I just received my restored 1929 upright piano and I am so pleased with the results. The sound is beautiful, the woodwork looks so much improved and the piano keys themselves look amazing. This piano had been neglected for many years in my basement and I wasn’t sure how much could be done to bring it to its former glory…but you and your company were able to accomplish that and more.
The bench you were able to source for me with matching legs and then custom stain to match the piano is also fantastic.
Overall, the service and quality of the work you and your company delivered was outstanding. I am thankful that I found your company as this piano is a priceless family heirloom which I will now be able to enjoy for many more years. I definitely feel like I got a bargain on this restoration. Thank You!
The problem the consumer has with piano restoration is that pianos basically look alike-but inside there is a world of difference. The consumer is at the mercy of the restorer. Will the restorer “cut corners”? Can he find quality parts and if so, will he recommend them? Does he have the integrity and honesty to deliver what he promises?
I first heard of Jeff Cappelli from some Steinway experienced people in Chicago. That was my lucky day! He rebuilt my Steinway M. During the rebuilding process we had several conversations regarding options and Jeff’s advice led to correct decisions as evidenced by the finished product. I couldn’t be happier with the piano and can’t praise him more.
I’ve had the piano since 1951. It was gift from my late parents and I have every intention of keeping it in my family forever.
Ed and Chris Webler
My family just relocated to a new home and suffered quite a bit of damage in the move and storage process. We called Jeff Cappelli to turn things around for us. Jeff and his craftsmen have done work for us since 1997 when we began a long time relationship. That first job was an early 1900 piano that needed both rebuilding and restoration.
It was finished work beyond expectations and led to 17 years of loved and worn furniture traveling down to Forest Park for restoration. In all those years Jeff has never disappointed us. His work remains the best we have seen anywhere and he continues to provide service to match the restoration. This business and its craftsmen are such a credit to this profession.
Ed and Chris Webler
Kathryn M. Haider 2012
In the spring of 2012 my son Ted, found Chicago Piano Service, Inc. on the internet and gave them a call. He had bought a piano from a family member’s estate. His intention was to completely restore, then gift it back to his Great Grandmother Pansy Yount’s historic home, Spindletop Hall http://www.spindletophall.org/ in Lexington Kentucky.
The first appointment at Chicago Piano Service covered the many steps of restoration to be done within about six months. Added later, would be a new player system to replicate the ancient mechanism that no longer functioned.
Ted called and asked if I’d like to help in the project. I agreed and had many months of learning and observing as the piano was taken apart and painstakingly put back together. New Steinway parts replaced nearly all of the working parts to insure quality sound. Ted and I took about five trips down to see the piano while at Chicago Piano Service. Jeff Cappelli, the owner, manager took time to invite us to visit and carefully explained the phase they were working on. Our opinions were asked about the use of 24k gold leaf added to carvings at the cabinet and bench. Jeff showed us some color samples from which to choose for cabinet wood tone. A custom mixed brown mahogany finish was chosen. It replaced the faded white and hand painted colors from long ago.
Teddy and I developed a warm relationship with Jeff who clearly loved explaining each part of the process. What an adventure it turned out to be. Teddy and I looked so forward to each visit.
My Grandmother’s home was being put on the National Registry of Historic Homes. A celebration was planned. Ted and I invited Jeff to accompany us to Kentucky, and his daughter Julia accompanied him. He accepted and over a lovely evening of cocktails and dinner Jeff lectured on the history and evolution of the piano. He gave a lovely concert to the many guests. I believe he was very happy to see the sensation that this beautiful exquisite sounding piano caused. The Club at Spindletop Hall members are still thrilled to be able to enjoy over ten thousand songs which are stored in the custom player system when the piano is not being played by a live pianist, bringing the house to life again.
Both Teddy and I would definitely encourage anyone who wanted perfection in their piano restoration to choose Chicago Piano Service. Jeff Cappelli is a fine craftsman, teacher, classically trained pianist, member of the Piano Technicians Guild and now a dear friend.
Kathryn M. Haider
Pat Ketchmark June 7, 2012
“My 75 year old baby grand piano was in need of extensive interior work. I asked Jeff Cappelli to take a look at it, all the while thinking it was beyond repair. Jeff came out to my house and his sincere enthusiasm and professionalism reassured me there was hope. He laid out his extensive plan and encouraged me to visit his shop during the restoration process.
I think Jeff was as excited to undertake this project as I was to have my piano in playing condition again. I did visit the Chicago Piano Service shop a few times during the restoration and got to see my piano completely taken apart. Jeff showed me all the details of the interior work and explained exactly what they would be doing. I even saw my new pin block when it was just a raw laminated plank of wood.
Each time I visited I was struck by Jeff’s kindness, enthusiasm and honesty and each time I left I was excited for the next phase of the repair to start. It is quite clear that Jeff truly loves his work, as do all those that work with him. The talented technicians that work for Chicago Piano Service did a remarkable job of restoring and rebuilding the interior of my baby grand piano. Every detail of the work was handled with care.
Thank you Jeff and your entire crew at Chicago Piano Service. You did a remarkable job and I will definitely recommend you without reservation to anyone needing repairs or maintenance on their piano.”
Janet Correll June 1, 2012
“Mr. Cappelli is a true Renaissance man with prodigious piano playing and tuning skills and a wonderful talent for repairing and restoring pianos.
After my Steinway grand piano was badly damaged in moving, he did a superlative job of rebuilding, refinishing and restoration of the cabinet, keyboard and action.
Jeff Cappelli came highly recommended to us by the Steinway Gallery as a restoration specialist and we felt comfortable after learning that a part of his training had been at the Steinway factory in New York.
