★★★★★ This book merits the attention of anyone who has a genuine interest in playing a piano, or even those of us who merely enjoy listening to a perfectly tuned piano being well played. Mr. Klein provides ample technical background on what it takes to assure that the sound produced by your piano is easy on the ear of listeners. He has sprinkled this knowledge throughout a series of engaging anecdotes about some of the most famous pianists of the past forty years, with whom he has had the opportunity to interact both personally and professionally.
As a maintainer of fine keyboard instruments and as a member of choral groups performing in some of the most storied concert halls in America, Mr. Klein has learned what it takes to produce music of the highest quality. His knowledge of the piano tuning art is extensive, and he imparts his wisdom with grace and a finely honed sense of humor. If you have an interest in the piano, this book will be well worth your time.
John & Kaye Spilker:
★★★★★ Ned has had some fascinating experiences in his long career–funny, startling, poignant, heartwarming–and all memorable. He offers an entertaining and enlightening view of the backstage world so few members of the audience could ever know. This engaging collection of stories gives the reader the privilege of seeing the very human side of music’s celebrities and icons.
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 learned, 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 Fiedler were very entertaining. I think anyone who likes music would enjoy it.
★★★★★ This book is an easy to read story of the author’s incredible life as a piano tuner. His love of music is evident. I thoroughly enjoyed his stories of the people he met.
Kelly D. Anderson: