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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 (...

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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 (...

Article

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....

Article

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....

Article

Albert  

Philip J. Kass

Family of violin makers and dealers. John Albert (b Liel, Baden, Germany, 24 June 1809; d Philadelphia, PA, 2 Jan 1900) began as an engineer and inventor. He came to New York from Freiburg, Germany, in 1854 as a refugee of the 1848 revolution, settling in Philadelphia where in 1857 established a shop. His particular interest was in commercial violin manufacture, in which he held several patents; he established the American Star violin factory which, after his retirement in 1887, was run by his son Eugene John Albert (b Freiburg, 1851; d Philadelphia, 1922). The E.J. Albert firm, under other ownership, continued well into the 1950s.

John’s eldest son, Charles Francis Albert (b Freiburg, Germany, 25 Dec 1842; d Philadelphia, PA, 1 July 1901), established his own shop in Philadelphia in 1865. His interest was in fine instruments and repairs, and as such gained wide respect and admiration. His son and successor, Charles Francis Albert Jr. (...

Article

Nicholas Shackleton

(b Brussels, April 26, 1816; d Brussels, May 11, 1890). Belgian woodwind instrument maker. He is known chiefly for his clarinets. His three sons Jean-Baptiste (-Gustav) (1845–99), Jacques (-Emile) (1849–1918) and Joseph-Eugène (known as E.J. Albert; 1860–1931) were also woodwind instrument makers specializing in clarinets. Eugène Albert is recorded as a maker from 1839. He was so successful that the model of clarinet that he made is widely known (especially in the USA) as the ‘Albert System’ although it was basically Iwan Müller's 13-key clarinet augmented by the two rings (brille) added to the lower joint by Adolphe Sax. Albert's instruments were exceptionally well made and finely tuned. They were particularly popular in England, where his agents were Louis Jullien and then Samuel Arthur Chappell; the leading English clarinettist Henry Lazarus owned eight of his instruments. When Boosey and Co. began to make clarinets in about ...

Article

Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

(fl Milan, c1737–63). Italian violin maker. His violins are roughly reminiscent of Giovanni Grancino’s model although without its symmetry. The craftsmanship rarely approaches any degree of refinement, though the tonal qualities invariably rise above these limitations, and authentic examples in good condition command respectable prices. The varnish on the better instruments is a reddish-brown, most of the others being a clear yellow-brown. Alberti took over Grancino’s shop, which is acknowledged on his printed labels: ‘Ferdinando Alberti in Contrada/Larga di Milano a Segno della/Corona F. l’Anno 17 –’ or ‘Ferdinando Alberti fece in Milano/nella Contrada del pesce al Segno/della Corona l’Anno 17–’. (R. Vannes: ...

Article

Hans Klotz

(b Stuttgart, May 12, 1938; d 1984). German organ builder. Born into a family of organ builders once active in the vicinity of Waldhut, he was trained by the firm of Walcker, followed by Rieger in Schwarzach (Vorarlberg), for whom he didSeit 1960 war er bei Montage- und Intonationsarbeiten für Rieger ua in den USA, Kanada und Haiti tätig. installation and voicing. From 1962 to 1964 he worked for Verschueren Orgelbouw in Heythueysen, Netherlands, then again at Rieger, where he worked on organs for the Freiburg cathedral and the Jakobskirche in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. 1966 folgte die Meisterprüfung und 1969 schließlich die Gründung der eigenen Werkstatt in Lindau/Bodensee. He then studied at the Meisterschule in Ludwigsburg, where he passed his examinations in 1966. After working in Austria, Switzerland, Holland, and the USA, in 1969 he founded his own business in Lindau (Lake Constance) under the name of Albiez-Orgelbau. He built organs exclusively with slider chests and tracker action, using solid wood, never plastic. The firm built more than 60 new organs, including those at the Catholic church, Bischofszell, Switzerland (...

Article

William Waterhouse

( b 1872; d Switzerland, Jan 1938). Italian flute maker, flautist and composer . He was a flautist at La Scala, Milan, from 1897. In 1910 he invented his ‘Albisiphon’, a vertically-held, Boehm-system bass flute in C, with a T-shaped head, which he described in his Albisiphon: flauto ottava bassa (Milan, 1910). It was used by, among others, Mascagni in Parisina (1913), and Zandonai in Melenis (1912) and Francesca da Rimini (1914). The Dayton Miller Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) possesses two models of an ‘albisiphon baritono’ in C and a tenor in F. There is also an example of another invention which Miller termed ‘half flute in C’ (that part of a regular flute played by the left hand, with a wooden handle for right hand) for which Albisi composed a concerto. He also made flutes in collaboration with the Milanese maker Luigi Vanotti in about ...

