Smithson Music

Service provided by Smithson Music
4.9 (394)
from Washington, DCmember since October, 2022
Rate: Price by request
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In the Washington area, Alvin is a renowned pianist, composer, teacher, and piano tuner who is highly sought after. He displays his piano-playing talents at concerts, theaters, cabarets, recitals, and special events, supporting choirs and soloists and directing musical theater productions. Alvin's love for all genres of music, whether classical, jazz, blues, or rock, is evident in his impressive performance skills on not just the piano but also the Native American flute, oboe, and guitar.

Alvin is an expert in piano tuning, having studied with Baldwin Piano and apprenticed with Kennedy Center technician Ormand Pratt. Over three decades of experience, he has tuned pianos in various settings, from homes and churches to concert venues such as Kennedy Center and Blackrock.

Besides playing music, Alvin also shares his vast knowledge through lessons in piano, voice, guitar, and songwriting. He offers vocal acting coaching and auditions preparation, instilling a strong musical foundation in his students. With a touch of creativity, Alvin encourages them to improvise, compose, and write lyrics, recording and exploring all styles of music according to their inclinations.

Alvin holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance with a focus on performance physiology from Catholic University and a Bachelor's degree from Kansas U. He has composed numerous songs for piano and voice and arranged music for cabarets, choirs, and instrumental groups. Further, Alvin is a composer of several musical plays for both adults and children, while his latest album, Toccata Mesa, recorded live at the Peabody Conservatory concert hall, is now available on all music sites. Alvin's music can also be heard on two albums by Forrest Smithson, Journey of the Outshining Source and Right Use Of Will, both nominated for Best Album of the Year in Ambient music.

Event type:

Wedding reception, Wedding ceremony, Birthday party, Cocktail hour, Corporate event, General event / party, Holiday party, Fundraiser

Music genres:

Pop / top 40, Rock / classic rock, Jazz / Blues, Mariachi, Covers, Variety, Country / bluegrass, Oldies, Dance,

Service location:


Service Reviews


394 reviews

Service as described
Samantha B.
Alvin is absolutely amazing! His knowledge and attention to detail are incredible, and speaking with him is always enjoyable. Our piano hadn't been tuned since 1977, but now it sounds beautiful thanks to him. Alvin patiently explained everything, and if you want to truly appreciate your piano, he's the only person to call.
April 9, 2023
Michael M.
An industrious expert punctually arrived and displayed scrupulous attention to the task at hand. Not only did he respond to all of my inquiries, he also resolved various non-related issues. Clearly possessing an impressive breadth of expertise regarding pianos and their lineage, I shall undoubtedly request his aid in the future.
March 26, 2023
Kyle B.
Alvin is truly remarkable. His expertise and skills are extensive, and he's a phenomenal pianist. When I told him about my plan to tune my own piano with the tuning kit and software I purchased, he was supportive and allowed me to observe while he tuned my baby grand. He patiently answered all my inquiries and offered explanations for his techniques. He also interacted well with my children. Although I've had positive experiences with other tuners, Alvin will be my first choice should I have difficulties with my DIY attempts. Thank you so much, Alvin!
March 26, 2023
Danielle M.
Working with Alvin was a fantastic experience! He did a superb job tuning our piano, which had not been serviced in several years. Throughout the process, Alvin was incredibly kind and pleasant to work with.
February 28, 2023
Christopher B.
In response to my request for piano tuning, Alvin promptly scheduled us for a date and time that accommodated both of our schedules within a week. He arrived on time as promised and shared his knowledge about our pre-owned piano in a patient and informative manner, taking as much time as we needed to answer all of our questions, no matter how uninformed they were. Alvin went above and beyond by correcting pedal adjustments and uneven keys before beginning the piano-tuning process, which produced excellent results. The friendliness, patience, and expertise he demonstrated in both playing and fixing/tuning pianos was remarkable. His price was very reasonable and we felt as though we were saying goodbye to a good friend by the end of his visit. We will definitely be reaching out to Alvin for future tune-ups, and we cannot thank him enough for a wonderful day of conversation and a finely tuned piano. Sincerely, John, Inna, and Michael.
January 30, 2023