- Enrico Weller
German family of musical instrument makers in Markneukirchen (to which the following refers, including birth and death data). Lutherie dominated the family’s craft in the 18th century, beginning with Adam Voigt (b c1674; d 19 Feb 1737), who in 1699 became a member of the Neukirchen violin makers’ guild. By 1850, 23 Voigts were counted as guild masters, their high-arched violins epitomizing the old Vogtland style. The most important masters were Johann Georg Voigt (four masters with the same name about 1800), Johann Friedrich Voigt, called ‘Fritz’ (b 17 Dec 1778; d 4 Sept 1840), and Johann Christian Voigt II (b 15 April 1766; d 13 Feb 1846). The last also made guitars, and in the 19th century several other Voigts also turned to guitar making, and later to bow and zither making. In the 20th century, Arnold Voigt (b 13 May 1864; d 26 Sept 1952) and Werner Voigt (b 25 Feb 1911; d 9 May 1982) adopted the modern Italianate style of violin making.
From the end of the 18th century, members of the family were also active as brass instrument makers. The brothers Johann Friedrich (b 25 Aug 1756; d 7 Nov 1826) and Johann Georg Voigt (b 28 Nov 1759; d 19 Dec 1843), who apprenticed with Johann Georg Eschenbach, were founding members of the wind instrument makers’ society in 1797. Two grandchildren of Johann Georg Voigt advanced the division of labour in Vogtland brass instrument manufacture: Theodor Voigt (b 13 Aug 1830; d 13 March 1902) founded a valve business in 1850, later continued by Reinhard Voigt, while Moritz Voigt (b 26 June 1836; d 8 Sept 1926) founded a bell-making business in 1878, later continued by William Voigt. Both companies operated over three generations to the middle of the 20th century, and other workshops in the region nowadays continue a similar specialization.
The workshops of Helmut Voigt and Jürgen Voigt remain active as brass instrument producers, especially of trombones. The luthiers of the family are now based in Bavaria; Jochen Voigt works as a violin maker in Garching near Munich, and Claus Voigt as a guitar maker in Edling.
- W. Waterhouse: The New Langwill Index: a Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors (London, 1993)
- B. Zoebisch: Vogtländischer Geigenbau, vol.1: Biographien und Erklärungen bis 1850 (Horb am Neckar, 2000).
- E. Weller: Der Blasinstrumentenbau im Vogtland von den Anfängen bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts: Untersuchungen und Dokumentationen zur Geschichte eines Gewerbezweiges der Musikinstrumentenindustrie (Horb am Neckar, 2004)