Maintaining Civic piano a work of passion + Video

Keeping the Civic Theatre’s stunning Model D Steinway Concert Grand in top condition is a work of precision, and passion, for David Jenkin of Jenkin Piano Service.

The process takes an entire day, and is completed once every two years.

That’s an improvement on when the Steinway first arrived at the Civic in 2007 – David says the piano needed to be serviced annually until it was “bedded in” and the service took two days.

David says this type of servicing, which includes all mechanical and tonal adjustments, ensures that our Steinway is responsive to our pianists’ every wish.

David was born and raised on Auckland’s North Shore and educated at Westlake High School.  After completing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Auckland, he picked up holiday work preparing secondhand pianos for sale and has worked with pianos ever since.

With 30 years of experience servicing pianos, David has seen plenty of leaps forward in his industry. While you might think pianos haven’t changed much, David says they’re no strangers to technology. As manufacturing techniques have changed, so has the quality of modern pianos, and so has the tools which David uses to maintain them.

Civic Theatre functions and events co-ordinator Rachel Christensen says David will often hit the same note dozens of times, making small adjustments, until he is satisfied.

“You or I wouldn’t notice a difference at all, but David clearly does!”

Watching David at work is certainly fascinating – and his appreciation of the instrument obvious when he plays a tune and finishes with a grin: “I’m certainly not a pianist though!”