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Article

Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

(fl Milan, c1737–63). Italian violin maker. His violins are roughly reminiscent of Giovanni Grancino’s model although without its symmetry. The craftsmanship rarely approaches any degree of refinement, though the tonal qualities invariably rise above these limitations, and authentic examples in good condition command respectable prices. The varnish on the better instruments is a reddish-brown, most of the others being a clear yellow-brown. Alberti took over Grancino’s shop, which is acknowledged on his printed labels: ‘Ferdinando Alberti in Contrada/Larga di Milano a Segno della/Corona F. l’Anno 17 –’ or ‘Ferdinando Alberti fece in Milano/nella Contrada del pesce al Segno/della Corona l’Anno 17–’. (R. Vannes: ...

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Barbara Garvey Jackson and Ursula M. Rempel

In 

See Krumpholtz family

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Robert E. Eliason

(b 1736; d Philadelphia, Dec 29, 1804). American woodwind instrument maker of German birth. He was one of the earliest woodwind makers to take his skills to the New World. He arrived in Philadelphia about 1764 and continued in business as a turner and musical instrument maker until his death in ...

Article

Astor  

Niall O’Loughlin

English and American firm of instrument makers, publishers and dealers. The two founders were the sons of Jacob Astor, a merchant of Mannheim. George [Georg] (Peter) Astor (b Waldorf [now Walldorf], nr Heidelberg, April 28, 1752; d London, Dec 1813), after an initial visit to London, decided to establish a business there with his brother John [Johann] Jacob Astor (...

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E. Eugene Helm and Martin Elste

(b Berlin, 1748; d Berlin, May 26, 1809). German viol player and instrument maker. He was a viol player in the royal chapel from 1765, and in 1770, together with J.F.E. Benda, he established the Berlin Liebhaberkonzerte. With Benda’s death in 1785 Bachmann succeeded him as director of the concerts; in the same year he married the noted singer and pianist Charlotte Caroline Wilhelmine Stöwe. Throughout this period he also made instruments in the shop of his father, the violin maker and court violinist Anton Bachmann (...

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Margaret Cranmer

(d London, Jan 1778). Dutch or German maker of harpsichords and pianos, active in England. He worked at 22 Great Jermyn Street, London, from 1763 to 1778. Writing to the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1812, James Shudi Broadwood attributed the invention of the English grand-piano action to the ‘Dutchman’ Backers in ...

Article

Roger J.V. Cotte

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera ...

Article

Philip J. Kass

(b Füssen, Bavaria, May 10, 1712; d Naples, Feb 5, 1763). German violin maker. He moved to Naples early in his career. His violins closely resemble those of the Gagliano family, particularly Nicola, suggesting that he learnt his craft in that workshop. The relative scarcity of his work (only violins are known) is probably due to his short lifespan. His instruments are usually on the small side, in conformity with the Gaglianos’. His varnish is typically Neapolitan and ranges from deep red-orange to gold. He appears to have used the same printed label throughout his career, with his initials contained in a circle following the date. There is also at least one example branded on the button with the letters ‘G B N’ (his initials and city) enclosed in a shield....

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Charles Beare

(fl Mantua, c1750–80). Italian violin maker. On his labels he called himself a Cremonese, but the surviving instruments were made in Mantua. The pattern and style of the best of his work draws much more from Cremona than from Mantua, and he may well have been trained in the first city before setting up on his own in the second. Some of his instruments show the influence of Camillus Camilli, his contemporary in Mantua. His best violins are of a flat Stradivarian model, giving a powerful sound that makes them sought after as solo instruments. He made a large number of violins and an occasional cello, but few, if any, violas. His varnish was often a dull red-brown colour and wore off easily, though sometimes he used an orange varnish of fine quality. (...

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Guy Bourligueux

Spanish family of organ builders. José Ballesteros y Latuente (bc1710; d ?Valladolid, after 1763) established himself at Valladolid and restored the organs at Mucientes (1730), Villaverde de Medina (1755) and S María de Torrelobatón (1762–3); he also offered his services for instruments at Villabáñez (...

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Charles Beare

(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....

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Jeannie Campbell

(bap. Edinburgh, Scotland, Dec 5, 1680; d Edinburgh, Sept 1753). Highland Scottish turner, evidently a bagpipe maker. In 1712 he made billiard balls for the officer in charge of Edinburgh Castle. On all the birth records of children born to Barclay and his wife Elizabeth Arbuthnet in Edinburgh parish, ...

Article

(b Oct 3, 1777; d ?London, after 1841). English harp maker, active in London. He produced instruments for Edward Light and advertised as a harp maker on Frith Street and in 1826 at 105 Wardour St. He married Ann Buchinger (Buckinger), daughter of Joseph Buchinger (...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(fl c1780–90). French keyboard instrument maker. Little is known about him; possibly he was related to the harpsichord builder Jean Bas of Marseille. A grand piano (1781, US.V.n) by Louis Bas, the earliest known French grand (excepting Johann Heinrich Silbermann’s from Strasbourg), is inscribed ‘Villeneuve lès Avignon’ on its interior. Inscriptions on two spinets seem to indicate that he worked in Marseille in ...

Article

(b Moscow province, 1767; d St Petersburg, 18/June 30, 1841). Russian violin maker. He was sometimes called the ‘Russian Stradivari’. He is said to have studied keyboard instrument making in St Petersrom 1803 to 1805. He was a serf of Count N.P. Sheremetev, in whose residence he maintained a workshop for making and restoring bowed and plucked instruments. Batov cared for the violin collection of Alexander I and presented the czar with a violin he made in ...

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Niall O’Loughlin and Denis Watel

(fl Paris, France, c1791–1827). French woodwind instrument maker. In 1803–4 he worked at 282 rue St Honoré, Paris, and from 1809 to 1827 at 23 rue de la Bibliothèque. Surviving instruments include flageolets, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and a bass horn. Baumann reportedly advertised contrabassoons and bass serpents in ...

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G. Kaleschke

(b Germany, 1714; d Germany, 1794). German organ builder. Initially a carpenter, he began work as an organ builder about 1749 and was probably apprenticed to the Stumm brothers in Rhaunen-Sulzbach. His work was restricted to the Zweibrücken area, where he was respected as a capable organ builder and surveyor. His 12 or so surviving single-manual organs have colourful specifications with characteristic stops (Streicherstimmen, Cornett, Trompete Diskant); the most important is at Bad Bergzabern (formerly in the Schlosskirche). Of his children, only Konrad Isaac (...

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Heike Fricke

(bc1708; d Vienna, Austria, July 17, 1775). Austrian woodwind maker. Variant spellings such as R. Paur, Rockobauer, Rockopauer, Ruckebauer, and Rochebaur presumably refer to the same person. In the parish books of St Michael’s Church in Vienna he is listed as a civic wind player (...

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Darcy Kuronen

(b Boston, MA, March 29, 1798; d Canton, MA, Jan 5, 1883). American inventor, designer, and maker of free-reed instruments. He was a son of French Huguenot parents who came to Boston in 1788; his father, trained as a watchmaker, made and sold hardware, and no doubt Bazin gained from his father an interest in mechanics. His instruments had limited influence on later manufacturers, but are among the earliest of their type made in the USA. About ...

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Margaret Cranmer

(fl 1756–98). German piano maker, active in London. He left Germany for England sometime after 1756, and the rate books of St James’s, Westminster, show that he settled at a house in Broad Street, London, from midsummer 1771 until the end of 1798...