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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, ...

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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 ...

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John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

Article

Agati  

Umberto Pineschi

Italian family of organ builders . Pietro Agati (b Pistoia, 15 Feb 1735; d Pistoia, 10 Dec 1806) served apprenticeships in the Tronci workshop in Pistoia, and later with Filippo Gatti in Bologna. He opened his own workshop in Pistoia, where he built his ‘secundum opus’ for the church of S Vitale (1760) with a case that bears a striking resemblance to that belonging to the organ by Willem Hermans in Spirito Santo, Pistoia (1664). From this Hermans instrument Agati copied the stopped flute 8′, Cornetto, Trombe, Voce umana (or Violoncello – a bass 4′ regal) and Mosetto (treble 8′ regal 8′) to his organ at Vignole di Quarrata (1797). Another outstanding instrument is at Tréppio, Pistoia (1794).

Pietro’s son Giosuè (b Pistoia, 21 Jan 1770; d Pistoia, 10 Dec 1806) built many fine instruments, including those at Serravalle Pistoiese (...

Article

Hermann Fischer

(b Göttingen, April 28, 1930). German organ builder. Ahrend studied in Göttingen with Paul Ott from 1946 until 1954, before opening a workshop in Leer, East Friesland, with his partner Gerhard Brunzema. After intensive study of surviving historical organs, Ahrend and Brunzema developed a special interest in the north German mechanical-action tradition and adopted its methods. From the beginning they divided their activities between the careful restoration of historical instruments and the construction of exemplary new organs. They often collaborated with leading performers of early music, and their groundbreaking work gained an international reputation. 67 organs were built and restored between 1954 and 1971, largely in northern Europe. In 1962 both partners received the State Prize for craftsmanship in Lower Saxony. In January 1972 Brunzema left the firm to pursue his own career in Canada; Ahrend continued his work in Germany.

Important restorations include instruments at Rysum (...

Article

Alfred Reichling

(b Gasteig, nr Sterzing, March 15, 1809; d Marling, nr Meran [Merano], Jan 2, 1887). Tyrolean organ builder. His earliest known work was the organ for Navis (1837; lost). Among his numerous other organs are those at Absam (1841; in an organ case by Johann Anton Fuchs, cl780), the Franciscan church, Schwaz (1843), Sautens im Ötztal (1846), Reutte (1847/48), Zirl (1851–2), Brixen [Bressanone] parish church (1858; in a case by Rochus Egedacher, 1740–41), the Benedictine abbey, Marienberg (1865–6; three manuals, 32 stops, his largest instrument), Meran parish church (1867; lost), St Georgenberg Benedictine abbey, Fiecht (1871; two manuals, 31 stops, his second-largest organ, restored in 2000 by Mathis Orgelbau), Burgeis (1873–4; in a case by Carlo Prati, 1678), Lana parish church (1875) and St Leonhard in Passeier (...

Article

Bengt Kyhlberg

revised by Göran Grahn

(b April 28, 1826; d July 2, 1876). Swedish organ builder. He began his training about 1844 as a pupil of Johan Samuel Strand at Västra Vingåker, and attended the Tekniska Institutet in Stockholm (1847–50). Later he worked with the Stockholm organ builders Blomquist & Lindgren and Gustaf Andersson. After gaining the organ builder’s charter in 1852, he studied on a state scholarship with Sonreck in Cologne, Gebr. Mayer in Hannover, and Merklin & Co in Brussels, and visited Cavaillé-Coll in Paris (1854–7). During his time with Merklin he voiced the organs in St Eugéne in Paris and in the Cathedral of Murcia, Spain. On his return he worked in partnership with Erik A. Setterquist at Strängnäs until 1860; he then moved to Stockholm and was co-founder with C.J. Lund of the firm Åkerman & Lund. Åkerman’s organs are in a Romantic style, which he had studied abroad; he was the first builder in Sweden to incorporate modern features such as harmonic flute stops, string stops, and pneumatic Barker lever action. An early example of his work is a small organ built for Strängnäs school (...

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Albani  

Patrizio Barbieri

[Albana, Albano, Albanus]

Italian makers of stringed keyboard instruments. At least four builders of this name were active during the 16th and 17th centuries, three of whom are known to have been members of the same Roman family. Documents show that from at least 1623 onwards Andrea Albani (b Rome, c1552; d Rome, 19 August 1639) built harpsichords at a workshop near the church of S Stefano del Cacco. He was assisted by his son Silvestro and his nephew Giovanni Battista Monti (b c1611). Although no instrument by Andrea survives, it is known from an essay by G.B. Doni (c1632–5) that he was persuaded by theorists to build some enharmonic harpsichords with split keys, each note divided either ‘into five parts, according to the principles of Don Niccola [Vicentino], or into four, following the practice which they attribute to Aristosseno’.

Orazio (b Rome, ...

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Patrizio Barbieri

(b St Nikolaus in Kaltern, March 28, 1621; d Bolzano [Bozen], Feb 7, 1712). Tyrolean violin maker, mainly active in Bolzano. In 1665–6 he worked in Rome for the luthiers Martin Artz (1665) and Andrea Portoghese (1666). Later he might have had his own workshop there, according to a violin labelled ‘Matthias Albano fece in Roma 1668’. In 1697 two Albani violins were inventoried among the four left by the Roman Carlo Mannelli (known as ‘del violino’); in the same year, again in Rome, the violinist and composer John Ravenscroft left five violins, all by ‘Mattheo Albon’.

Many violins, mostly of ordinary 18th-century German manufacture, bear false Albani labels, and his name was for a long time misused by unscrupulous dealers. Albani did not marry until 1671, and since after his death his two sons, Michael and Joseph, made instruments, it is possible that they were partly or almost entirely responsible for much of the work supposed to be by their father. In any case, the Albani influence was strong among 18th-century Tyrolean makers, especially on the Jais family of Bolzano and on Mayr and his fellow members of the Salzburg school. Albani in Bolzano, Joannes Tononi in Bologna, and Kaiser and Goffriller in Venice all emerged in northeastern Italy in the later 17th century, but it is not known who taught whom....

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José López-Calo

(b Gauteriz de Arteaga, Vizcaya, Sept 25, 1869; d Barcelona, March 19, 1948). Spanish organ builder. He began his career as an apprentice in the workshops of Aquilino Amezúa in Barcelona in 1885 and was active for more than 50 years. In 1895, on the retirement of Amezúa, Alberdi became director of the firm, and in 1896 the owner. His sons, Antonio and Luis Alberdi Aguirrezábal, assisted him in the workshop, which was the most productive in Spain, building nearly 200 organs (in particular those at the monastery of Montserrat, the Jesuit church in Madrid, and the cathedrals of Gerona and Santiago). Alberdi’s construction methods were extremely advanced: he incorporated many of the best techniques of the time and invented others. He always used mixed mechanical systems and was especially noted for systems without sliding valves; later he abandoned troublesome pneumatic machinery and utilized the possibilities of electricity. He always used the best available methods and systems. Organs from his workshop were exported to South America and the Philippines....