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Article

René Pierre

Wind instrument makers of Strasbourg. [Life data refer to Strasbourg unless noted.] Jean (Johannes) II Keller (1710–78) was admitted as a turner in the corporation of carpenters in 1736. His three sons were woodwind makers. Jean III Keller (b 14 Dec 1737; d 1785), his first son, was described as ‘Instrumentenmacher’ at his marriage in 1765 and upon the births of his four children. He used the mark ‘[fleur de lis] / KELLER / A STRASBOURG’. Isaac Keller (b 26 Jan 1740; d 11 June 1802), the second son, was received into the corporation of carpenters in 1785, at the death of his brother Jean III. He joined the third son, Jean Philippe Keller (b 10 Nov 1743; d 1 July 1794) by 1790 to create a new partnership, marking their instruments ‘[angel trumpeter] / LES / FRERES/ KELLER’. Etienne Ozi (...

Article

Hare  

William C. Smith

revised by Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

English family of music publishers and violin makers. The business was founded by John Hare (d London, bur. 9 Sept 1725), who by July 1695 was established in London as a publisher. In August that year he acquired additional premises in London which he probably took over from John Clarke (the 11th edition of Youth’s Delight on the Flageolet, earlier editions of which had been issued by Clarke, was one of Hare’s first publications). He gave up these two premises for new ones in April 1706 and remained in business alone until December 1721. His son Joseph Hare (d London, bur. 17 July 1733) joined him in January 1722, and they published jointly until John’s death in September 1725. Joseph then carried on the business in his name, probably on behalf of his mother Elizabeth Hare (‘the elder’) (d Islington, London, bur. 8 July 1741...

Article

Meares  

Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

[Mears, Meers]

Two English instrument makers, music publishers and sellers, father (d ?London, ?1722) and son (b London, ?1671; d London, ?1743). They were active in London from the 1660s to 1743. Richard Meares the elder was possibly the leading maker of viols of his time; he also made lutes and other string instruments. His instruments are usually distinguished by their tasteful purfling and woodwork, and high-quality varnish. He may have been the teacher of Edward Pamphilon, Barak Norman and Nathaniel Cross. Instruments can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (bass viol, c1677), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (bass viol, c1682), and the Dolmetsch Family Collection, Haslemere (alto viol, c1668). Richard Meares the younger is credited with few instruments, and these tend to be of the violin family, then newly fashionable in society.

The firm sold music, and advertised it from at least ...

Article

Neale  

Lasairíona Duignan

revised by Barra R. Boydell

Irish family of music publishers, instrument makers and concert promoters . John Neale (or Neal; d after 1739) was active in Dublin musical circles from about 1714. In 1721 he described himself as an instrument maker in Christ Church Yard and was selling violins and imported printed music. By 1723 he was organizing weekly concerts at ‘Mr Neal's Musick Room in Christ Church Yard’ and in the same year was elected president of a social and musical club which later moved to the Bull's Head Tavern in Fishamble Street near Christ Church, subsequently becoming the Charitable and Musical Society. His son William (d 1769) was also active in the Charitable and Musical Society which, in October 1741, while William was treasurer, opened the New Musick Hall in Fishamble Street where in 1741–2 Handel gave concerts including the first performance of Messiah (13 April 1742).

An advertisement in ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(d London, c1749). English music publisher, instrument maker and engraver, established in London. He was employed by John Hare's widow, Elizabeth (see Hare family), until her retirement in 1734, when he set up in business for himself, taking over the trade sign from Mrs Hare and probably also her stock and plates. He also had connections for a short time with Thomas Cobb, and when James Oswald arrived in London in 1741 he may have worked for Simpson, who published some of his compositions.

Simpson's early publications were mostly sheet songs, many of which were later gathered into the volume of Harmonia anglicana (1744) containing the earliest known appearance of God Save the King. This collection was almost immediately reissued with the title changed to Thesaurus musicus, and a second volume was added in about 1745. Other notable publications were Henry Carey's The Musical Century...

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Carlo Chiesa and Duane Rosengard

Member of Stradivari family

Italian family of violin makers.

