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Article

James B. Kopp

(b London, UK, July 17, 1946). Conservator of musical instruments and maker of brasses, based in Ottawa, Canada. After studying fine arts and English at the University of Toronto, he joined the Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, in 1975 as a conservator of furniture and wooden objects. He was trained in instrument conservation at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, and received a PhD from the Open University in 1999. He has undertaken wide-ranging projects in the conservation, display, and use of historical instruments in European and North American museums. He has received awards from the American Musical Instrument Society, the Galpin Society, and the Historic Brass Society for his numerous writings. He was named senior conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute in 1991 and retired in 2007.

Barclay began in 1976 to make reproduction trumpets after models by Johann Carl Kodisch, Johann Leonhard Ehe (iii), and Hanns Hainlein. His book ...

Article

Sarah L.B. Brown

(Adams )

(b New York, May 30, 1842; d New York City, Feb 15, 1918). American collector of musical instruments. Brown was formally schooled until age 16 and married the banker John Crosby Brown in 1864. Family (including six children), church, and charitable work were foremost in her life, but from 1884 her interest in music motivated her to form a systematic, global collection of instruments meant to illustrate their development and diversity. Beginning in 1889, she donated more than 3000 instruments to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, naming the gift in honour of her husband: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations. The collection, of which she was de facto curator, attracted international recognition and remains the core of the museum’s instrument holdings, which also include her correspondence and a collection of musicians’ portraits.

Brown acquired instruments (including replicas to fill gaps in the didactic sequence) largely through correspondence with far-flung family, friends, missionaries, consular officials, and her husband’s international business connections. Although the collection includes some important masterpieces of art and design, Brown strove to collect typical examples illustrative of their times and places. For advice she corresponded with Alfred J. Hipkins, George Grove, Henry Balfour, Victor-Charles Mahillon, Sourindro Mohun Tagore, and other authorities, and she exchanged information and instruments with other collectors and museums in the USA and Europe....

Article

(b 1960; d Oct 24, 2000). American fretted-instrument collector, based in Toms River, New Jersey. During the 1990s he amassed more than 1000 vintage and 20th-century guitars, harp-guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, and other types representing a broad spectrum of designs, many by outstanding American luthiers and some previously owned by famous performers. His collecting activity, concentrated in a few years, drove up prices for fine fretted instruments generally and brought attention to guitars as works of art. Chinery lent generously for exhibitions and to performers, and intended to build a museum to house his holdings. His ‘Blue Guitar’ collection was inspired by a D’Aquisto Centura Deluxe model with a blue finish; Chinery commissioned 22 contemporary makers to build archtop guitars of their own design but all with a blue finish like D’Aquisto’s. Chinery also collected Cuban cigars, watches, automobiles, and comic books, among other hobbies supported by a fortune made from marketing nutrition supplements and other physical fitness products through Cybergenics, a company he sold in ...

Article

Nancy Groce

(b Canton, CT, Nov 11, 1833; d Brooklyn, NY, May 17, 1896).

American instrument dealer and collector. He was trained as a clock maker in Bristol, CT, and later worked as a machinist in Hartford, CT, before moving to New York in January 1852. The following year he became a clerk at Rohé & Leavitt, a firm of dealers at 31 Maiden Lane; on the partners’ retirement in 1863, Foote bought the company and continued it under his own name. Except for a short-lived partnership with John F. Stratton in 1865, as Stratton & Foote, “importer and manufacturer” of brass band instruments, he was sole manager for the next 30 years, dealing in string, woodwind, and brass instruments and serving as the sole American agent for several French manufacturers, including the firm of Courtois. A Chicago “branch house” of his business, under the management of W.H. Foote, was still in operation at the time of his death. An obituary in the ...

