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Humble Man Tuned Pianos for the Stars

The largely unknown Franz Mohr once claimed, “I play [the piano] more in Carnegie Hall than anybody else, but I have no audience.” Mohr, was the Chief Technician for the world-famous piano makers, Steinway & Sons. A New York Times obituary from Sunday April 17, 2022, described how Mohr worked:

Sometimes a string would snap or a pedal would need adjusting during a concert, and he would step into the spotlight for a moment. But he did much of his work alone, on that famous stage and others around the world. He might have been mistaken for a pianist trying out a nine-foot grand for a recital — until he reached for his tools and began making minute adjustments, giving a tuning pin a tiny twist or a hammer a slight shave.

For years he went where the pianists went. He played before presidents and foreign dignitaries. He also attended to the world’s most famous performers’ personal pianos.

But he never begrudged taking a backseat to the stars. His boss, Henry Steinway, once said, “To understand Franz, one must understand … that his Christian faith is at the core of his being and affects everything he says and does.” Mohr claims that he loved being a “faithful plodder” who strove, in the words of Jesus, to be “faithful in little things.”

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