During the COVID restrictions, many people learned a new skill: baking sourdough, raising a garden, or tying flies. Michael Kamansky took up piano tuning.
Initially, Kamansky began with the idea that he could tune his own piano and maybe those of a few close friends, but the more he learned, the more he fell in love with the idea of tuning pianos as a professional endeavor.
People may recognize Kamansky as a local fly-fishing guide and a former board member of Cascadia Music, and of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, with which he is still actively involved. He has played pianos for most of his life, more recently returning to the keyboard with composer and teacher Lynette Westendorf.
“Michael started taking piano lessons with me years ago,” Westendorf said. “He is an extremely fast learner.”
As Westendorf and Linda Mendro retired from teaching, Kamansky stepped into a teacher role to ensure piano students continued to learn. That path opened up doors that led him to the technical side of caring for pianos.
Kamansky began by apprenticing with Curt Spiel, tuner for the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and with the esteemed Edward McMorrow, piano technician to the Seattle Symphony and a trailblazer in the development of piano technologies.
Kamansky himself is a member of the Piano Technicians Guild, and after over a year of studying, continues to apprentice with Spiel and McMorrow and attend training sessions.
Kamansky offers piano servicing in the Methow Valley, from basic tuning to rebuilding. If an instrument requires extensive work, Kamansky has a fully equipped workshop to handle complex projects. Kamansky is skilled in tuning, voicing, regulation, repair, rebuilds and the ongoing care of pianos. He also offers inspection services prior to the purchase of a new or used piano.
Westendorf uses her pianos to produce recording projects, and each note must be perfectly in tune. Spiel tuned her pianos for years, and Westendorf is meticulously cautious when it comes to allowing someone to touch her instruments that produce her life’s work. She was exceedingly pleased with Kamansky’s work.
“As a master apprentice, he learned the idiosyncrasies of what it takes to tune. It’s a complex finesse of physics,” Westendorf said. “He worked so hard, and he just nailed it!”
For more information visit www.KamanskyPiano.com, or call 996-7788.