Posted on 8 February 2022
Fond tributes to the Chichester piano tuner who “lit the hearts of many”
Popular Chichester piano tuner and repairer Anva Luc – father to a remarkable musical family – has died at the age of 60.
His daughter Maria said he “lit the hearts of many.” Anva, who tragically lost his sight in his native Vietnam when he was only seven years old, will be remembered as a dedicated father and husband, skilled piano tuner and repairer, charismatic speaker, and an inspiration for many. He is the star of a documentary by Danny Weinstein (2007) which briefly summarises his journey to the U.K. and his family. Anva also provides the soundtrack to the film. It can be found here: https://dannyweinstein.com/journey-of-the-piano-tuner
Anva is survived by his wife Yuriko who is a pianist and by his children Imy, Maria and Kenji, all award-winning musicians studying/graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music.
Maria added “He was an inspiration to all who have met him, and his soul is carried in all our hearts. The Luc family will continue to pay tribute to Anva through all their performances.”
Anva was born in a rural village near Hai Duong, North Vietnam, the second eldest of five children and spoke a rare dialect (Ngai) with his parents.
Maria said: “Anva’s rural life in North Vietnam was simple and tranquil. He has many fond memories of his homeland with its close-knit community. He worked closely with the natural world and always wanted to be involved in as many activities as he could. Anva was full of energy and very sociable, he would go swimming in the river, climb hills, look after the water buffalos, and played lots of games. Life for the children in the village was peaceful and fun.
“However, the tranquil and peaceful state of the country became no more when the war between North and South Vietnam intensified, and the Americans started to drop bombs in North Vietnam. The bombing killed and brought fear and sorrows to many innocent lives. The bomb took Anva’s eyesight at the tender age of 7. Family and friends were totally devastated.
“Being blind did not stop Anva continue living an active life, he instead focused his energy on things he could do. He would help his grandma with the process of keeping silkworms, and fixing things such as the family’s bicycles round the house. He would spend hours taking things apart and putting them back together again and this continued throughout his life.
“Anva’s mother tragically died after a long illness when he was a teenager. Due to the worsening prospects of staying in Vietnam, Anva’s grandma, father and siblings made a perilous journey as part of the ‘boat people’ that travelled to Hong Kong. From there they made their way to a U.K. refugee camp in Thorney Island. Anva picked up English very quickly. Staff at the camp were impressed with his sense of humour and friendly outgoing nature. The family obtained a council house in Hampstead Heath, London. The Royal Society of the Blind was contacted, and it was agreed that he should learn the necessary skills to become independent.
“His acute hearing and learning ability resulted in a proposal that Anva should apply to an establishment for Piano Tuner’s training. This opportunity appealed to Anva and his family and he was offered a place. Anva attended The Royal National College of the Blind Hereford, where he studied piano tuning from 1983-1986. He passed with flying colours. The course required a huge amount of hard work and talent and only 50 percent of the students enrolled were able to complete the course.
“Anva subsequently became the local piano tuner of Chichester and received a flat from the council. He used to tune all the schools in the area alongside Chichester Festival Theatre, Seaford College etc. He had a guide dog named Milo who helped him navigate the city. Anva travelled around with Milo, going swimming, and exploring new places together. They became a familiar sight in the city.
“Anva was becoming a shrewd businessman and purchased his own house. During this time, Anva met Yuriko in 1992 at Bishop Palace Gardens whilst she was studying English at Chichester College. They became engaged in Japan and subsequently married in St Paul’s Church in 1993. Imy was born in 1994, Maria in 1996 and Kenji in 2001.
“Anva made the family’s life very fun. He was a humorous guy, always with a joke up his sleeve and the family were always laughing a lot. He taught the necessary skills to his children with vigour and encouragement. There are many fond memories of days out, active holidays, playing board games etc. He had an excellent memory and general knowledge due to his keen interest in history, current affairs, and the natural world. His curiosity on any topic meant he could relate to anyone he met.
“Anva was a very generous man dedicated to the community of Chichester and lit the hearts of many. As well as being the local piano tuner he raised a lot of money for various charities through his fitness. These include participating in the Bognor Birdman, Brighton Tandem Bike Ride and swimming the length of the channel.”