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W.H. Husk

revised by Marc Leroy

(York )

(b Whilton, Northants., England, Dec 22, 1785; d Versailles, France, Feb 19, 1859). English organ builder. The son of a local joiner, he first learnt his father’s trade. Against family wishes he was apprenticed to the organ builders James and David Davis and in 1818 went to work with Hugh Russell. Abbey became acquainted with Sébastian Erard in London and went to France in 1826 to build an organ that Erard designed for the 1827 Industrial Exhibition at the Louvre; before 1864 it was moved to the Paris Conservatoire. After moving to Paris and then Versailles, Abbey received a royal commission to build an organ for the chapel of the Légion d’honneur at St Denis and another designed by Erard for the chapel of the Tuileries Palace (1827; destroyed 1830). In 1831 with Meyerbeer’s support Abbey was employed to build an organ for the Paris Opéra (destroyed by fire, ...

Article

Michael Sayer

English firm of organ builders. It was established in Leeds in 1869 by Isaac Abbott, who had worked for 20 years with William Hill in London. William Stanwix Smith, also a former Hill employee, was the firm’s manager until Abbott retired, in 1889; thereafter Smith and Abbott’s son continued the firm, which subsequently passed to Smith’s sons and grandson. In 1964 the firm was sold to its foreman, J.H. Horsfall, and in 1975 it moved to the premises of Wood Wordsworth & Co. Up to 1964, Abbott & Smith built or rebuilt hundreds of organs throughout Britain, including some 250 in Yorkshire, and more than 60 around Leeds. James Jepson Binns was head voicer from 1875 until 1880. Their earlier instruments, using mechanical action through the 1880s, have a robust singing quality suited to Yorkshire Methodist congregations, though several were in town halls, including those in Leeds and Ryde. Their organ for St Mark’s, Manningham, had four manuals and 48 speaking stops. The firm also built organs in St Albans Cathedral (...

Article

Philip J. Kass

[Grandadam]

Philip J. Kass

French family of bow makers. Jean Adam, also known as Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 1 Dec 1767; d Mirecourt, 3 Jan 1849), was a maker of reliable if workmanlike bows of good quality. His son and pupil Jean Dominique Adam, later known as Dominique Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 29 Dec 1795; d Mirecourt, 6 Oct 1841) followed his father’s precedents but with a more careful finish, working in a manner that over time developed an affinity to that of Pajeot. Father and son both used the stamp ADAM, the son’s being in larger type than his father’s.

Jean Dominique’s son, Jean Grandadam (b Mirecourt, 26 Feb 1823; d Mirecourt, 20 Jan 1869), was the finest bow maker of the family. His hand becomes visible in his father’s works dating from about 1835. He moved in 1841 to Paris, where from 1842 to 1850...

Article

Adams  

James Holland

Dutch manufacturer of percussion instruments. Adams Musical Instruments was established at the end of the 1960s by André Adams at Thorn in the Netherlands. Adams has become one of the leading percussion manufacturers in the world. Its list of products range from lightweight, low-priced pedal timpani designed for schools and bands, through to top of the range professional timpani and concert marimbas. A great deal of thought is given to the adaptability and portability of the instruments, as well as to their quality. For example, playing height of their keyboard instruments is adjustable, and their tubular bells may be adjusted both for height and range. In the contemporary world of percussion these refinements are invaluable for the player. Adams now manufactures timpani, xylophones, marimbas, tubular bells, bell plates, concert bass drums, temple blocks and a range of sticks....

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Dunstable, NH, Aug 21, 1783; d Milford, NH, March 16, 1864). American brass instrument maker. He invented a valve with movable tongues or flaps within the windway. A trumpet in F by Adams with three such valves is displayed on board the USS Constitution; it dates from about 1830. A similar instrument, unsigned, with three primitive rotary valves, is in the Essig Collection, Warrensburg, Missouri. Adams is listed as a musical instrument maker in Longworth’s American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory for 1824. For the next four years he was bandmaster on the USS Constitution. About 1828 he settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, continuing there as a musical instrument maker until 1835. The latter part of his life was spent as a machinist and repairer of ships’ chronometers in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was the composer of at least one published song, The Ruins of Troy, written while on board the ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(fl 1670–80). English luthier, active in London. His only extant instrument, a bass viol, is labelled ‘William Addison in Long Alley Over Against Moorfields 1670’, near the workshops of the contemporary viol makers Richard Meares and George Miller. Addison’s viol bears elaborate geometric inlay, including on the back a stylized heart pierced by arrows, and on the carved soundtable a fleur-de-lis. The unusually large soundholes are closer to the middle than normal. The pegbox, ornamented with ivory studs, is surmounted by a carving of Hercules. A ‘William Addis’, presumably the same man, was recorded on the Strand in ...

