a Recording studio relies on CPS’ dependable maintenance
I cannot say enough about the level of expertise demonstrated by Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service. The Steinway B we use in the studio can be a touchy instrument. Jeff and his staff at CPS have done an excellent job keeping this piano sounding and playing great. We have multiple tunings every year and every time it sounds and plays great after they do their magic. Beyond just tuning CPS has regulated the action to make this piano play, sound and record great. We have been a loyal customer of CPS since 2010 and trust it care and maintenance to no one else.
Cheers to Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service. Thank You!!
J. Botka // Skye Bleu Studios LLC
Villa Park, IL
a Steinway Model M, Restored With Integrity.
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 Jeffs advice led to correct decisions as evidenced by the finished product. I couldnt be happier with the piano and cant praise him more.
Ive had the piano since 1951. It was gift from my late parents and I have every intention of keeping it in my family forever.
Prescott Valley, AZ
At the Crossroads of A Teacher, and a Technician.
For some 40 years Jeff has “babied” my Baldwin S-10 grand as an exceptional technician, and in recent years he has been instrumental in my return to study as an unparalleled teacher. Jeff not only maintained my prized piano for decades, he salvaged it from severe damage caused in a botched moved. As teacher, Jeff has renewed my joy of playing—missing since my days as a university piano major. Jeff is a consummate technician, teacher, historian, lecturer, performer, philanthropist, businessman, and all-around piano aficionado. He has inspired me to fall back in love with my piano and with playing again. Anyone can expect to benefit from what his Cappelli Institute of Music has to offer.
Piano Shopping Becomes A Teacher-Student Mentorship.
I met Jeff when I was shopping for a piano. I needed a second opinion because I was looking at used and rebuilt pianos. An acquaintance of mine recommended Jeff, saying he was a good resource for a knowledgeable and objective opinion. Jeff’s consultation saved me from making what would have been a very costly mistake. Afterward, Jeff helped me find the beautiful piano that I now own.
After many years away from the piano, I started studying with Jeff. He chose pieces that made my transition back to playing smooth, interesting and fun. I’ve learned the difference between being able to play notes and to play well, “shaping the music” as Jeff describes it. I am now playing compositions by Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy and Mozart (just to name a few), that I thought I would never be skillful enough to play.
The studio is beautiful and I look forward to my lesson every week.
spindletop Hall Calls in the Experts from CPS.
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 members estate. His intention was to completely restore, then gift it back to his Great Grandmother Pansy Younts 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 Id 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 Grandmothers 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.
K. M. HaIder
Restoring a Steinway Grand, and a Player’s Confidence.
Cappelli Institute of Music and Chicago Piano Service Inc. are among the Chicago area crown jewels. Jeff Cappelli has it all: Steinway factory trained technician (the pinnacle of training); consummate pianist and teacher; impeccable integrity and honesty; a great talent and a man of his word. I studied piano with him for a couple of years, as a retiree and a returning pianist. He was the best teacher I’ve ever had, after seven years of study before college and a degree in music at university.
Beyond that, his services are the only ones I’ve trusted to attend to my completely restored 1932 Steinway grand piano. I also referred a dear, and rightfully demanding, friend to him. His work on her restored Pleyel grand (Chopin’s piano of choice), as well as her restored upright piano from her distant childhood, made her ecstatic (as it did me—I dared NOT make other than a totally dependable recommendation to her). I cannot sing Jeff Cappelli’s praises enough.
Oak Park, IL
Full Restoration, on a Referral From Steinway Pianos
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.
“The team at Chicago Piano Service exceeded our expectations. Carolyn truly has a masterpiece that she will love and enjoy the rest of her life. Jeff, Carolyn has not passed the Pleyel once without stopping and playing. Again, a very big thank you for an artisan restoration.“
At Kneisel Hall, A Ninety-Four Year Old Steinway Model B Finds new Life.
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 creamyyou 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.
Blue Hill, ME
Dedicated to the craft of Serving Our Customers.
In 2015 I purchased a refurbished model O for my Son. I did some research and heard that Jeff was the most professional and experienced technician to bring the Steinway back to its fullest potential. He did not disappoint. He came to my home several times to provide in depth regulation along with some difficult to determine squeaking issues the piano came with. When he was done, the action and sound of the piano was so amazing that it currently exceeds that of every new model O I have demoed in Steinway’s showrooms.
During one of Jeff’s regular tuning visits to my home, he happened to hear my son playing the piano. At this time, I had no idea Jeff was actually a renowned Piano instructor with advanced degrees from Indiana University. He was kind enough to offer some advice to my son during his visit. The next week I asked him if he could provide instruction for my son. Unfortunately, he was fully booked and not able to take on new students at the time. However, he was kind enough to offer to come in on his day off at night to teach him. 3 years later my son was accepted to St Ignatius and was selected as a freshman as piano accompanist for the treble choir. A highly prestigious appointment.
I consider Jeff a very good friend and an invaluable mentor to my Son.
You will not find a more professional or knowledgeable expert if you are in need of piano restoration, service or instruction for the piano.
J. G. Aguilar
Shure Inc. Rests Assured In the Hands of Chicago Piano Service.
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 a reevaluation, tuning, or rebuilding Jeff Cappelli and Chicago Piano Service has earned my highest recommendation.
A Composer comes to CPS for a Full Restoration.
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 unevenness, touch or tone that I perceived was independently 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 standard of care. I can’t thank you enough for the tremendous improvements in touch, tone, response and sound.
new York, NY
A Lifelong Customer Rejoices in Great Service.
I started working with Jeff Cappelli in July of 2020 after I bought my first grand piano, a 1965 Steinway Model S. This piano was in great need of maintenance and I was worried about finding someone reliable and with the necessary expertise to do the repairs. However, Jeff took the time to listen to my concerns, answer all of my questions, and explain the process behind every single fix. I would usually stay in the room while he worked and he would patiently walk me through what he was doing. I definitely learned a lot and was very happy with the improvements!
Sadly, I recently moved from Chicago to San Francisco and I am not able to keep working with Jeff, but I am extremely grateful to him for making sure that my piano was in good shape for the move and for even recommending a piano moving company that delivered my piano in a great condition.”
G. C. Cornejo
San Francisco, CA
Baldwin Dealer Brings In CPS
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.
CPS Helps a Client Find Clear Skies After A Flood
During our first flood situation in Houston with Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, we lost a very nice Boston upright. We thought if we got a grand piano we would have a better chance of the piano surviving any future catastrophes. Unfortunately, during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, our home had 30+ inches of water in it, and the water reached the key level of the piano. We didn’t know if it affected the soundboard or not. Our insurance company shipped the piano to Chicago and they transferred it to Jeff Capelli for repair. Jeff was always available to talk about any concerns I had, and what repairs needed to be done. Jeff did a beautiful job in assessing and restoring the piano, replacing certain parts, transferring hardware to the replacement parts, and cleaning and regulating the piano. He also adjusted the touch of piano keys. If I lived in the Chicago area, I would certainly use Jeff for any future issues with the piano.