautigam, Warsaw Chopin Institute, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Paris Opera and Glyndebourne Festival as well as Cornell, Oberlin, Stanford, Harvard, etc. 

Paul McNulty was first in modern times to build Pleyel 1830, Boisselot 1846, Streicher 1868 and Chopin’s Warsaw piano, 1826 Buchholtz. Paul McNulty’s current efforts are restoring antique French pianos for the Warsaw Chopin Institute.

The training is paid extra. The participation is only possible once a website application is completed and a 100 EUR/500 PLN advance is settled. The training will be held in English along with an interpretation to Polish. Sign up:

Event partner

Training: 2 September (Friday), 10 AM to 1 PM, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute

Keyboard`s construction and renovation

How to build or renovate a keyboard by yourself? The major principles of this process will be discussed while basing on examples of two new organ keyboards and a pump organ keyboard.

The seminar will elaborate on the overall construction of the keyboards along with the use of materials they are constructed of, the graining of wood, the principles of the wheelbase, keyboard norms, kinds and methods of embedding engravings, attaching new keys onto the manuals frame, glueing the ebony and ivory toppings. The renovation part of the seminar will include an exposé of clearing the keys, polishing and replacing the pins, replacing the cashmere in the pin’s gibs, adjusting the height of the white keys’ line and adjusting the play’s depth.

Andrzej Sutowicz – Once he turned 7 years old he attended music school with faculty of violin which he then graduated (both primary and secondary) in Zdunska Wola. In 1991 he graduated from Arnold Fibiger’s Technical School of Piano Construction in Kalisz. He then continued to start working at “Szczepaniak’s Organ Studio”. In 2002 he won a master title of an organ master. In 2003 he completed an internship at “Sauer orgelbau” company. He has participated in the works of a committee whose purpose was to supervise and reclaim organ services at Łódź Philharmonic. He contributed as an expert in the 1st and 2nd editions of editing the organ-master job information for Ministry of Family and Social Policy. Since 2008 he has been running a business renovating old antique organs and constructing new instruments. His expertise reachers piano and grand piano corrections and tunings. He is in charge of Łódź Music Academy, Łódź Philharmonic, Archcathedral Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Łódź, The Schools of Music in Łódź, Pabianice and Lutomiersk. He designed and constructed organs for Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Since 2014 he has been a member of Polish Piano Tuners Association. He conducted numerous lectures on organs while presenting a transparent model of the instrument, designed especially for educational purposes. He has constructed dozens of new organ keyboards and several antique organ keyboards. Keyboards are custom made with various trims: ebony, ivory, polymer along with their multiple combinations including milled decorative fronts. He carried out dozens of ancient keyboard renovations in grand pianos and organs.

Event organised by the Association of Polish Piano Tuners

Seminar: 3 September (Saturday), 2.45 pm, Room Hazel

Specification of mechanism`s regulation in piano`s renovation

Ryszard Mariański will not only tell us about his company’s approach to the instrument’s renovation but will also hear the explanation of the renovation itself and the mentions of the mechanism’s regulations. Questions of “How does component replacement affect the work of piano’s mechanism?” And “What requirements are given by the pianists and what methods are used in the process for achieved the desired result?” will surely be answered. The seminar’s topic will also include two basic typed of regulation — including the accelerated and the delayed mechanism’s action.

Ryszard Marianski – A graduate of Technical School of Grand Piano Construction in Kalisz (class of 1989). Having graduated he worked at Piano/Grand Piano Manufactory “Calisia” in Kalisz at the position of piano corrector. In 1992 he started his position at SAP-Renowation Firm where he familiarized many aspects of instrumental renovation and gained experience as a piano and grand piano corrector. Between 1996 and 2008 he was co-operating with Piano Fiks as a chief corrector-technician, specializing in repairs and regulation of piano mechanisms.

Since 2002, he has been running his own business of piano/grand piano renovations. While completing multiple commissions from world-known European companies in this branch, he cooperated with techniques of such companies as: Bechstein, Steinway, Fazzioli or Pleyel.

A member-founder of Polish Piano Tuners Association. He has been a board member since 2018 and held the position of the vice-president between 2020 and 2021. 

Event organised by the Association of Polish Piano Tuners

Seminar: 3 September (Saturday), 3.30 pm, Room Hazel

The Comparison of Pin Blocks and Tuning Pins of Various Producers In Piano Renovations

The seminar will cover the explanation of the most popular pin blocks materials and the frequently used tuning pins. We will elaborate on the most popular mistakes made in pin blocks and bass bridge tips in pianos and grand pianos. We will empirically prove that tuning pins with the same dimensions yet various manufacturers present stronger resistance in the pin block’s wood which results in the alteration of the pin block’s sustainability and the tune’s stability. We guarantee that nobody will fall asleep during the seminar.

Wojciech Kozlowski A graduate of Technical School of Grand Piano Construction (class of 1983). Former employee of Piano/Grand Piano Manufactory “Calisia”. He has been running his own business specializing in music industry since 1986. Between 1988 and 1997 he worked at Professional School of Piano Tuners for The Blind and The Dim-Sighted in Krakow as a teacher of tuner’s profession. In the years of 1997–2006 he worked as a tuner in Music School of Sieradz. Since 2006, along with his wife, he has been running a business of Piano Renovation Professional s.c. Which renovates pianos and grand pianos across whole Europe, Japan and the USA. He sells tools, replacement parts and accessories for pianos and grand pianos. He owns a license for installing “silent play” and self-playing systems PianoDisc.
He runs an internet store:
Vice-president of Polish Piano Tuners Association

Event organised by the Association of Polish Piano Tuners

Lecture: 3 September (Saturday), 4.30 pm, Room Hazel

The use of coverings in piano renovations

Sylwester Kowalczyk: long-time experience at “Calisia” factory at the position of a constructor, a technician, a quality-control chief, production chief. Since 2005 he has been running his own business “Kowalczyk Piano” with a wide range of services including tuning, general renovations along with custom made new instruments and historical instrument replicas. For the past several cadencies ha has been legal expert at Circuit Court in Kalisz. Cultural patron, organizer of a recurrent event of “We Play at Piotrkow’s Park”. He runs the music school “Kowalczyk Piano” (grand piano, violin, guitar).

Event organised by the Association of Polish Piano Tuners

Seminar: 4 September (Saturday), 4.30 pm, Room Universe 2

C. Bechstein

C. Bechstein is a leading European piano manufacturer. The company was established in Berlin in 1853 by Carl Bechstein and quickly grown to a leading brand chosen for great composers like Frans Liszt or Richard Wagner. Claude Debussy has noticed that “piano music should be written only for Bechstein” and world hits like Elton John’s “Your Song” or The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” have been recorded on C. Bechstein.

Today C. Bechstein offers pianos and grand pianos for everyone starting with basic instruments of Zimmerman, European instruments of W. Hoffmann and finishing with highest quality German instruments. C. Bechstein is the largest European piano/grand piano manufacturer and the largest producer of custom hammer heads in western world.

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