A Female Piano Technician in Hong Kong
Ms. CHOI Chung Wan (Chung) is a rare female piano technician (or tuner) in Hong Kong. Most of her training took place in the United States. She graduated from the MA in Piano Technology program at Florida State University, a 2-year program dedicated to piano rebuilding and high-level piano service. Training including restringing, replacing piano parts including pin-blocks and soundboards. Furthermore, Chung was responsible for maintaining up to 70 pianos on campus. As a graduate music student, she also conducted academic research. Since the piano is related to many fields such as art, technology, and the society, Chung’s researches touched on not only composition, music history, musicology, but also education, local history, and genealogy.
Besides piano tuning, Chung enjoys making specialty tools for piano technicians, which have impressed numerous professionals including Peter Stumpf, who serves as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s piano technician. While piano maintenance might be boring to some, Chung is captivated by its technical challenges and creative possibilities. Because of her musical background, Chung aspires to service pianos on the highest level and takes pride in being one of the important supporting members of a successful concert.
Professional Piano Tuning and Repair Experience
Before returning to Hong Kong, Chung did piano tuning for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and completed a practicum at the Carl Sauter piano factory in Germany. Ms. Choi is also interested in early pianos and fortepianos; aside from conducting academic researches, she has visited many renowned keyboard builders, and has worked as a technician for the Academy for Fortepiano Performance for two years.
From Taiko Studies to DIY Projects
Chung has spent a year in a fellowship at the Taiko Center of the Pacific in Honolulu, where she studied the arts of traditional and contemporary taiko with the renowned taiko artist and composer,Kenny Endo . She also assisted in teaching taiko classes and created two new websites for his school. Her professional taiko experience became an important foundation for her groundbreaking project:"DIY Taiko".
Compositions and Creative Experiments
As a conservatory trained composer, Ms. Choi is skilled in manipulating music to tell stories. Her sentimental chamber opera Last Night in The Hague, which tells a snippet of the young struggling Vincent van Gogh’s life, was premiered at the Pittsburgh Opera.