The passion Stefan has for pianos, sound and piano-making is truly mesmerizing. Not only is he possibly the best piano technician in the world, but he is also a born educator. No matter if it's about piano sound, sound creation, general problem solving or simply about life - he is an amazing person just to talk to.
His hearing and ability to identify characters and characteristics within a piano tone is truly incredible. It's this ability that enables him to widely open the student's minds and pass on insights that are very valuable for any pianist.
Stefan is most probably the best piano technician that you will ever have the joy to meet. Many pianists unfortunately don't know how the pianos they play on work. He makes sure that our students don't have that problem. His amazing skillset and rich experience widens every student's horizon tremendously.
The relationship between a good piano technician and a good pianist is very important and unfortunately not taught anywhere near enough. Stefan makes sure that students understand this super important teamwork. Pianists have to know what they want from their piano and how to instruct technicians to make it happen.
Stefan is collaborating closely with many renowned pianists and working for major concert halls and festivals as well as exclusive private clients. He gives seminars and lectures around the world – these often extend beyond the traditional confines of piano making. “After all, a piano is only human – what musicians can learn from their instruments” is the title of one of his lectures and describes the complex relation between the sound of a musical instrument and the psyche of its players.
In order to have more technically flawless instruments available to artists in the future, Stefan Knüpfer has set himself the goal to further train and promote young, highly motivated and talented piano technicians.
Alongside this undertaking, it gives him great joy to realize his vision of the piano duo project with Annemarie Schindler, a great supporter of young pianists.
Photo credits: Pianomania
At the beginning of the 1980s, Stefan Knüpfer completed his piano building apprenticeship at Steinway & Sons Hamburg. After a further six years of training as a concert technician he worked in many countries all around the world. His responsibilities included elaborate repairs, concert service, working for recording sessions as well as for major international piano competitions.
In 1999, Stefan Knüpfer moved to Vienna where he was the chief technician at "Steinway in Austria" until 2017. For a period of 12 years one of his many challenges included the "search for the perfect sound" in the Wiener Konzerthaus. This search led to some intense collaborations with some of the world's best pianists.
Some of his work was documented in the feature film "Pianomania", which was shown in cinemas worldwide and won numerous prestigious awards.
Stefan Knüpfer has been self-employed since the beginning of 2018.