About me

I was born in Oakland, California. As the son of an aircraft pilot, inspector, and technician, I have always been interested in mechanical things. As a child I built electronics projects, model airplanes, boats, and trains, pursuits which taught me to work with care, diligence, and patience, and with very fine detail.

My first musical experience was hearing my father play traditional Italian songs on the accordion. I started playing guitar in a rock band as a young teenager, quickly gravitating toward electric bass, a fascination with low frequency sounds which would continue to shape my musical experience. At the age of 16, while taking a music appreciation class in high school, I discovered the ultimate bass instrument: the organ pedal. I instantly decided to give up the guitar and start taking piano lessons. At 18, I built a Schober electronic "Recital" organ kit, and by the time I was 21, I had migrated from playing Acid Rock and Electric Blues to Bach fugues, Franck's Chorales, and movements from the Widor organ symphonies.

My interest in the organ was not limited to playing; I was equally fascinated by its construction. Having quickly digested Audsley's "The Art of Organ Building", I went on to read as much as I could on the subject. As a regular attendee of the organ concert series at Grace Cathedral, I came into contact with Edward Stout, the technician who maintained the fabulous Aeolian/Skinner instrument there as well as many of the finest instruments around the San Francisco Bay Area. After a brief period working for Stout as an assistant, I decided to go back to school and continue my musical education.

Having already completed my AA degree at a local college, I enrolled in the music department at California State University, Northridge, as a double major in composition and musicology. It was here that I had the great pleasure of working under two very fine professors: Beverly Grigsby, who introduced me to computer controlled synthesizers, and George Skapski, a musicologist of the first order. It was also there that I began making harpsichords from Zuckerman kits together with Janine Johnson. We soon graduated to building our own instruments, including fortepianos, continuing our professional collaboration for 9 years, first in Los Angeles and later in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After attending the first Antwerpiano conference in 1989, organized by Jos van Immerseel, I decided that I wanted to move to Europe in order to experience more culture and to have better access to a large number of original instruments. I moved to the Netherlands in 1992, settling in Utrecht, home of one of the world's most important early music festivals. During the pursuing years, I examined many original instruments and exchanged information and ideas with a number of organologists as well as other builders and restorers. I was also invited to present lectures and workshops at a number of international conferences throughout Europe. In 2004, I moved again to Barcelona, where I now divide my time between building, restoring, and teaching at the Superior School of Music of Catalonia (ESMUC)