Piano healthcare

Bill Huesman is a busy man – he has the responsibility for over 90 pianos at NCSA, from uprights to 9-foot, $100,000 Steinway concert grands – plus four harpsichords and one celeste.

In a small upstairs studio at the N.C. School of the Arts, Bill Huesman is bent over the opened keyboard of a Steinway, shaking his head at the wooden intestines spilling onto his lap.

This is one of the problem pianos.

Before the tuxedoed chamber-music concert, before the showy Schubert sonata, even before the daily grind of practice, practice, practice, there is this middle-aged man with a trim, graying beard leaning over the wooden hammers, levers and steel strings of a piano. It is undergoing a checkup and getting a little life support at the same time.

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