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Client Commentary

Ralph Joseph Onesti Piano Restorations
1317 MacDade Boulevard, Woodlyn, PA 19094
Phone or Fax 610.833.1657    email: inquiry@onestipiano.com

The statements referenced below have come from service, rebuilding and trade clients, new and old, and reflect a common thread. Please understand they are in no particular order of importance.

You may also visit our Local Artists page which is offered as a courtesy to showcase talent and events.

“The quality of Ralph's work is unsurpassed. Whenever a client of mine needs a soundboard or pin block, I send the job to Ralph. And when it came time to rebuild my own Steinway, there was no question about where to send it. He is, simply, the best.”

Steve Prentice, Registered Piano Technician
Head Concert Technician,
Swope Hall, West Chester State University

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Whenever my client’s piano required work beyond the scope of field service, I went to Ralph Onesti’s shop. From simple action work to full rebuildings, his services were always at my disposal.

I have brought many rebuildings to Ralph during my tenure as local piano technician in the Wilmington area. And although I am recently retired, at last contact, I have several clients whose pianos are still performing beautifully, ever since spending time at the Onesti shop. Among these are Pierre Dupont IV, Immanuel Baptist Church of Wilmington, Margaret Ann Delaplane, and others.

Henry (Hank) T. Meyermann,
Registered Piano Technician
Wilmington, DE

“My first contact with Ralph Onesti was in the mid 1980s, when I engaged him to do some work on a Steinway concert grand at a church where I was then organist. Suffice it to say that the work was first rate, and I have since had Ralph carry out major restoration work on my own piano and on the pianos at the church where I am now organist. He is a consummate professional who cares passionately about his craft, but in a world that can be so impersonal, he also cares about his customers, and that is a quality that cannot be reduced to dollars and cents. What started out as a call to a stranger to rejuvenate a tired old Steinway action has blossomed into a valued friendship. I trust that our professional and personal association will continue for many years to come.”

Dr. William Gatens
Noted Musicologist, Author and Reviewer
Host on WFLN
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I have known Ralph for many years and have seen many of his rebuilds in various stages of the rebuilding process. I have always been very impressed, not only with his attention to detail, but his ongoing effort to enhance the original design to maximize performance and sound.

His rebuilds are truly a blend of art and craftsmanship. The beauty of the physical appearance of the instrument is only overshadowed by the sound production. His soundboards are vibrant and responsive over the full range of the scale.

John J. Campbell, Registered Piano Technician
Chief Piano Technician for the University of the Arts
Phoenixville, PA

“As a student at Temple University, I was most fortunate to study Piano Technology, Tuning and Repair with Ralph Joseph Onesti, one of the leaders in the piano industry.

His gifts as a talented teacher and his incredible knowledge of the subject he taught - along with his positive personality, happily directed me to my second occupation as a piano technician.

I consider Ralph Joseph Onesti to be my mentor.”

Herman C. Giersch
Technician
Lima, Pennsylvania

I have used Ralph Joseph Onesti for my piano tunings, repairs and concert prep for eighteen years. I have without reservation or hesitation recommended him to my friends and colleagues and continue to do so.

Richard A. Raub
Internationally Renowned Recital Pianist
Faculty Member, The Academy of Vocal Arts
Served as:
Assistant Conductor,Pianist, Supertitle Operator,
Opera Company of Philadelphia
Coach and Pianist for The Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you think that the passion of the 'old-time craftsman' is a thing of the past, I can testify that it lives on in Ralph Onesti. The maintenance and rebuilding of fine pianos is more than his work, it's his calling. It only takes a few minutes of conversation with him to glean that much; then his work bears it out. Ralph reconditioned a 1940 Steinway M when I bought it in 1979. To this day everyone who hears or plays it has fallen in love with it - and that includes the technician who has done routine tuning/maintenance on it since I moved to NYC.

Ralph cares not only about the instruments but about his clients, which explains why so many of them, like myself, number him among their cherished friends. He not only goes the extra mile, he'll blaze a new trail if necessary. He simply will not let you go wrong. I am happy to recommend him to anyone who needs a piano technician or rebuilder.

Howard Levitsky
Broadway Keyboardist
Theatrical Music Director
Vocal Coach, Accompanist
Composer, Arranger

“Superb restorations. Quality the factories wish they could produce.”

James D. Chadwick,
Registered Piano Technician
Noted authority on automatic musical instruments
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

“Several years ago, after a year of research, I was ready to buy a serious piano. It finally came down to either a brand new Mason-Hamlin A or a completely rebuilt Mason-Hamlin A. Both were about the same price, the only difference being the rebuilt one was 1900’s vintage and Ralph Onesti had done all the work himself. Even though I had known Ralph for about a year, I called the Mason-Hamlin factory in Haverhill, Mass. and spoke with the head engineer. He knew Ralph and told me I was in an enviable position. He imagined that it would be a close call. His advice was to "Go and play both pianos and that one of those pianos would speak to you.

