Letters of Recommendation
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 a gift from my late parents and I have every intention of keeping it in my family forever.
To Jeff Cappelli, Piano Renaissance:
I’m 58 so I still remember the art of fine craftsmanship. I thought it might be a thing of the past, well except for Florence Italy’s side streets-as you walk through history, shop doors are ajar letting in the sounds of the streets, fresh air, and views of the craftsmen totally absorbed in their work. What a treasure, things still made by an individual with the experience and eye for exquisite detail. It’s not cheaper, it’s not faster but it is abundantly better.
So when I inherited my parents 1913 Steinway 7’ grand piano I was immersed back into the world of fine craftsmen. My dad was a piano tuner and rebuilder-as was his dad-and a believer in quality at all costs, but he never finished the restoration of this fine piano. Then I found Jeff Cappelli and his Renaissance Craftsmen. As Jeff assessed the piano (he plays beautifully by the way) and talked about its condition-I just knew he matched my dad and mom’s passion for detail and quality. (They both worked at Kimball’s during the depression as did my grandfather. Fine pianos seem to be a family legacy.)
Jeff spoke of craftsmanship, history of paino building and his company’s focus on providing the absolute best of everything-from strings, actions and sounding board repair to the 2000 grit sandpapers and steel wool they use to refinish the cabinet.
I cold have sold the piano as is since there is really no room in my house for such a big beauty, but I followed the family legacy and had Jeff and his Renaissance Craftsmen restore the Steinway to beyond its original grandeur. And upon its completion I went to see the finished product and as Jeff played for me I was moved to tears by the beauty of it all. My parents would be proud.
Well, I no longer have a dining room table, but I do have 7 feet of awesome sound with a finish like butter that I just love to touch. And I did not have to go to Florence, just to Forest Park, 15 minutes from the house I grew up in-what a treasure! My thanks to you Jeff and your talented team.
Dear Mr. Cappelli,
Now that you and your skilled staff have completed several projects for us, my wife and I want to record our satisfaction with your restoration work. The workmanship is excellent, and we appreciate as well the time you took carefully to inform yourself of the client’s wishes.
We are both professional keyboard musicians, and it is significant to us that you are both an active pianist and a teacher of piano-restoration techniques.
It was a particular pleasure to visit your well-organized shop—to meet some of your craftsmen and to see a whole flock of pianos, each in its own special work-place, in various stages of the restoration process.
With best wishes,
When you called two weeks ago, I was so stunned by the changed appearance of the piano that I was not really able to communicate my pleasure at the transformation achieved by you and your staff. On the outside, the piano looks gorgeous- it’s the only word to describe it. In its old form, it used to dominate the living room as a monstrosity of white and greenish-old antiquing. Now, it compliments and adds a richness to the other antique furniture in the house. All objections on Herb’s part to its placement in the living room have evaporated! On the inside, the piano feels just fabulous. Before the restoration, I could not bring myself to touch the keyboard because it was so out of tune and damaged. However, the moment I sat down to play after its return from your shop I was transported back to my childhood. I know it may sound strange, but this particular piano has a special “feel” to it and I was delighted yo find that the warm, responsive and familiar “touch” of the keys had also been restored. Finally, the sound is nothing short of fabulous.
I am so happy to have the piano restored to its original beauty and quality of sound. I never thought I’d see the day, and my family in Buffalo can’t wait to visit to witness the transformation with their own eyes. Thanks so much for your care on this project. Please feel free to provide my name as a positive reference for your craftsmanship.
I am writing to recommend Mr. Jeff Cappelli and the artists of Renaissance as outstanding professionals in their field.
I inherited a beautiful old Weber baby grand piano dating back at least 70 years. I was delighted with its uniquely lovely hand-carved walnut case. Unfortunately, it needed restorative care. Over the years it had been chipped and bruised. The metal work had blackened. Someone’s pet had gnawed at the pedestals. The pedal assembly did not work. Hinges were worn and unreliable. One of the legs had been damaged raising safety issues. The sun had leeched out some of the original, rich color.
