Harpsichord and Clavichord Builder
Rhodes Piano Restorer
Dr. Victor Mio is a published composer with experience in various media including film, television and radio. For a notable period of time the focus of his compositional activities has been on Choral music with his works performed worldwide. The Bell'Arte Singers premiered several of his pieces including Ode to St. Cecilia, Away in a Manger, Dream Within A Dream and Libera Me. In the Spring of 2000, his Millennium Hymn for Youth was premiered at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada, in celebration of excellence in music education. This was a commission from Music Canada 2000 Musique under the patronage of the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada (1999-2005). He is also an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian League of Composers.
Among his academic accomplishments are a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Toronto under Canadian Composer John Beckwith and a Doctorate in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto under Professor Emeritus David Booth (1938-2018). Dr. Mio was awarded the gold medal for his Associateship Performance in Harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory of Music (he also earned an A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance) and later obtained both a Licentiate and Fellowship in Harpsichord Performance from Trinity College of Music, London England. Victor studied harpsichord with Colin Tilney (internationally acclaimed Harpsichordist and Clavichordist) in Canada (and participated in master classes in England). He has released two solo recordings for harpsichord; the first featuring the music of Sweelinck, Handel, Couperin and Scarlatti, and the second the music of J.S. Bach.
During the summers of 2000 and 2001 Victor participated in master classes and concerts in the Festival Musica Antica a Magnano (Piedmont, Italy). Here he focused on 17th and 18th century Clavichord and Harpsichord performance. Bernard Brauchli (a foremost expert in all things clavichord and President of the Swiss Clavichord Society) was the prominent pedagogical force (and founder) at the festival and the experience offered many opportunities to meet early music enthusiasts from around the world as well as great artists such as Gustav Leonhardt.
Victor's search for the perfect grand piano spanned decades. It was a rewarding and eventful journey!
He was always a great enthusiast of Yamaha pianos. In the 1980s after restoring a Marshall and Wendell baby grand produced by the Aeolian-American Corporation in the U.S.A. and selling it for almost twice the original purchase price, he purchased a brand new U3M Yamaha upright. It was a great instrument, yet 20 years later, it was time for an upgrade. In 2003, a Yamaha C7 was the choice. This was much bigger than the C3 dreamt of as a child. However, the quest was not quite over.
Fazioli Pianoforti...a world class, top tier instrument maker, situated about 10 km from where Victor's father had grown up... and about 50 km north of Venice...was now a possibility! Victor had even driven by the Fazioli factory in Sacile, Italy, in admiration of the great piano maker. Fazioli concert grands are offered at the most prestigious international Piano Competitions and utilized at the best music schools worldwide as well (including Julliard).
In the spring of 2016 a great opportunity presented itself!
After a trip to the tri-state area (with his Piano Technician Paul Gilchrist RPT) and a review of several pianos including Steinway, Bosendorfer, August Forster and others, a Fazioli f278 became the obvious choice! This instrument was originally purchased from Klavierhaus in Manhattan, and made its way to a home studio in upstate New York (very close to the site of the legendary Woodstock music event of 1969).
The acquisition of this hand-built, masterpiece piano represented a true life achievement...what an instrument!
Victor has been interested in "free improvisation" on the piano since he was a teenager. In those days, Keith Jarrett was a great influence, but it was during his time at York University (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music) that he was very much inspired by the improvisational pedagogy of Professor Emeritus Casey Sokol.
(Now let's continue in the first person shall we?) I started teaching piano privately when I was in high school and continued this passion through university, at the Yamaha Corporate Schools, and as a high school music teacher (Father Henry Carr C.S.S.) and Head of Arts in 2 schools (Archbishop Romero C.S.S. and Loretto Abbey C.S.S.). My last year of teaching privately at home was 2003 and my final year of teaching in high school was 2009.
My first church job started back in 1980 at St. Patrick's R.C.C. in Mississauga, at the time I lost my father in a car accident. Things worked out quite well in that I eventually played at every service including hundreds of weddings and funerals. After getting married to my beautiful Raffaella and moving to Toronto, I took another position at St. Bernard of Clairvaux in Toronto as Organist and Choir Director until 1992. It was during my time at St. Patrick's that my interest in Baroque music led me to purchase a dilapidated Zuckermann virginal which I stripped down and rebuilt to excellent playing condition (I purchased it for $200 and later sold it for $4000!). My fascination with building and playing harpsichords and clavichords was born. Shortly after completing my first instrument, the Mio Baroque Trio (for flute, cello and virginal) was formed. Some of the locations where the trio has performed include:
Boyd Park, Vaughan
Carnegie Museum, Dundas
Divinity College, McMaster University
Eaton Centre, Toronto
Glenn Abbey Golf Club, Oakville
Granite Club, Toronto
Graydon Hall Manor, Toronto
Guild Inn, Toronto
Hamilton Place, Hamilton
Hart House, University of Toronto
Heintzman House, Toronto
Knox College Cathedral, University of Toronto
Maclean House, Toronto
McMicheal Art Gallery, Kleinberg
Old Mill, Toronto
Richmond Hill Country Club, Richmond Hill
Royal York Hotel, Toronto
Scarlett Wood Golf Club, Toronto
Trillium Room, Ontario Place, Toronto
Vaughan Estates, Toronto
Victoria College, University of Toronto
York University, Toronto
as well as countless other banquet halls, hotels and houses of worship throughout Southern Ontario.
As a young man I had a fascination for the Fender Rhodes electric piano. I couldn't afford such an instrument at that time but in 2005 I decided to pick up yet another type of broken down instrument in the form of a Rhodes 88 key Suitcase piano. I think you know what comes next...the instrument was restored to museum quality and the process was so satisfying that I offered my services on-line for Rhodes restoration and repair. Having had inquiries from all across Canada (even a client willing to drive to the GTA from Montreal) I helped many amateur and professional musicians for several years.
In 2009 my new career move was to High School Administration until my retirement from that world in 2018. In 2021 I decided to retire from building, restoring or servicing harpsichords, clavichords and Rhodes pianos.
So...here goes the next chapter...
My first project will be to compile an album of piano improvisations recorded at home on my beloved Fazioli f278. (Done!)
Hopefully, this will be the first of many.
Composition will continue...maintaining, playing and recording my Baroque instruments will continue...
Something new will include the elaboration (in various forms) of the work initiated in my Doctoral Thesis of 2005; Concerto in 2 Paradigms: An Auto Ethnography in Words and Music.
Please stay tuned for more sound/video clips, photos and more...
A very special "thank you" to Mr. Bob Morgan of Kentucky! As a result of my previous affiliation with Zuckermann Harpsichords International of Stonington, Connecticut, he very generously maintained a superb website for me for many, many years.
I will not be able to do what Bob did but I'll give it a go. Thanks so much for all you did for me Bob!!!
Phone: 416-567-4126 (Canada)
F. Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)