We found our experiences and frequent visits to the workshop during restoration to be quite enjoyable. Jeff is thoroughly honest, dependable and courteous.
I recommend Chicago Piano Service without reservation.”
— Janet Correll, Professor and Professional Musician
Peter Bentley Aug 21, 2010
The Steinway Model B, which you transformed into a new piano, now belongs to Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill, Maine, where it will inspire both pianists and chamber musicians of all ages and backgrounds for many years to come.
Kneisel Hall was the home of the first, and for many years the only, US full-time professional string quartet, formed in 1885 by Franz Kneisel, concert master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The first buildings of what became the present campus were built in 1922. For seven weeks each summer Kneisel Hall is home to some 50 accomplished young artist string players and pianists, who study and perform a wide range of chamber music under the guidance of a distinguished faculty from the US, Canada and Europe.
The Artistic Director of Kneisel Hall is Seymour Lipkin who won first prize in the prestigious Rachmaninoff Piano Competition when he was only 19, and the Executive Director is Ellen Werner.
Both faculty and young artists at Kneisel Hall have high expectations, not only of their colleagues but also of their colleagues’ instruments, but it seemed clear that the results of your skill exceeded their expectations of a 94 year old piano, when it arrived last month. Several people expressed amazement that the piano was built in 1916 because of the very high quality of your refinishing and restoration.
The tone is resonant, clean and balanced and the new action responds immediately and consistently. Particularly impressive is the balance between the upper and lower registers, with the upper voices in no way overpowered by the majestic sonority of the bass notes. It has been said that the best musical sounds should be “creamy”—you have created a magnificent piano with a high buttermilk content!
Your craftsmanship should be acknowledged, and the piano will carry a small plate stating that it was completely refinished, and rebuilt before it was donated to Kneisel Hall.
Again, very many thanks for what you have given us.
Shure Inc. July 2009
Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service is the vendor I have selected to care for the two Steinway pianos owned by Shure Incorporated. Jeff is reliable, thoughtful, and thorough in his care of these instruments. One piano is a model A that is more than 110 years old.
Shure entrusted Jeff with a recent rebuild, and the results are amazing. He was able to maintain the unique character of the instrument while correcting the tuning problems with the installation of a new pin-block. The finishing touches are immaculate—it is as pretty as a new one! Jeff’s attention to detail with the ongoing care of this instrument is first rate.
We also own a very special new Steinway Model B. Jeff’s expert eye for quality was invaluable when this piano was selected. No matter what your piano service needs are—evaluation, tuning, or rebuilding—Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service has earned my highest recommendation.”
— Dean Giavaras, Manager, Performance/Listening Center and S.N. Shure Theater
“I am at a bit of a loss for words to describe how amazingly improved our century- old Steinway is as a result of you and your staff’s work, knowledge and expertise. Each of you brought to the work you did on this instrument a level of dedication that is all too rare in this world today.
Every nuance of uneveness, touch or tone that I perceived was independetly caught and corrected by your team in the course of the work. Taking the extra time needed, going the extra distance, making sure it is really as excellent as it has the potential to be, this seems to be your company’s normal stardard of care. I can’t thank you enough for the tremendous improvements in touch, tone, response and sound.”
— Laurie Spiegel, Composer, New York.
Randy Rogers August 2009
“Just a note of thanks for the excellent work you and your staff provided in the refurbishment of our circa 1939 Jansen Piano/Desk – The attention to detail was something I could not find (and trust) in the Dallas, TX or the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro areas
Your Chicago Team is one of true craftsman, very rare, and very much appreciated – I would bet that the Jansen Piano Company would have thought that the refurbished piano had come just off their 1939 factory floor – Additionally, your Team has restored a cherished family heirloom to “like new” condition.
I would be pleased to provide you and your Team any reference you might need to further your fine craft and service.”
— Randy Rogers
Chicago Baldwin Piano
“As a Baldwin Piano Dealer we use only the best service technicians when taking care of concert artists. Jeff provides that service and has never let us down. We treat all of our customers in the same manner as we do the artists and Jeff and his crew are a big part of the reason we always have satisfied clients.”
— Tim Paul, Chicago Baldwin Piano, Piano Trends Music Company
Louise Kuhny August 2009
“Our family has depended on Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service since we purchased our Steinway concert grand piano (model D) five years ago. Since we have several serious pianists in our household, our piano is played between five and eight hours a day.
Mr. Cappelli keeps our D in outstanding condition in every way. He not only tunes it to perfection, but he regulates the action to a high level of sensitivity that my family expects in a fine instrument. Mr. Cappelli’s expertise provides consistent voicing throughout all registers, enabling us to enjoy a rich Steinway sound from low bass to high treble.
Purchasing a Steinway concert grand is only the first step in providing one’s family with a fine instrument. It is also necessary to find a fine technician to bring the piano to life through outstanding tuning, regulation and voicing. We are pleased to have Mr. Cappelli as an important partner in our family’s enjoyment of music.”
— Louise Kuhny
Dick Holt December 2008
“I purchased a 6′ 1” grand in 1990 and these last almost 18 years have been greatly enhanced by its presence in my home. Much of that is due to the careful and meticulous maintenance of this piano by Jeff Cappelli and his Chicago Piano Service Inc. including maintaining the regulation, hammer shape, key bushing replacement, tuning and voicing. Jeff also installed a Dampp-Chaser system and keeps an eye on any other items needing attention.
Jeff Cappelli is reliable, competent and thoroughly knowledgeable of all aspects of pianos. I cannot recommend more highly he and his work.”
Pianist, Wheaton, IL