Company ProfilePaul Fisher & John Allen started the company in 1973, and worked together until John left for the USA and then later to France where he still works in the piano industry.
Paul Fisher began his career in the piano trade in London in 1967 where he trained in all aspects of the piano with a well-known, long established company. He left for South Africa in 1973 and has been resident in Cape Town ever since.
The business of Allen & Fisher Pianos; Piano World, is predominantly that of major restoration, rebuilding, re-polishing, tuning and general servicing.
A fleet of good pianos is available for rental and quality selected secondhand pianos are available, from time to time, for purchase with full guarantees.
The business undertakes all aspects of piano servicing and repair work with very strong emphasis on reliability, thoroughness and great attention to detail. Unlike many piano businesses every technician at Piano World must be able to play the piano. A proper apprenticeship-training scheme is in operation and staff is trained along the lines of the course recommended by the Piano Technicians Guild, with some staff having gone to Steinway in Hamburg, Germany
Quality and dedication to detail is the lasting impression.
Our motto is, "Committed to an excellence of Service"It is sad that mass production and modern technology have all but wiped out the old trades that called for skill of hand and eye, strength and dexterity, patience and dedication. But fortunately there are a few of us stubborn human beings who persist in doing things the old fashioned way and take pride in what we do
With piano restoration work stretching throughout the year, Piano World is not only surviving the age of technology, but making a huge contribution to the sound of music in South Africa.
The business is built up from the remains of R. Müller, the company that employed Paul Fisher and John Allen. John has since settled in France, but the name Allen & Fisher is still stencilled on the walls of what was once the Wynberg Hotel in Main Road, now Pianoworld’s premises, from which we restore, sell and rent pianos.
The team at Allen & Fisher comprises multi-talented craftspeople who, apart from being totally dedicated to their craft, have a real passion for what is undertaken on a daily basis. Many of them are accomplished, advanced musicians in their own right.
It is vital that everyone who works here can play the piano. Sadly one of the reasons why standards can be so low in this industry is because people who do not play the piano just don’t seem to share our passion. You wouldn't take your car to a mechanic who can't drive, now would you? – It is a sad fact that the general public's ignorance about pianos, relegates this sublime 300-year-old invention to the status of a useful article of furniture.
When you ask people when they last had their piano tuned or serviced they'll say airily 'Oh, we don't bother. No one plays it ! Well even if you spend your life in bed you have to eat! And a piano has to be cared for and maintained. Regardless of usage. 99% of the pianos that we assess for potential buyers are not worth restoring. Their owners genuinely believe that their pianos are in immaculate condition – Translation: propped up family photos, dusted by domestic staff once a week. The halcyon days of the piano, were between 1923 and 1939 – We had work ethic, availability of quality materials and we just didn’t make things badly then. This is why a good pre-war piano fully rebuilt and restored is always a better investment than a new piano. Remember the word “Progress” is an oxymoron. Pianos with plastic parts whatever next !
A basic apprenticeship in the piano trade is three years, but you never stop learning and it takes at least 10 years to start to become really proficient. "By then the skills are so valuable, one is never allowed to retire. That's why people go on working well into their 80s in this industry.