Paul Tizzard Pianos
I tune, service, maintain and refurbish pianos in the greater Cape Town area. Having been an independent piano tuner/technician in Cape town for over 20 years, I am able to personally attend to the pianos I am privileged to look after. My work is guaranteed, I have over 1000 satisfied clients and hope to have you as one soon.
Tuning a piano is like putting the pieces of a sonic puzzle together; fine adjustments of the string by means of a tuning lever result in the many harmonics working together to accentuate it’s tonal character. Pianos go out of tune when played, but are also prone to reacting to seasonal changes. If it’s been many years between tunings, a pitch adjustment will be necessary before a fine tuning can be performed. Manufacturers recommend tuning a piano twice a year, once a year at the very least. In a professional environment they are tuned before every performance. Pianos generally benefit from being at the correct pitch, correct tension on the frame and soundboard promote the full tonal capability of the instrument. The more often they are tuned, the more stable they become.
Regulation (adjustment) of the internal mechanism is an essential part of the maintenance of a piano. A piano’s mechanism has several thousand moving parts that consist of hinges, springs, tapes, levers, hammers and dampers. With normal use, the various felts inside the mechanism become worn and adjustment is needed in order to keep it functioning efficiently. This keeps the feel of the piano consistent, allowing for comfortable and expressive playing. Depending on the piano’s previous servicing schedule this may be able to be performed as part of the tuning appointment. If there is significant adjustment needed it may take several hours to complete and need to be scheduled separately.
Occasionally a piano will need some sort of repair, be it a felt or component replacement such as the hammers, dampers etc… Many pianos I service are between 50 and 100 years old, with plenty of wear and tear on the various parts in the mechanism. The touch and tone of the instrument are affected and repair can bring new life to the piano. Parts can be expensive though, replacement may not be absolutely necessary and judicious refurbishment may be an alternative to outright replacement. This is assessed and discussed with the owner at the first visit.
Do you have a piano to sell? Are you in need of a valuation? Do you want to buy a piano and need it evaluated? I offer these services. As an instrument, the piano is complicated and is best inspected by a professional prior to buying or selling. It needs to be dismantled and examined in a thorough manner to be fully confident of it’s potential. There are important basic mechanical, structural and musical necessities that define it’s worth. If you’re buying a piano for the first time, it can save you a lot of money and frustration down the line, to bring in a professional who’s equipped to make sure that what you’re buying is sound in all aspects.
I often have potential clients looking for a decent piano. If you have one you’d like to sell, please contact me, I may be able to help.
If you need a piano moved, cabinet restored or a cover made, contact me. Anything piano related, I can help with, including referrals to reputable movers, and cabinet restorers.
I started working on pianos in Cape Town in the late 80’s with my father. He would suggest stripping some old felts off a particular piano part or cleaning and sanding another in return for pocket money, however I saw my future as a musician and didn’t really entertain the idea of a career in piano work. After doing my national service and spending a year in Germany, I needed a job and my Dad kindly reminded me that consistent work and perhaps that which involved pianos might not be a bad idea. So started my process of learning the craft, realising what a tremendous job I had been introduced to. My Dad, Bob Tizzard a well respected trombonist and double bass player on the Jazz music scene in the 60’s left the music world after I was born and eventually became a piano technician. We spent 9 years working together until he passed away in 2000. I took over the business, continuing the tradition…
Today I service over 1000 private clients, several schools and music venues in and around Cape Town, this has expanded to include maintaining a portion of the pianos at Rhodes University’s Music Department and the pianos at St Andrews College and the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown.
I love working on pianos, they are endlessly fascinating and the attention to detail that this work requires suits my personality.
I am also active on the music scene.
