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Fine-Tuning Excellence

Oberlin piano technician Andrew Bertoni 88, a student at the Steinway Technical Academy, works here in the piano shop in the basement of
Bibbins Hall.

“Our pianos are the best in the world, but they are only as good as the last person who works on them,” says John Patton, director of technical services for Steinway & Sons.

Steinway is protective of its logo - the brass lyre that appears above the Steinway name on all pianos more than nine feet in length, in other words, all concert pianos. But maintaining Steinway’s high standards is no simple process; some piano technicians wait for years to be accepted into training sessions at the company’s factory on Long Island.

So, when the Steinway Technical Academy debuted at the Conservatory in July, it marked the first time in Steinway’s history that the venerable piano builder has collaborated with another musical institution to provide off-site training for its field service technicians. Seventeen participants nationwide were winnowed down from a field of 50 applicants to learn from Oberlin and Steinway technicians.

The company is “thrilled to be partnering with our oldest all-Steinway school,” says Patton. “The technical support here is excellent and makes having this academy here possible.”

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