Boaz Kirschenbaum of West Tisbury is familiar to many Island residents as a guitarist and singer for the Daytrippers. He is sometimes spotted tuning a Steinway piano before a summer concert.
However, he is also a nationally recognized piano rebuilder. His company, Cherry Tree Piano, of West Tisbury, recently showed a seven foot, two-inch high-performance grand piano at the Piano Technicians Guild National Institute & Conference in Chicago, held July 9 to 14. The conference featured piano makers and rebuilders from all over the world, according to a press release.
Mr. Kirschenbaum’s piano was displayed alongside makers such as Steinway & Sons, Fazioli, and Mason & Hamlin. The promotional and display materials, all designed by Mr. Kirschenbaum, were made by the Tisbury Printer of Vineyard Haven.
The piano was designed as an affordable musician’s piano suitable for recording and small venues. Technicians and concert pianists at the event praised the action’s evenness, balanced touch, and especially the piano’s smooth, warm, “vintage” tone.
The project was a collaboration with Feurich, a boutique piano maker from Germany. It featured a custom action made at the workshop on Lamberts Cove Road in West Tisbury. The cold-pressed hammer felts were made by hand at a small workshop near Woodstock, N.Y.
Mr. Kirschenbaum’s piano featured an action co-designed by David Stanwood of West Tisbury. Mr. Stanwood has invented and patented a system for the precision balancing of piano actions using touchweight metrology. Locally, the Whaling Church, Performing Arts Center, and the Tabernacle concert grands all feature his system. The Steinway B at the First Congregational Church of Nantucket also has a Stanwood Action. Mr. Kirschenbaum tunes that piano every other week during the summer for Steinway artists.
Mr. Kirschenbaum trained at the Steinway factories in New York and Hamburg in 2003 and 2006. A former concert technician at the fabled Steinway Hall in New York City, Mr. Kirschenbaum now restores and tunes pianos on both the Vineyard and Nantucket.