Mario Igrec, RPT, M. Mus., bridges piano technology and pianism, and provides a unique perspective as a master craftsman and award-winning pianist. Mario is the author of Pianos Inside Out, “the most ambitious book on piano technology ever written” (Piano Technicians Journal), and has created Practical Touch™, a system for advanced action performance analysis and adjustment. He is a frequent instructor at piano technicians’ meetings and conferences.
Mario was born in Zagreb, Croatia. He studied composition with Stanko Horvat and piano performance with Pavica Gvozdic at the University of Zagreb Academy of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy in 1984. He continued his studies with Martin Canin at the Stony Brook University, and received his Masters Degree in piano performance in 1986. He received a special prize from Gioventù Musicale d'Italia at the 1982 International Piano Competition “Rina Sala Gallo” in Monza, Italy, and he won the Sunwood Piano Competition in Old Field, New York, in 1985.
Mario’s understanding of piano making and servicing was deepened by his visits to and informal training at the Bösendorfer factories in Vienna and Wiener Neustadt. This is where he experienced the standards of workmanship that he has strived to reach ever since.
As a graduate assistant at Stony Brook University, Mario tuned and regulated the school's pianos, apprenticing with the head piano technician Joe Vitti. In 1987 he became a full-time piano technician at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he taught a course in piano design, construction, and the theory of tuning and temperament, and maintained over 120 of the school’s pianos, harpsichords, and celestas. As a concert technician for the LSU Union Theater, First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, and the Baton Rouge Riverside Centroplex Theater, he worked for many renowned artists, including Philippe Bianconi, Constance Carroll, Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish, Jon Kimura Parker, Garrick Ohlsson, and Santiago Rodriguez. He rebuilt numerous pianos during this period, including those used in the aforementioned concert venues.
In the 1990s, Mario’s career took a turn toward information technology. He became a Certified Expert for Adobe FrameMaker and a Microsoft Most Valued Professional, and has written on technology, managed long document projects, designed books, and built database applications. In 2000 he co-founded Selltis LLC, a cloud-based, customer-relationship management (CRM) software company, where he was head of development as CTO and software architect until 2014. Mario is the creator of Hyper-relational™ technology for data contextualization.
Today, Mario refines expression in fine pianos, focusing on tone and touch, and studies piano's social history and performance practices. He is Chief Concert Technician at Faust Harrison Pianos in New York.