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Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Germany, 1759/60; d Montgomery, PA, June 28, 1848). American piano maker of German birth. He was active in Philadelphia as a piano maker by the 1790s, probably arriving there on the ship Hamburgh in October 1785. (His marriage to Maria Fuchs is listed in the records of St Michael′s and Zion′s Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, for 17 June 1787; they had no children.) His name appears in tax records, census entries and city directories from 1788 until his death in 1848. First described as a “joiner,” he is listed in newspapers and real estate documents as “Musical Instrument Maker” at the address of 95 Vine Street from 1791 to at least 1824, when he retired from piano making but continued to purchase property in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Albrecht made some of the earliest surviving American square pianos, over 20 of which are still extant (four are at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the date of ...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Hanover, Jan 6, 1788; d Philadelphia, PA, March 1843). American piano maker of German birth. He immigrated to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on 17 October 1822, and from 1823 to 1824 ran a business there at 106 St John Street; from 1830 to 1843 his address was 144 South 3rd Street. On his death his small business was bequeathed to his wife Maria. His pianos exhibit excellent craftsmanship; pianos by him (one upright and one square) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, are in empire style and have six octaves. No relationship between Christian Albrecht, Charles Albrecht, and Albrecht & Co. has yet been established....

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Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Hanover, Jan 6, 1788; d Philadelphia, March 1843). American piano maker of German birth. He emigrated to the USA, arriving in Philadelphia on 17 October 1822, and from 1823 to 1824 ran a business there at 106 St John Street; from 1830 to 1843 his address was 144 South 3rd Street. On his death his small business was bequeathed to his wife Maria. His pianos exhibit excellent craftsmanship; pianos by him (one upright and one square) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, are in empire style and have six octaves. No relationship between Christian Albrecht, Charles Albrecht and Albrecht & Co. has yet been established....

Article

Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

revised by Sylvette Milliot

( b Mirecourt, April 28, 1765; d Paris, 1843). French violin maker . One of the third generation of a Mirecourt family of violin makers, he settled in Paris in 1785, firstly at 16 rue des Arcis, moving to 30 rue de Bussy about 1807, and finally to 71 rue de Seine in 1820. The fine quality of his work places him in the forefront of French violin makers. His instruments are patterned after the Stradivari model but tend towards more fullness in both outline and archings. The varnish, generally of a red-brown colour, can be very attractive, but often falls a little short of achieving clarity and elasticity; heavily varnished instruments have a broad checking, which is not at all unattractive. Those varnished a lighter golden-yellow or orange-brown appear to belong to a lesser category. Tonally, Aldric’s instruments are among the best produced by the French; his cellos are quite outstanding and are much sought after as concert instruments. Aldric used a variety of different labels; the printed ones usually have a decorative border while the manuscript labels are plain and appear rather carelessly turned out. He was the first French violin maker to buy some of the fine Italian instruments that were brought to Paris by Luigi Tarisio in ...

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Christopher Larkin

German family firm of wind instrument makers. The business, located in Mainz, was established in 1782 by Franz Ambros Alexander (b Miltenberg, July 22, 1753; d Mainz, Dec 1, 1802), who was described in a Mainz Cathedral report of the same year as a wood-turner and wind instrument maker. Portraits depict Franz Ambros and his son Philipp (1787–1864) with clarinets. After his death, Alexander's business was continued by his widow and two of his sons, Claudius (1783–1816) and Philipp, later joined by a third, Kaspar Anton (1803–72). Under the direction of Philipp and Kaspar Anton the firm became known as Gebrüder Alexander, the name it still bears. Kaspar Anton's two sons Franz Anton (1838–1926) and Georg Philip (i) (1849–97) became the third generation to direct the company. Woodwind instruments, mainly for military use, were the firm's main products until the mid-19th century. By that time, however, band instrumentation had become more brass orientated; after Philipp's death in ...

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Laurence Libin

In 

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Barbara Owen

French firm of reed organ makers. It was founded in 1829 by Jacob Alexandre (b Paris, 1804; d Paris, 11 June 1876) for the manufacture of accordions; in 1834 he exhibited a small reed organ (two sets of reeds) in Paris. With the purchase in 1841 and 1845 of reed organ patents (among them percussion and prolongement effects) from Alexandre Martin of Provins, the firm soon became one of the leading harmonium makers in the country, although their instruments were first called ‘orgue-mélodium’ to avoid conflict with the patents of A.-F. Debain. These early instruments had four sets of reeds, a five-octave keyboard, couplers, a Grand Jeu, and an Expression stop which bypassed the reservoir to allow control of intensity through the blowing treadles. The firm was awarded a bronze medal for the instrument in the Paris exposition of 1844; this was the first of many awards, including gold medals and culminating in grand prizes in Brussels (...

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