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Piano Tuning book review:

Title: My Life with the great Pianists, by Franz Mohr

Franz Mohr did the piano tuning, repairs, and preparation of concert pianos for Horowitz, Van Cliburn and some of the other great concert piano performers through the last several decades.   I met Mr. Mohr in Atlanta, Georgia recently where he spoke of his experiences working with the Steinway Piano Company, and tuning for the great piano performers, particularly Vladimir Horowitz, with whom he had a long lasting working relationship.   Franz is a wonderful Christian man with a rare combination of piano technical skills and a loving patience  for even the most demanding piano artists.

For example, Maestro Vladimir Horowitz wanted to improve his control of the piano keys.  A typical Steinway concert piano action regulation allows for after touch or follow through, i.e. the distance the piano key travels after the jack has been tripped by the let off button in a piano action.   Horowitz, not being a piano technician, did not know how or why he wanted the piano action different, but he felt strongly that his Steinway concert grand piano needed additional preparation for him to maximize the communication of his music to the audience.  Franz worked with Horowitz patiently finally discovering that the all of the after touch needed to be removed from the piano action to satisfy the Maestro’s requirements.   With no after touch, a piano’s hammers normally would dance uncontrollably when played by a piano performing artist.

Mr. Mohr also describes his experiences meeting U.S Presidents and world leaders at the White House.  This book is a great read for anyone, especially those who enjoy the piano world.  Born in Germany, Mr. Mohr has traveled throughout the globe piano tuning for the renown piano artists.  He now lives in New York City, continuing his long standing relationship working with the Steinway piano company.



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