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Joined: Jan 2012
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My kind friend Verne Edquist passed away last week here in Toronto, at the age of 89. He was one of our city's top tuner/technicians, but retired early, before I met up with him. He had tinnitus, and wanted to leave his trade while he was still on top. I forget when he retired, but maybe 20-25 years ago. He was a humble semi-blind craftsman, whose tunings were perhaps abetted by his synesthesia.

One can hardly mention Verne's name without also mentioning the world-famous Toronto name Glenn Gould, since the two of them worked together for 20 years. Or better, Verne quietly endured the oddball artist for 20 years.

Six years ago I got together with a videographer to get Verne Edquist talking about his life. From his rural poverty childhood in Saskatchewan with an illegal immigrant father (who was deported back to Sweden), to a regimented school for the blind in Ontario, to work in Toronto piano factories, to eventual concert tuning for the likes of Serkin, Gilels, Bachauer, and Victor Borge. The interview turned out well, and if you have some time, you might enjoy it. There are 2 YouTube sequential videos, about 40 minutes each.
Here's #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TGDnQNArQY
You'll find #2 if you wish.

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That's sad news.

I look forward to watching the interview, and will certainly be looking for part 2 smile


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

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Sorry for the loss of your friend. May he be remembered well.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
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I’m sorry for your loss.

I have enjoyed both parts of the recording. It is quite fascinating to hear both his life experience and the piano tuning training of that era. Thank you for sharing.

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I am always especially sorry when I hear about the passing of any piano
tuner/technician. Many years ago the first piano tuner our family had, developed diabetes and lost his sight before he passed. Well just imagine working for Glen Gould
all those years. RIP

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What a great interview!
Ian


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Thanks, Ian. We "clicked" that day, and on a couple of other occasions when I interviewed Verne Edquist before an audience. He was pretty shy, but I thought his story deserved telling.


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