Charming portrait of Stefan Knüpfer, Steinway piano tuner at work with some very famous clients: Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Till Fellner and Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
“Concert pianists can be a fussy bunch, but they’re nothing compared to the temperamental demands of a Steinway grand piano. Pianomania gets up close and personal with a group of world famous virtuosos – Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Till Fellner and Pierre-Laurent Aimard – but the real stars of this penetrating documentary are Stefan Knüpfer, the earnest piano tuner doubling as physician and voice coach, and the beautiful instruments themselves. The film observes Knüpfer over the course of a year as he assembles, tightens and fine-tunes a series of magnificent grand pianos, bringing a rare spirit of ingenuity, knowledge and extraordinary competence to his work. Knüpfer’s year-long collaboration with Aimard is at the center of the film as the pianist prepares to record his interpretation of Bach’s ‘The Art of the Fugue’... The film allows Knüpfer and associates the space to think, ponder and hold forth on camera, providing an inside look into a rarefied world of time-honored culture.” — Michael Read, San Francisco International Film Festival