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A film by Robert Cibis & Lilian Franck

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Pianomania takes you into the secret world of sounds - a place where passion and the pursuit of perfection collide with artistic obsession and a little bit of madness.

As Steinway & Sons’ chief technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, Stefan Knüpfer is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists. Juggling the demands of the pianist, the piano, and the piece to find the perfect match requires boundless enthusiasm, but also endless patience and nerves of steel. No detail is too small or too inconsequential for Knüpfer, not even the tiniest speck of dust on a piano string. Pianomania is a humorous and surprisingly suspenseful peek into the heated clash of wills between a genius craftsman and the renowned pianists who rely on his talent – including Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel and Pierre-Laurent Aimand – as they search together for that elusive perfect tone.

Watch the Trailer

What the Critics are Saying

"The art of the Steinway whisperer." - The New York Times

"Surprisingly compelling! Too intriguing and entertaining to be left to the specialists... A captivating film not just for pianomaniacs." - Time Out London

"A fascinating glimpse into a very specialized corner of the music world. Pianist Andras Schiff once said, 'Whatever we do on the piano is a collection of illusions.' After watching Pianomania, you will understand.." - NPR Music

"Stefan Knüpfer is a co-conspirator, a sorcerer's apprentice, even a piano witch doctor and to watch him in action is addictive." - Los Angeles Times

"Absolutely magnificent! An amazing glimpse into the rarefied realm of elite musicians. It's tremendously enriching, and should be seen by all who love classical music." -


See details about this film's theatrical run.

Official Site

'Pianomania' Takes Persnickety Pianists To A New Pinnacle, NPR Music, 6/23/11

Features and Specifications

Special Features:

  • 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Director Q&A

Format: DVD
Release Year : 2010
Running Time: 93 minutes
Color: Color
Language: English & German w/English subtitles

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