About the Author

shorter version

Mario Igrec, RPT, MM, is Chief Piano Technician and Manager of Piano Maintenance at the Juilliard School in New York. He was Chief Concert Technician at Faust Harrison Pianos and taught piano technology at North Bennet Street School in Boston.

Mario is a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) and active member of the Piano Technicians Guild. He is a sought-after speaker and lecturer, raising awareness within the technical community of what really matters to pianists.

Mario was born in Zagreb, Croatia. He studied composition with Stanko Horvat and piano performance with Pavica Gvozdic at the University of Zagreb Academy of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy in 1984. He continued his studies with Martin Canin at the Stony Brook University, and received his Master of Music Degree in piano performance in 1986. He received a special prize from Gioventù Musicale d'Italia at the 1982 International Piano Competition “Rina Sala Gallo” in Monza, Italy, and he won the Sunwood Piano Competition in Old Field, New York, in 1985.

Sparked at an early age by his grandmother’s Trautwein upright, Mario’s interest in piano technology deepened a few years later when he acquired an old Petrof grand: a local technician, fed up with frequent string-replacement visits to the Igrec household, decided to teach Mario how to replace the strings himself. Armed with books and trained by other technicians, Mario learned how to make the piano enable, not limit his pianism. This book is part of that journey.

Mario’s understanding of piano making and servicing was deepened by his visits to and informal training at the Bösendorfer factories in Vienna and Wiener Neustadt. This is where he experienced the standards of workmanship that he has strived to reach ever since.

Mario continued learning as an assistant piano technician during his graduate studies in music at SUNY Stony Brook, after which he became a full-time piano technician at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. During his tenure at LSU School of Music he taught piano design, construction, and the theory of tuning and temperament, and maintained over 120 of the school’s pianos, harpsichords, and celestas. As a concert technician for the LSU Union Theater, First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, and the Baton Rouge Riverside Centroplex Theater, he worked for many renowned artists, including Philippe Bianconi, Constance Carroll, Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish, Jon Kimura Parker, Garrick Ohlsson, and Santiago Rodriguez. He rebuilt numerous pianos during this period, including those used in the aforementioned concert venues.

In the 1990s, Mario’s career took a turn toward information technology. He became a Certified Expert for Adobe FrameMaker and a Microsoft Most Valued Professional, and has written on technology, managed long document projects, designed books, and built database applications. In 2000 he co-founded Selltis LLC, a cloud-based, customer-relationship management (CRM) software company, where he was head of development and product management as CTO and software architect until 2014. Mario is the creator of Hyper-relational™ technology for data contextualization.

He welcomes comments and suggestions. E-mail them to mario@intunepress.com.