AIARP, 50 years inside the piano: an interview with the President Luciano Del Rio

This Sunday AIARP, the association of Italian piano tuners and repairers, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The celebration will go on during Cremona Musica, where AIARP is a special guest, being among the organizers of Piano Experience. To find out more, we interviewed Luciano Del Rio, AIARP’s president since 1995.


How was AIARP born?

AIARP was born in Bolzano on 16 May 1969. In 1965 Mr Hans Pollmann, a piano technician, went to Berlin for Europiano’s Congress. Europiano is the union of piano technicians from 17 European Nations. When he came back, he was really enthusiastic, and thought, together with Schulze Pollmann’s director Steno Giulini, that it was necessary to gather Italian technicians, being sure that they would benefit from an association. So, they organized a Europiano Congress in Bolzano on 16 May 1969, and on that occasion they created AIARP. The original 27 members elected Luciano Storti as their president. The aim has always been to gather as many technicians as possible, to be influential in the musical field, and give our members a chance to talk and compare with foreign colleagues. Now we can say that, thanks to AIARP, thanks to our congresses and courses, their skills have improved.


What are AIARP's main achievements?

After 50 years AIARP now brings together 160 technicians, including Angelo Fabbrini, the most successful member of our association, a real professional who works with the greatest International pianists. Our technicians are really appreciated abroad, more than in Italy, as here in our country institutions do not recognize our profession, now correctly considered an “artistic and traditional profession” by an Italian law decree.


How can a young person access the profession?

Many parents ask me this question for their children. There are no schools, and becoming an apprentice is now difficult. I suggest attending our courses or going to France or Germany for the courses that give you a certificate after three years. We have created an exam to enter the AIARP, a first-level one on the tuning and setting of an upright piano, and a second-level one that you can pass tuning a grand-piano by ear and setting it. We always want to attract young people and help them grow; we are aware that in this society we need more specialized technicians.


How are you celebrating your 50th anniversary?

I have always dreamed of celebrating AIARP’s Jubilee in the best way, showing our seriousness, and the solidity worthy of an association made of great professionals. I made one of my dreams came true: publishing a book about our history, titled “Dentro il pianoforte” (“Inside the piano”), and published by Curci, with many pictures and stories. We will celebrate in Rome, on Sunday 19 May, at the Parco della Musica of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Earlier, there will be a technical meeting with Angelo Fabbrini, just for our members, then we will open the doors of the Accademia to everyone, to award our founders, our honorary members, such as Franco Scala, Michele Campanella, Paolo Fazioli, and our supporters.


What should we expect from Cremona Musica?

In September we will organize a course at Cavalese and then we will be at Cremona, where we will continue our celebrations, giving our members that could not attend our event in Rome the opportunity to enjoy this anniversary. We already have some ideas, but we must work on some details. Cremona Musica is an unmissable event, we have been collaborating for years with Piano Experience to create an inimitable event. I love Cremona, I feel like at home there.