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Wier  

Barra R. Boydell

[Weyer]

German crumhorn makers active from the late 15th or early 16th century to the mid-16th century in Memmingen. Their instruments are marked with a single, double or triple reverse ‘f’; this symbol corresponds to an ‘I’ or ‘J’ in contemporary script. There appear to have been two or three crumhorn makers of this name: Jörg (i) (d ?before 1530), Jörg (ii) (b c1485–90; d ?1549) and Jörg (iii) (fl ?1557–65). References occur to a ‘Jörg Weyer’ in Memmingen records of 1513, 1518 and the 1520s, sometimes describing him as a town musician; these could concern Jörg (i) or Jörg (ii) or both of them. The listing of voters for the referendum in 1530 on the proposals of the Augsburg Reichstag includes only one Jörg Weyer (he was one of the small minority of voters who rejected the Reformation proposals); it seems therefore that Jörg (i) had died before ...

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Karl J. Raudsepp

(bLichtental, Romania, July 5, 1936). Canadian organ builder of German ancestry. He was apprenticed to Laukhuff between 1952 and 1956, and later worked for Metzler & Söhne in Zürich. In 1960 he emigrated to Canada to head the department of mechanical-action organs at Casavant Frères. He set up his own business in 1966 at St Hyacinthe, Quebec, delivering his first instrument to Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, Montreal (1966). His opus 5 (two manuals, 19 stops), built the following year for St Bonaventure, Montreal, stands out as an exceptional example of his early work. His first three-manual organ was built in 1972 for Trinity Church, Southport, Connecticut; this was immediately followed by the magnificent instrument for St Matthias Anglican Church, Westmount, Montreal. The latter organ is arguably one of his best three-manual instruments. In 1974 he moved to Mont-St-Hilaire, Quebec. By 1997 he had completed nearly 150 organs, including 12 three-manual instruments. His organs are found throughout Canada and the USA, and as far east as Korea....

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Brian Boydell and Denise Neary

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John A. Emerson

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Philip H. Peter

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Nicholas Thistlethwaite

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Nicholas Thistlethwaite

(b London, April 27, 1821; d London, Feb 11, 1901). English organ builder . He was articled to John Gray in about 1835 but left before his apprenticeship was completed to work with Wardle Evans of Cheltenham, an organ builder and maker of harmoniums (reed organs). Willis later claimed to have developed a two-manual free-reed instrument with Evans (1841) and to have met Dr Samuel Sebastian Wesley when it was exhibited in London. This meeting was the prelude to an association which was to be of considerable significance in Willis’s career.

Meanwhile, Willis returned to London and set up in business as a pipe-maker and organ builder (c1845). By 1848 he was at 2½ Foundling Terrace, Gray’s Inn Road, moving subsequently to 18 Manchester Street (1851–9), 119 Albany Street (1859–65) and finally acquiring a remarkable circular building in Camden Town (‘The Rotunda Organ Works’) previously used as a studio by Robert Burford, a painter of cycloramas. His first major contract was the rebuilding of the organ in Gloucester Cathedral which he completed in ...

Article

Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

[Nicolaus ]

(b Lippstadt, Aug 24, 1777; d Amsterdam, Sept 28, 1826). German builder of mechanical organs, clock-maker and inventor . He was the son of a master watch- and clock-maker but was orphaned before he was three years old. He became a clock-maker, gaining the freedom of Lippstadt in 1816. In November 1814 he completed a musical time-indicator or metronome (see Metronome) using a balanced, double-ended pendulum. The following year he showed this to J.N. Maelzel, who modified and patented it under his own name. Over the ensuing years the ownership of the concept was hotly disputed by the two men. Winkel’s original metronome survives in the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Having moved to Amsterdam in 1816, Winkel set about creating an Orchestrion organ to rival Maelzel’s Panharmonicon. Besides playing music in the ordinary manner, however, his would compose its own music. The outcome was the Componium which, it was claimed, could create an almost endless series of variations once presented with a theme. Winkel completed it on ...

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Withers  

Charles Beare

revised by Philip J. Kass

English family of violin makers, repairers and dealers . Edward Withers (i) (1808–75) founded his firm in London by purchasing that of R. and W. Davis in 1846. Davis had been associated with the well-known violin maker John Frederick Lott, with whom Withers had clearly studied. Withers's output was considerable and of fine quality; for a time he employed Charles Adolphe Maucotel and Charles Boullangier, émigrés from France. The premises were at 31 Coventry Street.

Edward Withers (ii) (1844–1915) was apprenticed to his father at an early age, also working with Lott. Like his father, he copied the work of Stradivari and Guarneri (mainly the latter) and it is said that he made about 200 instruments in addition to his repair work. In 1878 the business moved to 22 Wardour Street, where it has remained; on the death of Edward Withers (ii) it was continued by his three sons, Edward Sidney Munns Withers (...

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Darja Koter

[Bitenc, Andrej ]

(b Ljubljana, 1802; d Ljubljana, after 1856). Slovenian piano maker. He was taught by an unknown piano maker in Vienna where he obtained his trade licence. His three extant grand pianos (Narodni muzej Slovenije, Ljubljana, c1835; Pokrajinski muzej, Ptuj, 1856; private collection, Slovenia), of Biedermeier style and marked ...