Article

Adema  

Adri de Groot

Dutch family of organ builders . The firm, active from the mid-19th century onwards, was established by the brothers Carolus Borremeyes (1824–1905) and Petrus Josephus Adema (1828–1919) in Leeuwarden in 1855; they were joined by their brother Johannus Romanus (1834–62). Carolus Borremeyes had trained as an organ builder with the Van Dam and Witte firms, Petrus Josephus with W. Hardoff and H. Loret.

In 1868 P.J. Adema set up an affiliate workshop in Amsterdam, attracted by the renewed market for new organs among the more widespread Catholic community there, boosted by the reinstatement of the Bishopric hierarchy in 1853. He had been contracted to build a three-manual organ for the Catholic Mozes- en Aäronkerk. The French consul and organ expert Charles-Marie Philbert (1826–94), an ardent champion of the modern French organ-building style, acted as consultant. The resulting organ, largely influenced by Cavaillé-Coll, was the first in the Netherlands to employ Barker’s pneumatic lever in the main manual of the otherwise mechanical-action instrument. Between ...

Article

Howard Schott

(Leslie )

(b Kingston-on-Thames, May 30, 1938). English maker of fortepianos, clavichords, and harpsichords. He was educated at the Guildhall School of Music, London, where he specialized in keyboard instruments, studying the piano with Frank Laffitte, the harpsichord with Celia Bizony, and the organ with Harold Dexter. After some years as a music teacher, during which he also undertook some restorations of early keyboard instruments, he became curator of the Colt Clavier Collection, Bethersden, Kent (1963–73). While continuing to teach and perform, Adlam studied the craft of instrument building at the Feldberg workshop in Sevenoaks. After further years of restoration experience he began producing new instruments in 1971, and in November of that year formed a partnership with the pianist and collector Richard Burnett. The Adlam–Burnett restoration and production workshops were in the grounds of Finchcocks, a large 18th-century house in Goudhurst, Kent (GB.GO.f), which now contains an extensive collection of antique keyboard instruments. Adlam–Burnett’s production was modelled closely on historical prototypes. While it included reproductions of Flemish and French harpsichords, emphasis was placed on the 18th-century piano and clavichord, instruments that had not enjoyed so extensive a revival as the harpsichord. Adlam has contributed on the subject of harpsichord restoration to ...

Article

Adler  

Niall O’Loughlin

German family of woodwind makers. Karl Friedrich Adler (b Breitenfeld, Germany, March 14, 1795; d Erlangen, Germany, April 1, 1888) learnt his craft from his father, Johann Georg Adler, in the years 1809–12, for short periods under Carl Doke of Linz and August Rorarius of Vienna, and for some three years with Max Stiegler in Munich. He set up his own business in Bamberg in ...

Article

James B. Kopp

(Christian Friedrich )

(b ?Breitenfeld, Vogtland, France, May 10, 1784; d Paris, France, 1854). French maker of woodwind instruments, principally bassoons. He was the brother of Karl Friedrich Adler (1795–1888) and Johann Georg Adler (1787–1842), woodwind makers active in Bamberg and Hermsgrün, respectively. Established in Paris about 1808, he reportedly made improvements to the bassoon in 1809. One surviving nine-key bassoon by Adler (GB.O.ub) shows a unique example of ‘double venting’ (two tone holes debouching under a single key flap, for A♭). In 1827 he exhibited a novel bassoon of tropical hardwood with 15 keys, including two new ones to produce d″ and e♭″. F.J. Fétis wrote in 1828 that Adler had made bassoons ‘after Almenräder’s model’. But while Adler had added keys to his bassoons, there is no clear evidence that he adopted distinctive Almenräder reforms (such as a more regularly conical bore and relocated tone holes). Indeed, Fétis criticized an Adler bassoon exhibited in ...