Paweł Olek


The imaginative spirit of Koichi Kawai, our founder, laid an ambitious foundation for all who would follow, and is the primary reason why the name Kawai has been synonymous with innovation since 1927. Always searching for new materials and technologies that can improve the tone, touch, stability or durability of a piano, Kawai has pioneered many of the piano industry’s most compelling and beneficial innovations, including aluminium action rails, slow-close fallboards, hard finish music desks and the revolutionary use of ABS composites and carbon fibre in piano actions.
The company’s passion for innovation also extends to electronics where Kawai created the industry’s first digital pianos with real wooden keys, the first action designs that re-create the natural movement and motion of an acoustic piano action, the first built-in CD recorders and the first affordable digital pianos with real wooden soundboards.
In its never-ending quest to elevate the art of instrumental craftsmanship, Kawai continues to fulfil its calling as the future of the piano.

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), 9 AM to 12 PM, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute

History and construction of the piano with examples of the original models of the mechanism and the Lego piano model

What does a piano look like and how is it built? Using the world’s first playing Lego piano as an example, we will discuss the history and construction of the piano. The Lego Ideas Piano (21323), which has a detachable keyboard with 25 keys, realistic functioning hammers, movable dampers and pedal and motor, will be used for the presentation. Consisting of 3662 bricks, the piano is approximately 22.5 cm high, 30.5 cm wide and 35.5 cm deep.

Marta Polańska – pianist, chamber musician, pedagogue. She was born on 19 June 1984 in Kraków, in a family of academics. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków at the Instrumental Department. She studied with Maria Szylska-Kaszycka, Irena Rolanowska, among others, prof. dr hab. Andrzej Pikul and Prof. Dr. Mirosław Herbowski. She has participated in demonstration lessons and solo and chamber music masterclasses given by eminent professors: Bronisława Kawalla, Andrzej Pikul, Paweł Skrzypek, Roberto Prosseda, Altenberg Trio, Tadeusz Gadzina, Daniel Stabrawa… She has recorded Chopin’s works for TVP Kraków and, together with her brother Marek (violinist) as Polanski Duo, has given several world premieres, including compositions dedicated to them as part of: International Days of Music by Krakow Composers, Sfogato International Music and Art Festival and the International Audio Art Festival. She has given concerts in Poland, Switzerland, Romania, Germany, Italy and Austria. She holds a scholarship from the City of Kraków, she is a laureate of the Award of the Mayor of Wieliczka City and Municipality, she is the founder and president of the Sfogato Music and Art Society, as well as the originator and artistic director of the festivals organised by the Society: the Sfogato International Music and Art Festival, and the Piano e Forte Festival and Piano Competition, which takes place under the honorary and scientific patronage of Prof. Andrzej Pikul and Prof. Benjamin Vogel. She teaches piano classes in music schools of the first and second degree and in her own piano atelier, MartAtelier. She also completed Postgraduate Studies in Journalism and Media Communication at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and Law at the Faculty of Law, Administration and International Relations of the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow Academy. She has participated in numerous scientific conferences in Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece (Crete), Romania, Slovakia, Italy, France, Austria and the UK, including the XI International Congress on Musical Signification in 2010 in Krakow.

Partner merytoryczny wydarzenia

Seminar: 2 September (Friday), 10.00 am, Room Universe 2

More than a piano renovation

During the lecture, Zbigniew Mielżyński will talk about his speciality – instrument modifications. His specialisation is the reworking of a Schidemayer grand piano from 85 to 88 keys (frame, bridges, keyboard mechanism, strings, tuner), reworking of a Blüthner Patent grand piano to a repetitive mechanism (drawing of keyboards and mechanisms), reworking of the Viennese mechanism to a contemporary one in Kerntopf grand pianos (from 85 to 78 keys), reworking of Steinway pianos (models M, O, K, A, B, D, I).

Zbigniew Mielżyński has been in the profession for 60 years. He graduated from the Piano Building Technical School under the supervision of Gustaw Fibiger (1967). He worked at the Calisia Piano and Piano Factory since 1967. He was the corrector of the mechanism. During that time, he made about 450 piano corrections.
He was the master of the piano department in Calisia, after Gustaw Fibiger left the factory. For 12 years he was a proofreader instructor at the Technical School of Piano Building. In 1975 he completed a Steinway piano tuning course in Warsaw (organized by Rolf Drescher). Then he assembled the harpsichord – a Flemish virgin.
In 1983 he founded the first private keyboard instrument repair shop in Kalisz. Together with Leszek Konstanciak, he is the owner of three patents for really piano and resonance dies. In 1984 he was a co-founder of the first Association of Piano Correctors and Tuners. In 1993, he carried out a renovation of the only Fibiger piano with double repetition.
In 1997, he organized a piano production department in Legnicka Fabryka Piano i Piano and set up the technological process. In Abiz Factory (later taken over by Schimmel in Kalisz), he organized a piano factory. For this purpose, he trained 8 piano correctors, made 82 drawings of parts for production, and over 5 years 250 instruments were made. He finished his professional career at Schimmel, where he worked for 5 years as a manager.
He specializes in remakes of instruments:
– a Schidemayer piano from 85 to 88 keys (frame, bridges, keyboard, strings, pincer) – he made over 300 such modifications,
– remakes of the mechanism in a Blüthner piano Repetition patent (drawing of keyboards and mechanisms),
– modifications of the Kerntopf piano from 85 to 78 keys,
– modifications of Steinway pianos (models M, O, K, A, B, D, I) – he made over 300 such modifications.
In 2016, he organized a concert in Kalisz with a symphony orchestra for 21 pianos.

The event is organized by the Association of Polish Piano Tuners

Wykład: 3 września (sobota), godz. 10.45, sala Universe 1

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

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