Ryan W. Sowers, RPT

Piano Touch & Tone Expert

Specializing in Steinway & Sons fine pianos

Last updated: May 2016

Email: ryan@pianova.net       Phone: (360) 705-4160 or (800) 972-8863

Philosphy

Although we specialize in bringing out the best potential of fine pianos, we also work on many modest instruments as well. We believe that even small, inexpensive pianos have musical potential that can be realized with the proper technique and workmanship. Another of our strongly-held beliefs is that children and beginners deserve good-playing instruments. Learning to play piano is a challenging enterprise. The additional stumbling block of a piano with unpleasant and uneven touch and tone can sabotage even motivated students. We also recognize that every piano owner’s needs and expectations are unique. We strive to use our time in the most efficient manner possible to meet our client’s needs to the best of our abilities. We endeavor to build partnerships with our clients in order to best realize their musical dreams.

 Experience

Over 35 years of piano playing experience

1996-Present         Owner, Pianova Piano Service, Olympia WA

1998                     Worked for Michael Reiter, RPT, Tacoma’s most well-respected piano technician/rebuilder.

1997                     Worked for Snyder’s Piano Service, Bonny Lake, WA

1995                     Worked for Grace Piano Service, Olympia, WA

 

 Education

2013       Attended the Steinway College and University Technician Seminar at Oberlin Conservatory.

2013       Spent one week at the Rappaport Piano Workshop, in Round Rock, TX. The Rappaports received formal piano building training in Germany and worked for Bechstein & Bosendorfer. They are considered among the top piano rebuilders in the United States.

2012       Completed the fourth five-day “Concert Prep” Seminar and the final three-day “Polishing and Touch-up” Seminar at the Steinway & Sons factory in New York City.

2011       Completed third five-day “Damper Seminar” at the Steinway & Sons factory

2010       Completed second five-day “Voicing Seminar” at Steinway & Sons factory.

2009       Completed the five-day “Comprehensive Piano Service Seminar” at the C. F. Theodore Steinway Academy conducted at the Steinway & Sons Factory, Long Island City, New York.

2001       Apprenticed with Darrel Fandrich, RPT, owner of Fandrich & Sons, Stanwood, WA.  Mr. Fandrich is an internationally recognized technician and holds several patents for improved piano designs and is a former technician for the Seattle Symphony. Apprenticeship included grand piano action rebuilding, advanced voicing and regulating.

1998       Attended Yamaha’s technician training program at Yamaha North American Headquarters, Los Angeles, California.

1992-1994          Apprenticed with Mitch Kiel, RPT, former piano technician for the Washington Center of the Performing Arts.

1993       Graduated from The Evergreen State College with credits in piano technology.

 

 Professional Affiliations

Ryan is currently the technician for the following organizations and institutions:

 

St. Martins University

The Evergreen State College

Grays Harbor College

Yenney Music Company

Mason County Community Concert Association

Lewis County Concert Association

Annas Bay Music Festival

Chinook Music Educators Association

North Thurston School District

Shelton School District

Olympia School District

Tumwater School District

 

Ryan is trusted to do warranty service for the following piano dealers:

Steinway Piano Gallery

Prosser Piano and Organ

Classic Piano of Portland and Bellevue

Portland Piano Company

Clinton’s Music House

 

2015-present  District IV Vice President of the Washington State Music Teachers Association, an affiliate of MTNA

2015-present  Regional Tuning Exam Administrator, Pacific Northwest Region, Piano Technicians Guild

2012-2013      President of Olympia Music Teachers Association

2011-2012              President Elect of the Olympia Music Teachers Association

2011           Director, Piano Technicians Guild Annual Technical Institute

2009-2011      Member of National Institute Team for the Piano Technicians Guild Annual Conference

2008-2011      President of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild

2006-2008             Vice-President of the Puget Sound Chapter of PTG

1994-present  Registered Member of the Piano Technicians Guild

1997-present  Active in administering the Piano Technicians Guild Tuning Exam

2000-2003             President of the Pacific Northwest Conference Organization PTG

2000-2003     President of the Puget Sound Chapter of PTG

1997-2000     Vice-president of Puget Sound Chapter of PTG

1996         Member, National Ethics Committee, PTG

1992-1994            Associate (apprentice) member of PTG

 

 Continuing Education

Ryan believes in the power of continuing education! Since joining PTG in 1992 Ryan has attended dozens of conferences, seminars, and workshops from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. Through these events he has had the opportunity to learn from some of our nation’s top piano technicians and rebuilders. In 2007 and 2008 he attended several day-long seminars taught by nationally respected technician, Steve Brady, RPT. Between 2009 and 2012 Ryan completed approximately 140 hours of specialized training at the Steinway & Sons Factory in New York.  In the summer of 2013 Ryan attended Steinway’s exclusive College and University Technician Seminar held at Oberlin Conservatory.

 

Ryan has also taught classes on piano technology at the local and regional level. In 2010 he presented a well-received program on piano tuning self-study for the New York chapter of PTG at Faust Harrison Pianos.

 

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