Striking all the right notes! The family-run Twyford firm which restored Stephen Fry's piano

They've reduced customers to tears of joy, served some of the world's best musicians and restored Stephen Fry's pride and joy to its former glory.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 4:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 4:22 pm
Paul Leverett (left) with his dad ,Colin, at the Twyford workshop

Craftsmen from family firm, Piano Restorations, who have been quietly plying their trade on the banks of Padbury Brook for the last 11 years, rebuild 
pianos so they “sound like the day they were new”.

And having become one of the most reputable firms for piano handiwork, the Twyford business is now expanding to launch a piano sales arm: Leverett Pianos.

Director Paul Leverett, who lives in Calvert with his fiancé Agnieszka, said: “It doesn’t feel like a job.

“I feel lucky to get up in the morning and do it. It’s very rewarding.

“One of the best reactions we’ve had was when we restored a real honky-tonk, nonmusical piano into something so beautiful, it was like velvet to the ears.

“The owner rang us up in tears and I thought something must have happened to the piano – but he was just overwhelmed with the sound.”

Paul’s dad, Colin, who is also a director at the business, is regarded as the ultimate piano craftsman.

In the 1970s, Colin and his brother Derrick, who died in 2014, were the pioneers of soundboard replacement.

By replacing the soundboard and with better technology, Colin and Derrick were able to create a tonal quality and resonance which was unparalleled in the industry.

As a boy, Paul’s bedroom doubled up as a storeroom for Elton John’s keyboard – as Colin was working on it at the time.

After his apprenticeship and realising there was a gap in the market, Paul joined his father and uncle to establish the firm in 2003.

Since then, some of their most notable customers have included the designer Ted Baker, Artur Pizarro, and Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong.

As part of an endorsement for Paul, Colin, and the team, Stephen Fry said: “These artisans transformed a rather worn out and soulless instrument back into a beautiful heart warming piano. Now all they have to do is restore my ability to play.”

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