On recommendation from a professional organist, I contacted Mr. Jeff Cappelli. Professional piano movers transported my instrument to Renaissance. There is was disassembled, stripped, repaired, re-stained and reassembled. The metal work was burnished to its original silver-gold color. The pedal assembly was fixed. Hinges, pegs, rubber stops, and all other repairs and replacements were carefully completed. Bruises and chips were filled in. Artisans delicately drew grain lines over these areas so that, under the stain, the repairs were undetectable to the eye. Sun-bleached areas disappeared under the newly stained finish.
My inheritance is now a work of art as well as a piece of personal nostalgia. It is a valuable piece, which gives me please every time I see it. I am not well-to-do, and yet I can truly say that the cost of the restoration was worth every penny.
I found Mr. Cappelli to be direct, honest and helpful in every detail. He answered questions at every step. He allowed me to see my piano as it went through the stages of restoration. In every respect I have found my dealings with Renaissance to be a satisfaction and a pleasure.
I recommend Mr. Cappelli and his fine staff without reservation.
We wanted to thank you and let you know how pleased we are with the work you did on our piano.
When we acquired the 1906 Chase piano that had belonged to my grandmother, it was obvious that the piano was in desperate need of some TLC. Clearly not even the slightest maintenance had been performed in decades. Thanks to the outstanding efforts and talkents of you and your staff, it looks-and sounds- more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. Your dedication to your work and pride of craftsmanship truly shows.
Our piano will become a cherished heirloom for years to come..
Jill & Steve Hill
I am writing this letter to express my thankfulness and appreciation for your work. My piano was in desperate need of TLC. I do believe my situation was unique in nature. However, you provided superior service and that’s worth being noted. You went over and beyond the call of duty. You were very clear and precise on what was wrong with my piano and how it could be repaired. More importantly you were very upfront about the costs to repair the piano. There were no hidden surprises.
My grand piano has now been restored and what was previously viewed as a piece of furniture is now a valuable musical instrument to my family. My niece comes over and practices every week and I am going to sign my son up for piano lessons. I am actually considering taking lessons myself. I can’t thank you enough for the level of service, communication and expertise that I received. Your work is outstanding!
Marty and I wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the Piano. I think the people that originally built the piano would agree that it looks as good as when it first left the Mason & Hamlin manufacturing plant back in 1901.
We would also like to thank you and your staff for all the time that you spent educating us and the girls about the piano and the restoration process. Your business is truly a lost art.
We are looking forward to many years of enjoyment and memories. Thanks again for everything.
Marty and Mary
Letter #9Dear Jeff,
The family 1915 Steinway Model M has been in its new home for a couple of months since its complete restoration and we wanted to let you know how pleased we have been with your work and the entire project.
Since we were novices at piano restoration we spent a lot of time checking references and learning about the process we were about to undertake. From the beginning, we recognized that this was going to be a major undertaking and that we needed to be able to trust the firm that got the job.
You did not let us down. Your open communication with thoughtful suggestions, the clear contract document, and regular progress updates allowed this long distance project to proceed smoothly and without a hitch. The personal pride you took and that of your employees is reflected in every aspect of our piano. The finished product you delivered was even more than we had hoped.
Learning that a beautiful mahogany piano was beneath that old ebony paint was a very pleasing bonus. Your new finishes are immaculate and really show off the original Steinway workmanship and the instrument at its best. Jeannine’s father visited us last month and was amazed at the way the piano, he had known for 55 years, looks and sounds. The local Steinway factory representative recently tuned it and was very complimentary of your work and the overall restoration results.
Our last minute addition of the Piano Disc system came off without a hitch thanks to your diligence. What a treat to hear that beautiful music playing without any effort on our part! Jeannine has been practicing quite a bit and sounds pretty good, too.
Please give our best to your dedicated craftsmen and feel free to drop by any time you are in the Gem State. We would enjoy the sounds of a real pro on the ivories of our beautiful piano.
Dave & Jeannine
Twin Falls, ID