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[Hans ]

(bc1594; d Vienna, Austria, May 4, 1660). Austrian organ builder. He worked on various projects at the collegiate church, Heiligenkreuz, near Vienna, between 1607 and 1650 and built a new organ for St Augustine, Vienna, in 1640. He supplied positives for St Mauritius, Kroměříž (1655), and Olomouc Cathedral (1658), and a new organ for the Church of Our Lady, Wiener Neustadt. His organ in the Franciscan church, Vienna (1641–2; two manuals, 20 stops; restored 2010), follows the style favoured by the Passau organ-building families of Freundt and Putz, as far as can be known from the existing original material; it is said to be the oldest organ in a church in Vienna and is noted also for its richly carved case with painted doors.

H. Klotz: Über die Orgelkunst der Gotik, der Renaissance und des Barock (Kassel, 1934, rev. 2/1975) O. Eberstaller...

Article

Brian Boydell

A number of Irish organists and instrument makers bore this name; they may have belonged to the same family.

(d Dublin, June 24, 1750 ). Having served as organist of Kilkenny Cathedral (1704–09) he was appointed organist of st Catherine’s, Dublin, on 14 November 1709 and admitted as a half vicar-choral of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on 17 March 1710. On 23 December of that year he was appointed organist at St Mary’s where he remained until his death. In 1720 he was one of the committee of four experts who testified to the unsatisfactory nature of Thomas Hollister’s new organ in St Werburgh’s, Dublin. He was buried in the old churchyard of St Patrick’s Cathedral, where his wife had been interred in November 1723. His son John is described in his will as being his ‘only next of kin’.

(fl 1720–?1758...

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Karl J. Raudsepp

(Sylvio Gustav)

(bZürich, Sept 3, 1937; dNovember 20, 2013). Canadian organ builder of Swiss birth. He was apprenticed to Metzler & Söhne, and received further training with several firms in Europe and the USA, including Rieger in Austria and Charles Fisk in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 1963 he emigrated to Canada, where he worked as a designer for Casavant Frères in their newly established mechanical-action department. He designed their organs for St Pascal, Kamouraska, Quebec (1963); Our Lady of Sorrows, Toronto (1964); and Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs, Montreal (1965).

After a brief period working as a voicer and designer in Geneva, he returned to Canada in 1966 to work with Karl Wilhelm, before establishing his own business in Laval, Quebec, in 1968. James Louder (b1948) joined the firm as an apprentice in 1974, eventually becoming a partner in 1988. The firm was incorporated under the name Wolff & Associés Ltée in ...

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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 ...

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Wornum  

Peter Ward Jones

[Wornham]

English family of music publishers and piano makers . Robert Wornum (i) (b ?Berkshire, 1742; d London, 1815) was established in Glasshouse Street, London (c1772–7), and then at 42 Wigmore Street (c1777–1815). He published many small books of dances and airs for the flute or violin, and was also a maker of violins and cellos. His son Robert Wornum (ii) (b London, bap. 19 Nov 1780; d London, 29 Sept 1852) went into partnership with George Wilkinson in a piano business in Oxford Street from 1810 to about 1813. Following his father’s death in 1815 Robert (ii) continued the family business making pianos, moving in 1832 to Store Street, Bedford Square. He played an important role in developing small upright pianos which were acceptable as articles of drawing-room furniture. Wornum invented the diagonally and vertically strung low upright pianos in 1811...

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Guy Oldham

revised by Stephen Bicknell

(fl Oxford, 1483–9). English organ builder . In 1486 he constructed a ‘pair of organs’ (i.e. an organ) for the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford for the sum of £28, and in 1488 repaired it for 40s. In 1487 he entered into an agreement with R. Fitzjames, warden of Merton College, to make a similar instrument, also for £28. According to the late 17th-century antiquary Anthony Wood, who believed that Wotton's first name was William, he was the father of Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne in ...

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Robert E. Eliason

(b Ashby, MA, March 1, 1811; d Boston, March 15, 1871). American maker of brass instruments . He began his career in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the late 1830s. In 1841 he moved to Boston and began making valved brass instruments in addition to those with keys. He exhibited a keyed trumpet in the 1841 Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association fair. A valve trumpet of his, now in the Smithsonian Institution, is known to date from 1845. He is known to have worked in Lowell, Massachusetts, briefly in 1858 and 1859. Throughout his career a wide variety of valved brass instruments came from his shop and his excellent E♭ keyed bugles brought him considerable fame. Many were made of silver and gold as presentation pieces for famous bandleaders and soloists; the most elaborate of these is a 12-key instrument of solid gold made for D.C. Hall in 1850 (now at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan)....

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Hans Klotz

(b Orneta, 1735; d Oliwa, March 11, 1807). Polish organ builder . He was the son of ‘Wulf of Orneta’ (probably ‘Wulf of Malbork’, who worked on the organ in Pelplin Cathedral as the assistant of Daniel Nitrowski at various times between 1674 and 1680). In 1758 Wulf went to Danzig; Abbot J. Rybiński of the Cistercian monastery in Oliwa sent him to north Germany and the Netherlands for three years for further training. On his return Wulf built the little organ (of which the case still exists) in the monastery church; on 22 January 1763 he entered the order (as Father Michaeł) and began work on the large organ. In 1776 he was ordained and in 1778 stopped work on the instrument, which was completed between 1791 and 1793 by F. Dalitz of Danzig. Before its renovation (1934–5), the organ had 83 stops on three manuals and pedal, including 49 foundation stops, 24 mixtures and mutations and ten reeds; it was three-quarters of a tone above modern concert pitch. The instrument was the largest old organ in Poland and represented a synthesis of southern and northern Polish styles....