Chris Maene was born in 1953 and learned the craft of instrument builder in the piano workshop of his parents, Albert Maene and Zulma Doutreloigne, in Ruiselede in Belgium. At the age of 16 Chris Maene made his first harpsichord and at the age 21 he built a copy of a Dulcken fortepiano from 1794.
The interest that Chris Maene cherished for the harpsichord as well as the fortepiano and the modern piano is remarkable for a piano constructor today. The influence that these instruments have on each other has created a multitude of knowledge and skills on top of a never before seen diversity. These achievements were the beginning of Chris Maene’s current workshop, where he is assisted by 10 staff members, who each have their own specialty, to build and renovate a steadily growing selection of fortepianos and harpsichords.
Since 2004, the two sons of Chris (Dominique and Frederic) are actively working in the workshop. They learnt the craft from their father, ensuring this way the continuity and future of the company and workshop.
Fascinated by master instrument builders from the past, Chris Maene also collects historical keyboard instruments. They are often rare pieces and some of them are restored for concerts and CD recordings. The museum of Chris Maene consists of approximately 250 different keyboard instruments. Every day, a strong team of workshop employees work to achieve the highest quality when restoring or building historical or contemporary keyboard instruments.