Kirst, Friedrich Gabriel August
- Phillip T. Young
(b Dresden, Germany, c1750; d Potsdam, Germany, April 29, 1806). German woodwind instrument maker. He seems to have been a son of a Dresden waterworks inspector. He served his apprenticeship with August Grenser (i) in Dresden from about 1763, and from 1768 to 1770 was in the employ of Christoph F. Freyer (b Leipzig, Germany, 1708; d Potsdam, Germany, c 1772) of Potsdam. In 1772 Kirst married Freyer’s widow and took over the business, thereafter producing a wide range of extremely handsome woodwinds stamped ‘F.G.A. KIRST/POTSDAM’, surmounted by the Prussian eagle. In 1772 he received a privilege to supply instruments to the Prussian army and by 1779 had become the salaried flute maker to Frederick the Great. By 1800 Kirst’s apprentices and employees had included J.G. Martin, I.C.H. Müller, A.F. Piering, and J.W. Weisse, as well as J.C. Griesling and B.M. Schlott; reportedly his workers specialized in specific tasks and none made a complete instrument. Kirst retired in ...