Article

(b Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, 1910; d New York, Aug 27, 2010). American musician, instrument collector, bow maker, and jeweller. Kaston studied the violin with his father and grandfather before taking lessons with Enescu in Paris from 1937. After World War II he came with his wife to New York; their son was born during the passage. He played briefly with the Cleveland Orchestra before joining the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in 1943. In the 1960s he worked part-time for Wurlitzer as a bow maker and repairer, honing his skills as a copyist especially of Tourte bows, which he imitated so successfully that some have passed in the market as authentic. His knowledge of Tourte’s work was summarized in the book François-Xavier Tourte: Bow Maker (New York, 2001). Along with fine bows, Kaston created jewellery, including pieces commissioned by Salvador Dalí. Some of his bows incorporated jewels in their fittings. Kaston also invented a rubber mute, marketed as the ‘Heifetz’ mute....

Article

Sarah Adams Hoover

(b Little Fork, MN, Nov 10, 1942). American organologist and curator. He received a BFA in music education (1964) and MM in music literature (1968) from the University of South Dakota and a PhD in musicology from West Virginia University (1974). In 1973 he returned to South Dakota to become the first director of the Shrine to Music Museum (renamed the National Music Museum in 2002) at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. During his tenure (1973–2011) he established a major international collection of instruments (augmenting a private collection owned by his father, Arne B. Larson) and created a significant resource for exhibiting, studying, and conserving historical instruments. He taught music history at USD and established and oversaw the university’s masters program in the history of musical instruments. A recipient of the American Musical Instrument Society’s Curt Sachs Award for lifetime contributions to the field of organology, he served as its president from ...

Article

Susan E. Thompson

[Ruth Isabel]

(b Williamsburgh, MA, 30 April 1866; d Paris, France, 9 April 1928). American humanitarian, philanthropist, and instrument collector. A daughter of the silk manufacturer William Skinner, she attended the Vassar College Preparatory School and Vassar College (Class of 1887), where her interest in music was fostered. In adulthood, she divided her time between homes in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and New York City, becoming a patron of the arts and a benefactor of civic projects. In 1926 she established a fellowship that still enables Vassar College students to study history at a French provincial university. Skinner was awarded the Médaille de la Reconnaissance Française (1919) and the cross of a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (1921) for contributions towards revitalizing war-torn villages in France following World War I. Following her death, her brother William provided the funds to erect a music building on the Vassar campus in her honour....

Article

Richard Rephann

[Morris]

(b Scheinfeld, Bavaria, March 9, 1831; d New Haven, CT, Jan 21, 1912). American music dealer and collector of instruments. He moved to New Haven in 1854, and in 1856 to Savannah, Georgia. Shortly after the Civil War broke out he returned to New Haven, and his name appeared in the New Haven City Directory of 1862; by 1866 he was listed as a piano and music dealer. He formed the Mathushek Pianoforte Co. and later the M. Steinert & Sons Co., which sold pianos in Boston, Providence, New Haven and other cities. He was active in the musical life of New Haven where he was organist at St Thomas’s Church, taught music and formed a quartet in which he played cello. He later formed an orchestra which was to become the nucleus around which he founded the New Haven SO in 1894. This orchestra is the fourth oldest in the USA with a continuous existence. He became interested in antique musical instruments and the problems involved in playing them, and assembled a collection of considerable importance which was exhibited in Vienna in ...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Potsdam, Germany, Nov 15, 1855; d Washington, DC, Nov 14, 1938). American collector of and dealer in keyboard instruments. His father, Christian, had a music business in Trenton, New Jersey, from c1858 to 1861, and in Washington from 1863 to 1868 and again in 1883; Worch and his brother Emil took this over in 1883, and after Emil’s death his widow and Hugo continued the business as Hugo Worch & Co. from 1884 until 1895. After 1895 the firm of Hugo Worch sold instruments (including pianos sold under the Worch name but manufactured elsewhere), sheet music, and, as tastes changed, phonographs, recordings, and radios. The firm went out of business in 1960 on the retirement of Hans Hugo Worch, who had bought it from his brother Carl and sister Paulina in 1954.

In the 1880s Worch began collecting keyboard instruments that showed the development of the American piano industry from the 1790s to ...