I confess the idea that one man had put all of his expertise, all of his care, and all of his love into rebuilding this piano (or more precisely one piano at a time) appealed to me. Because one man rebuilds a piano from start to finish, there must be, there has to be, and there is that pride of ownership, that pride of craftsmanship that you may or may not find from a factory built piano. I have been to the factory at Haverhill and I have been to the Steinway factory in Queens. I have been to Ralph Onesti’s workshop. That rebuilt piano ‘spoke’ to me and some might say it was a close call between that piano and a brand new piano. I have never regretted my decision nor had any second thoughts about it. I know I made not only the right decision, I made the best decision.

The piano sounds great. I love that piano. I love playing it. Thank you for taking some stress out of my life and giving me so much enjoyment.”

John Gross
Research Scientist and Pianist
Plainsboro, NJ

I have had the great pleasure of performing on many of the instruments rebuilt by Ralph Onesti. He knows music, musicians, and most of all, pianos. His instruments look and sound simply beautiful.

Terry Klinefelter
Performance and Recording Artist
Assistant Professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Staff Pianist for the Harrisburg Symphony
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

I have seen the consistency and the quality of Ralph Onesti’s work time and time again. There are few piano rebuilders who have achieved this level of craftsmanship; necessary in order to unlock and cultivate the potential of each and every instrument that enters his shop. Work such as this requires not only precise engineering, but also a sensitive ear. Whether it be the soundboard, the pinblock, or the action, everything he does is absolutely first rate.

Dr. Vincent Craig,
Director of Music, Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon, Pennsylvania
Faculty, School of Music, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania

“A Mason & Hamlin Grand piano, rebuilt for us at Ralph Joseph Onesti Piano Restorations is magnificent. The caring that went into making it perfect is rare and greatly appreciated. There's nobody like him!”

The Polans
Piano owners and music lovers
Long Island, New York

To those interested in fine piano restorations, I strongly recommend Ralph J. Onesti Piano Restorations. As a classically trained pianist (BM degree in piano performance from the New England Conservatory of Music), I have always yearned to have a special instrument at my home. Two years ago I purchased a Mason & Hamlin Model A(1927) from Mr. Onesti. He not only restored this instrument, but actually enhanced the quality through an updated keyboard action and a new soundboard. The result is the finest instrument I have played in a very long time. As you can imagine, this purchase was both an economic and emotional investment for me. It is the piano I will play for the rest of my life, and I wanted an instrument that would become a part of me in a musical sense. The Mason & Hamlin is turning out to be just that quality I had hoped for. It was lovingly and expertly restored and sounds great! The rich tones and dynamic range are impressive. My positive experience with Ralph Onesti leads me to highly recommend his services to you.

Dr. Marc J. Tannenbaum
Berwyn, Pennsylvania

“Superb craftsmanship. Attention paid to every detail. Outstanding results. Onesti does exactly what he says he will.”

Ralph E. Nelson, PianoTechnician
Piano Rebuilder
Hayward, California

Dear Ralph,

It actually happened! The only way to describe it is that my piano came home - perfect in sound - just the happiest presence. Worth every second of time awaiting its return and every ounce of energy and skill you put in to create a beautiful instrument.

One of the loveliest facets of my Baldwin is the strength of the pianissimo - all pianos are good at LOUD - but the tone of this one is full and rich at even a tiny mouse-like touch. Really unique and satisfying.

I'm playing a lot (as per your instructions - and also because it's great!)

A colleague was here this morning to play duets, and she kept saying, "This is wonderful - I love the tone -" and finally said, "I think I'll move in, so I can play this piano."

Let there be music!

Emmajane Olsen
Trenton, NJ

“As a restorer of self-playing musical instruments, I've used Ralph Joseph Onesti Piano Restorations on several occasions, especially when the work required the installation of a new sounding board. In every instance, it has been a gratifying experience to work with a person so dedicated to achieving both tonal and mechanical results of uncompromising quality. I have the greatest admiration for this man and his artistry.”

C. Alan Lightcap
Renound restorer of historical, automatic, musical instruments
Lambertville, New Jersey

“I have worked with Ralph Onesti for many years. The many rebuildings he has skillfully produced for me, including a Steinway A, for Chestnut Hill College, have always been of the highest quality. I've never once asked for work that hasn't resulted in something far beyond my expectations.”

Joseph Benvenuto,
Registerd with the Master Piano Technicans of America
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Most excellent control of quality and workmanship, offered at a fair price.”

Peter Reichlin
Registered Piano Technician
Musician

Washingtons Crossing, Pennsylvania

Mr. Onesti has equally as much pride in his work as he has skill in his hands. It is for this reason I always find his work consistently impeccable.

Michael Sweeney Piano Craftsman
Registered Piano Technician
Grand Piano Specialist
Stratford, Pennsylvania

 

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