Red City Review:
★★★★ Author Ned Klein spent many years tuning and repairing pianos, and in Piano Dance: Extraordinary People, Places, and Pianos, he brings that experience to the page. In Piano Dance, he recounts a number of memorable visits servicing pianos while providing readers with fun facts about the classic instrument throughout the text. An amateur performer himself, Klein starts his memoir by crediting his longtime music teacher for his career as a piano technician—a flexible position that enabled Klein to allot time for his own performances. After graduating from the North Bennet School of Boston in 1972, Klein went on to tune pianos for amateurs and professional organizations alike, such as the TV show The Mentalist, the actor Hal Holbrook, and Ms. Harris, an 82-year-old woman who once played an hour-long performance for friends and family.
Readers need not be musically inclined to enjoy taking a long walk in the shoes of this humble piano tuner, and are guaranteed to walk away with a piano fact or two to tuck away in their brains. Did you know that pianos have more than 200 strings?! Furthermore, Klein’s deep love of music is inspiring and evident on every page of this book. Although a skilled and seasoned technician with many notable clients, Klein’s memoir is not pretentious or showy. His personal stories are accessible, regardless of a reader’s familiarity with music-making, and serve as an open invitation to behold the power of music and, more specifically, the beauty of the piano.
Marlene A. Hitt, Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga, California
Author of Clocks and Water Drops, and of Sunland and Tujunga: From Village to City:
My husband and I were both delighted with this book. Well written in a comfortable style it took us into the life of a musician and the people he knew. More exciting, however, was to learn secrets of the piano itself and the skill of the piano tuner. We recommend this book highly to anyone who appreciates the life of the musician, the many skills earned and the very joy of music in all its forms.
Mark Greisen, Registered Piano Technician:
I love this book. It is well written and the human interest factor is fascinating. Ned, the author has personally met many notable people and his stories about them are not to be missed. If you’re interested in what it is like to meet and work with great artists and people in general read this book. To my knowledge very few piano tuners have written such a treatise.
Zeke Holland, author of A Satisfying Sail Around the World:
I have no connection to music, and still I found Piano Dance an enjoyable read. It is simply, authentically, unpreposessingly written — just the interesting experiences of a lifetime (almost) of tuning pianos and interacting with their owners. I thought it might be too mundane to hold my attention, but instead I found myself looking forward to reading about the next piano/event and learning a little more about the tuner. I wish my career had provided such opportunities to work my own schedule and meet fascinating people!
David Weaver, Professional Musician:
I found this book to be very easy and enjoyable reading. The first-hand stories of famous musicians such as Copland, Pavarotti, and Arthur Fiedler were very entertaining. I think anyone who likes music would enjoy it.