Bill Bremmer has been a Registered Piano Technician since he joined the Piano Technicians Guild in 1983.
A Registered Piano Technician (RPT) has passed a series of rigorous examinations on the maintenance, repair, and tuning of pianos. Only RPT’s are authorized by The Piano Technicians Guild to display the logo containing the words “Registered Piano Technician”.
He is a graduate with honors of the Commercial Music Program of Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA and a graduate with honors of the State University of California at Fullerton where he studied music and foreign languages. He also attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI and continues voice study there today.
He began his study of piano tuning and technology while still in high school in 1969. After a year in college, he traveled as a performing musician with the Holiday on Ice show from 1971 to 1973. Afterwards, he returned to school and spent his senior year in Aix-en-Provence, France where he learned to speak, read and write the French language very fluently. Having grown up in the Los Angeles, CA area, he also gained a good command of Spanish. As a vocalist, he also learned to speak German and Italian to high standards of pronunciation and diction.
In 1978, he made the decision to pursue piano tuning and technology as a full time career. He began his participation with the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG) in 1979 and attended numerous seminars and the Annual Convention. Upon officially joining PTG in 1983, his exam scores qualified him to train to be one of PTG’s Certified Tuning Examiners. He later pursued that goal and has served PTG as such since 1991. He has also served PTG as Delegate to Council, Chapter Vice President and President. He directed and taught piano tuning at the PTG Central East Regional Seminar (2007).
He continued to teach piano tuning at the PTG Annual Convention in 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,2010 and 2011. Also in 2011, Bill was invited to teach the EBVT method and the unique way of constructing Equal Temperament (via Marpurg) at three PTG Chapter events, Appleton, WI, Grand Rapids and Detroit Michigan. In Grand Rapids, he had the honor of tuning the historic Steinway Model D, 9 foot Concert Grand Piano that had been loaned to Vladimir Horowitz for his performances, using the EBVT. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Bill served again as Tuning Examiner at the PTG Central East and West Regional Seminars in 2015 and 2017 as well as at the Annual Conventions in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023. He also taught piano tuning at each of these events. Bill received a 40 year Registered Piano Technician award at the 2023 Annual Convention. In November 2019, the author, Art Reblitz selected Bill’s writing for the chapter on “Tuning” in the 3rd edition of Piano Tuning, Servicing and Rebuilding, a very well known and used publication for piano technicians. The Detroit PTG Chapter has again invited Bill to teach at its April 2020 technical session. At the 2023 Convention in Arlington, Virginia, Bill’s well known EBVT was featured at a special presentation. He will once again teach piano tuning and serve as a Tuning Examiner at the 2024 Convention in Orlando, Florida.
In 1982, he received factory training at the Kimball piano factory in French Lick, IN. In 1986, he received factory training at the Steinway & Sons piano factory in New York City under Bill Garlick RPT and then again in 1991 under Scott Jones RPT.
In 1989, he developed an interest in Historical and Non-Equal Temperaments. In 1992 while desiring to tune a Victorian style Well Temperament for the rehearsals of the World Premier of the opera, Shining Brow, for which he had been chosen as a member of the cast but finding no practical method to do so, he set about to craft such a temperament which could be easily tuned aurally and replicated by anyone else who may desire to tune a piano in that manner. While he found the idea easy to replicate while at the piano, he found it difficult to put into writing. Eventually, after many attempts and with feedback and assistance from other PTG colleagues he was successful and received confirmation from Professor Owen Jorgensen RPT who also provided the numerical data for tuning the Equal Beating Victorian Temperament (EBVT) that exists today.
When not at work, he enjoys singing and frequent contributions to the Piano World Forums. As a vocalist, he has been a soloist with UW Choral Union, UW Summer Choir, Madison Symphony Chorus, Madison Opera, Madison and Wisconsin Chamber Choirs, Middleton Players Theater and Perfect Harmony.