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Colin van der Lecq came to the workshop from Perth for an intense, three-week internship in February 2002. We were introduced by his teacher Jill Belbin at UWA, so I’d had the opportunity to meet him the previous November when I was in Perth for my regular maintenance visit.
Colin already had experience working with local piano tuners and organ builders for some years, but his harpsichord curiosity finally got the better of him and he just had to make the trip east.
During his stay, we had a special project of rebuilding a Zuckermann five-octave harpsichord from about 1970. This involved gutting the instrument, replacing the soundboard, marking out, repinning, restringing, cleaning up the original keyboard, and finally revoicing and regulating with new wooden jacks.
This was a good taste of the many facets of harpsichord making for Colin, but I think he also enjoyed his first experience of Opera—Marriage of Figaro was just finishing up at the time, with Fortepiano continuo—as well as being able to hear the Brandenburg Orchestra and play some of the great pipe organs in our city.
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