I began my apprenticeship as a piano technician in 1992 while completing my B.A in Music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a composition major, many hours were spent in the piano practice rooms that it made more sense to own a piano rather than spend hours on the waiting list.
Student budgets being what they are, I purchased a beat-up old upright piano with a tuning hammer and a book on piano repair and maintenance. The fascination with the piano and its inner workings soon became such a passion that it even overtook my obsession with music, and I embarked on a career in piano technology, never looking back.
The first two years of my career were spent at Piano Forte Inc. under the guidance of Dennie Chambers and alongside long time friend and colleague, Frederick Mudge.
I logged in thousands of tunings at Berklee, which also served as a frontline for experience in piano repair, regulation and maintenance. Having earned the respect and trust of my employer, I was soon given the opportunity to service pianos in the field and eventually the concert stages, including the Berklee Performance Center, North Shore Music Theater, South Shore Music Circus, Harborlights, Regattabar, and Schullers to name a few. During this time, Piano Forte moved to its current showroom location on Boylston Street. Setting up the new shop was a great inspiration for my desire to create my own shop environment that could inspire the highest caliber of custom work on the finest instruments.
An unquenchable thirst for knowledge led Jude to join the Piano Technicians Guild. At the time George Crawford of Aardvark Piano Restorations was serving as the Boston Chapter President. George had just set-up his own shop and was one of the few people in town replacing soundboards. Jude became a part-time apprentice for George and stayed on for many years, rebuilding pianos for all the major educational institutions in town such as Harvard, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Concurrently, Jude founded Absolute Piano Restoration and Tuning to service a small clientele he had developed.