I am a specialist in restoration of square fortepianos, especially Dutch square fortepianos. In the end of the 18th. and the first half of the 19th. Century the high quality of the Dutch square pianos often surpassed the English and French squares, as instrument and in sound. Whether it concerns your own instrument that you want to be restored, or a square piano from my collection, I garantee you the real sound of the period where it came from.
There are many people that still have a square piano at home. Whether it is a family heirloom with great sentimental value, or a valued instrument that is played on a regular base, it might be a joy for the eye and the ear. But too often the instrument is old, worn down and in bad condition. Frequently these instruments had a restoration in the 70-ies or 80-ies of the 20th. Century. Unfortunately, these restorations were of inferior quality and have damaged the instruments more. These bad restorations have given the square pianoforte a bad name. A great shame, because when restorated in the right way, these instruments reflect the real sound of the pianoforte of their era, being it Classical, Early Romantics or Full Romantics.
These were the instruments for “Le Salon”, for the drawing room, for the intimate musical evenings and soirées. These instruments have the most historical sound of the piano music of their times. Between ca. 1760 and 1840, most piano music was played on square pianofortes and not on grands.
I restore these instruments with great care and I always use historical materials.
Intensive research resulted in nearly perfect new material that’s made in the same way and with the same historical materials as was used in the times the instruments were made. Only in this way it is possible to bring back the instrument into their true original condition: the condition the instrument was as it left the workshop of the pianoforte maker !
“Original Condition” is an expression that is too often misused and abused by (square) pianoforte restorators. It is too often used for instrument that are left in their “original condition”, and that means that is now in a condition with about 200 – 250 year old rusty strings, dried out and fragile hammer coverings and hinges, moth eaten cloths and a ratling action.
My mission statement is:
“The case may look, within the limits of good taste, look as a beautiful antique piece of furniture, but the sound and the action must be as the instrument yesterday left the pianofor te maker’s workshop“.