- Alexander Volchonok
914-693-7994; 914-907-4704 (cell)
Anyone with a decent ear, a tuning fork, and a few hours’ practice can tune a piano, but it takes a lot more than that to make those hundreds of moving parts sing. Alexander Volchonok is expert in voicing—the artful, tricky process of adjusting the brightness and warmth of a piano’s sound. For many years, he was the tuner for the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet School. Here in New York, he is relied upon by the pianists Sara Davis Buechner, Frederic Chiu, and Hélène Grimaud, and many others including Oxana Yablonskaya, who called him in to tinker with her Beckstein and ended up with a marriage proposal (accepted) a week later. (They married two weeks later.) Prices start at $150 for a basic tuning and go up to $15,000 to rehab an entire grand piano.