Forte/Piano Summer Academy 2024 with Chamber Music Collective, Piano Tech Academy & Showcase

July 28 – August 3, 2024

Forte/Piano is the banner under which the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards celebrates its diverse collection of historical pianos, from its 1749 Silbermann copy to its 1878 aliquot-strung Blüthner and beyond.  The collaboration between Forte/Piano and Chamber Music Collective will combine CMC’s international experts in the history and performance of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century music, with a Tech Academy (August 2-3) focused on the Stein-Streicher dynasty of piano makers and representative instruments in the Center’s collection.  The week will culminate on August 2-3 with a Forte/Piano Showcase with a series of concerts, presentations, and roundtable discussions featuring distinguished performing artists, teachers, and rising stars.

Chamber Music Collective

The Chamber Music Collective welcomes applications from students who are passionate about exploring the world of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century chamber music using historical technologies and techniques.  This year’s intensive six- day program will take place on Cornell University’s campus from July 28-August 2, 2024.  Faculty members include Sezi Seskir and Roger Moseley (keyboards), Christine Brandes and Jean Bernard Cerin (voice), Keiran Campbell and Lucy Russell (strings), Timothy Pyper (Alexander Technique), and Malcolm Bilson, who will offer special coaching sessions.  Our program is entirely tuition free.

Please visit the Chamber Music Collective Website for more information regarding eligibility, how to apply and deadlines.

Piano Tech Academy

Historical pianos are to be found in increasing numbers in schools, concert halls, and private homes; yet few opportunities are available for acquiring the specialized skills needed to care for them.  This intensive two-day academy, led by instructors Ken Eschete and Ken Walkup, is designed primarily for piano technicians who are seeking to expand their skill set in that direction.  

Offered by the Cornell-Westfield Center for Historical Keyboards (and in conjunction with the 2024 Forte/Piano Summer Academy), the academy will host 12 participants on the Cornell University campus, drawing upon its unique collection of historical keyboard instruments.  The academy will run concurrent with the 2024 Forte/Piano Summer Academy.  Participants will be able to attend the performances.  Piano Tech classes will be held on August 2 and August 3.  

Topics will include Introduction to Conservation of Historical Pianos; Historical String Scaling Practice; “Grab Bag” of Restoration Techniques; Regulation of Viennese Action Pianos; and a mini-seminar on the three generation Stein-Streicher dynasty of fortepiano makers, featuring guest instructor Anne Acker, who will bring her replica of a Nannette Streicher piano.  Scholar Hester Bell Jordan, who has been researching Nannette, will discuss the lives of the Stein/Streicher family members, their collaborations, and divisions of labor within the business.

Because of the Stein/Streicher focus, time will be spent teaching more about Viennese pianos than English pianos.  Technicians who work in an academic or concert setting and work with Viennese action pianos will benefit especially, but there will be hands-on instruction on both. 

Dates and Location

Arrival on August 1, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), check out on August 4.  Welcome Reception on August 1.


We welcome any person with an interest in historical piano technology.  Prior experience with keyboard technology is preferred but not required.


$500.  Fee includes tuition, 3-night accommodation by Cornell Student Housing and daily breakfast.


Registration is first-come-first serve; 12 places available.  Please click the link to apply for Forte/Piano Tech Academy 2024 

For more information, please contact Ken Walkup,

Forte/Piano Showcase

Information about the showcase will be posted soon.