Source: Bhutan+Partners, August 31, 2010
A Yamaha Grand Piano arrived in Thimphu, Bhutan in November 2008. It had been shipped from the Netherlands, crossed the oceans, was loaded on a truck in Calcutta and travelled up into the mountains of Bhutan. The instrument was a gift, through bhutan+partners, for the people of Bhutan to celebrate the coronation and the royal centenary. The piano was slightly damaged but sounded great after having been tuned by Simon Jorritsma, from the Netherlands. At that time there was no Bhutanese piano tuner in the country. Bhutan+partners committed itself to have a young talented musician trained as part of the grand piano project. Samten Chhophel was selected in 2008 and followed a one-year training course in piano repair and tuning, at the HMC training institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2009-2010.
Recently, in august 2010, Samten assisted in repairing the grand piano and tuned the grand piano at the Royal Banquet hall in Thimphu as well as other pianos in Thimphu. Repairing and tuning were the final assignments for Samten, Simon Jorritsma, coordinator at the institute and one of Samten’s teachers, was enthusiastic about the result. Samten had delivered well-tuned instruments and the grand piano was ready for a concert. Compliments for Samten followed and he received his certificate at a formal gathering in Thimphu where members of the Kilu Music school and family members were present. Samten is now employed as junior teacher at the Kilu Music School.