(b ? Cremona, 1644–9; d Cremona, Dec 18, 1737). Maker of violins and other instruments. Since the end of the 18th century he has been universally regarded as the greatest of all violin makers. In point of tonal excellence, design, beauty to the eye and accuracy of workmanship his instruments have never been surpassed. Stradivari inherited more than 100 years of Cremonese violin-making tradition, and upon this firmest of foundations he built his own unique career. At the peak of a working life spanning almost 70 years he brought his art to a perfection which has not been equalled. Later, at least two of his sons worked with him, but both died within a few years of their father, and thus almost the entire production of the family workshop is attributed to Antonio. In all, some 650 of his instruments survive, many of them used by the world’s leading string players....

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Carlo Chiesa and Duane Rosengard

Member of Stradivari family

(b Cremona, Feb 1, 1671; d Cremona, May 11, 1743). Violin maker , eldest son of (1) Antonio Stradivari. Although only a handful of his instruments still bear their original labels, he was nevertheless a highly important maker, though perhaps less spontaneous and confident than his father. He was his father's right-hand man for over 50 years, during which time he assisted in the building and occasionally the design of a wide variety of bowed and plucked instruments. He was perhaps responsible for the modification of the ‘forma B’ cello, about ...

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Carlo Chiesa and Duane Rosengard

Member of Stradivari family

(b Cremona, Nov 14, 1679; d Cremona, June 9, 1742). Violin maker , son of (1) Antonio Stradivari. While still a young man he travelled to Naples, perhaps in pursuit of a career outside violin making. He made violins intermittently after 1700, and a great deal of his time was taken up with social acitivities unrelated to the family workshop. The most well travelled of the Stradivari family, as a young man he spent a long period in Naples. Later in life he was on familiar terms with Tomaso Vitali, the leading violinist at Modena. Nevertheless, Omobono did build a recognizable number of violins which though not up to high artistic standards of his father and brother, are highly appreciated for their acoustic qualities....

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b ?1665 or 1666; d London, March 13, 1736). Music seller, engraver, printer, publisher and instrument seller, probably of Irish extraction. He was established in London by about 1690. On 24 June 1692 he was appointed musical instrument-maker-in-ordinary to William III in succession to John Shaw, whose trade sign of ‘The Golden Harp and Hoboy’ he also adopted; in the same year he married Mary Allen, by whom he had 15 children, of whom only three survived infancy.

In 1695, when he began publishing, Walsh had few rivals in the trade. John Playford was dead, and his son Henry evidently lacked the initiative to maintain the family firm as a flourishing concern. Thomas Cross, while popular for his introduction of the engraved single-sheet song, was concerned more with engraving than publishing. Walsh was quick to take advantage of the situation, and engraved music appeared from his premises on a scale previously unknown in England. In addition to works by English composers he printed much popular continental music (including Corelli’s sonatas) which he often copied from Dutch editions. From about ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b London, Dec 23, 1709; d London, Jan 15, 1766). English music seller, printer, publisher and instrument maker . He probably assumed control of the business of his father, John Walsh (i), in about 1730, when the relationship with the Hare family apparently ceased and the numbering of the firm’s publications started. On 8 May 1731 Walsh succeeded to the appointment of instrument maker to the king. Although John Johnson and other rivals arose, the business continued to prosper and maintained its excellent engraving and paper. Burney characterized Walsh (ii) as ‘purveyor general’. Walsh fully developed the firm's relationship with Handel, publishing almost all his later works and in 1739 being granted a monopoly of his music for 14 years. About half of Walsh's output was of Handel compositions. The firm also sold other publishers' works, and bought up the stock of smaller firms when they ceased trading. Many of Walsh's apprentice engravers later set up on their own, including John Caulfield, Thomas Straight and Thomas Skillern. Walsh, who never married, was elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital in ...

Article

Peter Ward Jones

(b ?London, c1672; d London, c1732). English music printer, publisher and instrument maker . The researches of Dawe, together with those of Ashbee, have helped clarify the identification of members of this family. Young's father was also John, but since he was still alive in 1693, he was evidently not, as earlier surmised, the John Young who was appointed musician-in-ordinary to the king as a viol player on 23 May 1673 and who had died by 1680 (according to the Lord Chamberlain's records). Young junior was apprenticed to the music seller and publisher John Clarke, and was established on his own by 1695. His publications included A Choice Collection of Ayres for the Harpsichord or Spinett by Blow and others (1700), William Gorton's A Choice Collection of New Ayres, Compos'd and Contriv'd for Two Bass-Viols (1701), The Flute-Master Compleat Improv'd (1706), the fifth and sixth editions of Christopher Simpson's ...