In addition to piano technology, I service and tune harpsichords and other keyboard instruments. It is also my privilege to be the rental agent for a harpsichord built by my late friend Ben Bechtel.
This harpsichord, built by Ben and Wiatt Shimeall, is a "French Double", that is, it has two manuals and follows the design features of instruments by the great French builders of the mid 18th century. It is enhanced by a number of modern features which improve its maintainability but don't affect the sound or feel. This instrument is owned by First Congregational Church and is used by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Early Music in Columbus, and other Baroque and Early Music ensembles.
Ben Bechtel was a generous mentor and I admired and respected his ability to make himself and others happy through music. He began as a concert pianist, and later became interested in early music, both as a performer and as a master builder of viols, horns, and harpsichords. Although I only knew him for a short time, it was clear that his achievements as performer, teacher, and builder came from a persistent positive outlook, his love of music, and his devotion to sharing music with others. He shared the music he loved beautifully through his performing and through his wonderful instruments.
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