David Stanwood is back in business and invites his old friends and prospective customers to visit his piano shop off Lambert’s Cove Road this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a get-reacquainted open house.
Mr. Stanwood, 57, runs Stanwood and Company, a piano restoration, piano tuning and repair operation that has been around for 30 years.
“I just want people to know that my shop is back in business,” Mr. Stanwood said Wednesday. “While pursuing my piano inventions and after teaching internationally, I feel my service to the Island has suffered. Now I want people to know I am back.”
For the past several years, Mr. Stanwood’s attention was more focused on promoting his invention, a system that makes pianos sing.
During those busiest of times, Mr. Stanwood said his sights and talents were pointed afar. Now, with the help of a talented couple, he can commit to the Vineyard customer. He said he has renewed his interest in doing piano appraisals, voicing, piano brokerage and sales.
“As of this summer, we have taken on a shop manager and his wife,” Mr. Stanwood said. They are Boaz and Sakiko Kirschenbaum, both highly qualified experts in piano service and repair.
“He is one of the few North American piano technicians to receive extensive training in Steinway’s factory in Hamburg, Germany,” Mr. Stanwood said. “They are both graduates of the piano technology department at North Bennet Street School. They joined Stanwood and Company last year. He was raised on Nantucket and used to work for Steinway N.Y. He was a shop manager for Steinway in Sydney, Australia.”
For many distant piano owners, Stanwood and Company is better known for the work Mr. Stanwood has done to bring new life to the action within the keys of old and new pianos.
Years ago, Mr. Stanwood invented a system to put within pianos to make sound. He began installing the new mechanisms in pianos 10 years ago and now there are more than 300 concert pianos around the world that have the Stanwood parts. All the concert pianos at Harvard University possess his patented system, he said.
With the successes of this new system, Mr. Stanwood said, he traveled extensively. His piano work has taken as far as Holland, Italy and Germany. “I just got back from California,” he said.
A number of pianos on the Island use the system. They include pianos at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center, Union Chapel, the Tabernacle, and the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert grand pianos.
With the help of Mr. and Mrs. Kirschenbaum, Mr. Stanwood said he will again shift his attention back to the Vineyard where it all started.
“I really have no idea how many pianos there are on the Vineyard. I am sure it is over 1,000,” Mr. Stanwood said. “Not all of them are being used. I really have enjoyed restoring pianos, bringing them back to life. My old motto is: ‘Bring new life to vintage pianos.’”
Mr. Stanwood can recall the first piano he restored for a fee and it is still working fine. He doesn’t recall what year he did the work but he knows the name. It was a Woodbury upright and it still resides at the Woods Hole Community Center where the Woods Hole Folk Music Society holds their concerts.
Mr. Stanwood’s operation takes place in a backyard workshop at 50 Lambert’s Cove Road. There are sheep grazing near the workshop. His wife, Eleanor, has a wool felt fashion business upstairs.
This is Mr. Stanwood’s 30th season as a piano tuner and repairman. Often people arriving early at concerts will find Mr. Stanwood making last-minute adjustments before the performing pianist arrives to play.
For more information on Mr. Stanwood and his piano work visit his Web site at stanwoodpiano.com or call him at 508-693-1583.