“Paul Tizzard has become my first call piano technician in Cape Town for recording sessions and is the technician taking care of my Steinway and Sons Model S at home. Paul’s commitment to his work as well as his sensitivity to the music, being a musician himself, sets him apart from anyone else I’ve worked with. I have and continue to recommend Paul to anyone serious about the care of their prized pianos.”Kyle Shepherd
“Paul Tizzard is an excellent musician and those “big ears” together with his piano tuning skills, make him one of the most sought after piano tuners in Cape Town. My experience with seeing Paul work, is to watch someone who really cares and who will go the extra mile to get a result that satisfies his perfectionist ideals.”Michele Maxwell
“Paul Tizzard has been tuning not only my personal pianos but a number of pianos at schools where I have worked and in the homes of my private students. He is a completely professional tuner. Paul is prompt, professional, pleasant and gives good value for money. I recommend him highly to anybody who wants a really through and efficient tuning done.”Eily Bates, Claremont
“…Paul has attended to my piano this afternoon, and I am above and beyond impressed. His knowledge and expertise is evident and thorough, and I’ve been delighted by the additional information he provided me with in order to ensure exceptional care and functionality of my instrument. I am extremely pedantic about tuning and would recommend Paul to anyone. Furthermore…he proved competent in intricate technical aspects too…I have been playing for 25 years, have a Licentiate from the Royal School of Music, and can vouch for the fact that he is undoubtedly skilled and shows superior excellence in his trade…”Lauren Sandham, Llandudno
“I first met Paul Tizzard when he tuned my piano at our home in Cape Town. At the time, more than two decades ago, I was so impressed with the quality of his craftsmanship that I recommended him to tune the pianos at some of Cape Town’s top schools such as Springfield Convent and Oakhurst Girls Junior.
After taking up duties as Head, Department of Music and Musicology (Rhodes University) it became a priority to have our pianos well maintained and to establish a regular tuning regimen. As the Eastern Cape’s leading piano tuner had partially retired, I contacted Ian Burgess-Simpson (Cape Town) to evaluate the Department’s pianos, especially the two concert Bosendorfers housed in the Beethoven Room. Ian Burgess-Simpson recommended that a large slice of the contract be outsourced to Paul Tizzard, and we are very grateful for the outstanding service Paul has delivered. Paul understands pianos, and his regular reports of each piano’s condition is welcomed; providing valuable insight into the Department’s fixed assets.
A professional to his fingertips, with an easy demeanour, it is always a pleasure dealing with Paul and our relationship is one that we cherish.”
“Paul has tuned, repaired and maintained several pianos for me at home and at venues where I have worked over the last 20 or so years. A highly skilled and experienced professional, he has never let me down, I have no hesitation in recommending his services.”Mike Perry, Newlands
“As I have two pianos used by many expressive students, Paul Tizzard is the one I choose to do the necessary repairs and tune-ups. His work is meticulous due to his attention to detail and his musician’s fine ear. Not to mention his friendly yet professional attitude….. Great service Paul!”Ann Middleton
“Paul Tizzard started tuning the pianos at the Groote Kerk seven years ago. Paul is a highly intelligent and hard working individual. He is very reliable and honest. In encounters with Paul, he is friendly, polite, professional and positive.
Paul has a vast knowledge of the mechanics of the piano. He has the ability to bring the best quality of sound out in any piano, as he has an incredible ear and he is extremely musical. Paul tunes piano with a beautiful singing tone, with much warmth in the middle register and rich tones in the base.
I much prefer him to any other tuners that I have worked with and have had him tune my personal Bösendorfer Grand Piano at home as a result of his fine work.
Paul has been a wonderful asset to the Groote Kerk and it is a great pleasure and honour for us to have such a specialised piano tuner working for us.
“…I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the splendid, expert and caring way you have been treating my long-suffering but faithful Steinway when it needed attention. A professional musician like myself spends most of his waking time at the piano, whether performing, practicing, teaching or composing. It goes hard on the instrument and without regular maintenance and tuning it quickly goes into decline. To know that I can call on a first class piano technician like yourself and rely on your help and sympathy is an invaluable boost to my morale. Thank you for the years of support my Steinway and I received from you.”Dr Thomas Rajna