My name is Simon Wroe, I am a piano tuner and technician based in South Lakes, Cumbria and have been in the profession since the mid '80s.
I cover all aspects of piano tuning and technical servicing. My specialism is the mechanism of the piano, the fine finishing of the performance of the instrument's action and voice. You may have been told that the piano cannot be improved or that it cannot be brought to concert pitch. This is rarely the case and there is great satisfaction in taking an instrument which may have been in a family for over a century under-pitch and underpowered, transforming it over the course of a day or two or restoring it in my workshop.
I have been very lucky in my opportunities. After three years full-time study in piano tuning, repairs and restoration, gaining my City & Guilds and College Diploma qualifications, I spent four years in France with Pianos Magne at the Bösendorfer Centre in central Paris. At Pianos Magne I apprenticed in fine tuning, regulation and toning of grand pianos. I began my concert and institutional experience there working for Radio France, Salle Cortot, Theatre Chatelet, the National Senate, numerous venues and wonderful Parisian homes.
Upon re-locating to London, in spite of offers from some well-known companies I chose to spend two years in a small piano factory in north London, Reid Pianos. Here I had the great privilege of working with masters of the trade who had been practising for 50 years in some cases. My responsibility there was restoration and preparation of upright pianos in the workshop. I will always be indebted to the craftsmen in Paris and London who shared their skill, experience and love of the metier with me.
By the late 90's, with over 10 years "behind the scenes", I felt ready to work independently. In 1998 I took on the post of Resident Piano Technician to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama at the Barbican Centre, where I remained for 7 years. There I had responsibility for 144 pianos including 35 Steinways, all of which were expected to be in tune and working well all of the time. It was a great experience to be in an international centre of excellence where the highest standards were expected and I could develop working relationships with the future stars of the classical and jazz worlds, many of whom I have the pleasure to meet again on their touring visits to the region. I moved to Cumbria in 2006 to be nearer to family and breathe the clean Lakes air.
My Cumbria & North Lancashire clients include:
The concert societies of Kendal, Keswick, Grange, Penrith and Cockermouth
Lake District Summer Music International Music Festival
The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Theatre by The Lake, Keswick
Keswick Jazz Festival
Abbeystead, Levens Hall, Mirehouse & Belle Isle
Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven
The Heron Theatre, Beetham
More Music, Morecambe
Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
I believe in a service ethic, that messages should be returned promptly, that punctuality should be aimed for (unforeseen jobs, Cumbrian roads and weather allowing!), courtesy should be the norm, carrying out what I am requested to do and hopefully being able to pull out all of the stops to achieve the transformation of instruments which is my benchmark.
I live in the centre of Kendal, gateway to the Lakes!
I have full DSB certification.