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Cynthia Adams Hoover, Roslyn Rensch and Hugh Davies

American firm of instrument makers and dealers of German origin.

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(Franz) Rudolph Wurlitzer (b Schöneck, Saxony, 31 Jan 1831; d Cincinnati, 14 Jan 1914) came to the USA in 1853; he settled in Cincinnati and began dealing in musical instruments in addition to working in a local bank. It is likely that he was one of a long line of Saxon instrument makers, beginning with Heinrich Wurlitzer (1595–1656), a lute maker. By 1860 he had a thriving trade and is said to have been a leading supplier of military wind instruments and drums during the Civil War. In 1865 he opened a branch in Chicago and in 1872 joined his brother Anton to form the partnership of Rudolph Wurlitzer & Bro. On 25 March 1890 the firm was incorporated as the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. Rudolph served as president of the corporation from 1890 to 1912...


Nicholas Shackleton

(Ulrich )

(b Erlbach, Dec 21, 1888; d Erlbach, April 9, 1984). German clarinet maker . He was born into a family of woodwind instrument makers and worked initially in the shop of his father, Paul Oskar Wurlitzer. He set up an independent workshop about 1930. During the 1930s he collaborated with the clarinettist Ernst Schmidt, adding refinements to both the Oehler system clarinet of the German-speaking world and the Boehm system instrument. Wurlitzer's Schmidt-Kolbe system (initially involving Louis Kolbe, a maker in Altenburg) is a modification of the Oehler system with a more even venting that results in an exceptionally full and even tone in the low register. The majority of these instruments were built with a very wide bore (15·2 mm), perhaps the widest ever used on German-style instruments. They were widely used, and were especially favoured in the Netherlands. The Schmidt Reform Boehm system utilizes standard Boehm system fingering, but carries several additional vents, resulting in a very even tone closer to the German sound than to the French. Wurlitzer also made fine basset-horns, bass clarinets and even a contrabass clarinet; his lower clarinets were still highly prized at the end of the 20th century....


Charles Beare

(b Cincinnati, March 27, 1904; d New York, Oct 21, 1963). American authority on early instruments of the violin family . He was the only son of Rudolph Henry Wurlitzer, director of the Wurlitzer Company in Cincinnati. In 1924, after two years at Princeton University, he was sent to Mirecourt, to learn violin making under Amédée Dieudonné. The following year he spent six months in London as the guest of Alfred Hill of W.E. Hill & Sons, who gave him a valuable grounding in violin connoisseurship. He returned to Cincinnati and became a vice-president of the family business. In 1937 he moved to the firm's violin department in New York, which he established as an independent company under his own direction in 1949. In 1951 he was joined by the Italian restorer Fernando Sacconi (d 1973).

After Wurlitzer's death the business was continued with considerable success by his widow Anna Lee Wurlitzer, née Little (...


Michael Sayer

(b 1905; d 1975). English organ builder. He trained in the Willis factory, 1922–8, when he acquired the business of Charles Francis Lloyd in Nottingham, moving to Bodmin in Cornwall in 1935. After service in the Royal Navy he moved to Michaelstowe, Cornwall, where he worked until suffering a stroke in 1972. He was a strong advocate of classical traditions of organ building, and favoured simple instruments with mechanical action and light wind-pressures. His 46-stop organ in Oakham Parish Church had complete choruses on three manuals and pedals. He also undertook the sensitive restoration of historic organs and harpsichords. His last completed organ is in Dartington Hall, Devon, and his archives are at the Loosemore Centre for organ and early music studies at Buckfastleigh, Devon. He also published a book, Organ Building (1937).

G.W.F. Ellis: obituary, MO, 99 (1975–6), 87 only L. Elvin: Pipes and Actions: Some Organbuilders in the Midlands and Beyond...


Edwin M. Good

South Korean firm of instrument makers. Founded in 1956 to assemble upright pianos from imported components, the company began its own manufacture in 1968 and profited from the country’s booming economy. Though pianos imported to the USA in early years were reported as having insufficiently seasoned lumber, improved methods have overcome these difficulties. Manufacturing and shipping systems are sophisticated and automated, and in 1996 the company opened a huge factory in Tianjin, China. The quality of recent instruments is high. The concert grand has attracted favourable notice, and the uprights are sturdy and sonorous. The company has subsidiaries in Canada, the USA and Europe. In 1985 Young Chang purchased the Weber name at the dissolution of the Aeolian Corporation and in 1990 bought Kurzweil Musical Systems, which produces very sophisticated electronic pianos and MIDI controllers. Production in the mid-1990s was about 120,000 annually, with the opening of the Tianjin factory expected to raise the figure substantially....


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 ...


Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

(fl c1737–61). Italian violin maker. He probably studied with his father, Giovanni Battista (Johannes Baptista) Zanoli, and left his hometown of Verona to work in Padua (a cello made there, his earliest known instrument, is dated 1737) and Venice (where he registered for jury duty in 1747, and where a brother was reportedly a bass singer in the choir of San Marco). After his father’s death he returned to Verona and took over his workshop, the only one of note in that city. He was by no means an innovatory maker, his violins generally following classical Italian patterns (especially in his Venetian-oriented cellos) but with Germanic influence in their rather square arching, deeply curved waist, upright soundholes of Tirolean style, and walnut linings. His long pegboxes and large, tight scrolls are distinctive. While the table wood is invariably excellent, Zanoli often used rather ordinary Italian maple for the backs. Not all his works are of equal merit but his better instruments are varnished an attractive light golden orange-brown or red-brown....


John A. Emerson

revised by Robert Commanday

American family of musicians of German origin. They were active in San Francisco.

(b Bad Dürkheim, July 25, 1832; d San Francisco, Sept 13, 1889). Piano maker. After the death of his father Franz Phillip Zech (1789–1849), a piano maker, he went to New York and worked for five years at Nunns & Clark and Steinway. In May 1856 he moved to San Francisco, and by March 1857 had built his first instrument. The following September a square piano of his manufacture was awarded first prize at the Mechanics Institute Fair. By 1867 he had custom-built 494 instruments.

Zech’s son, August Friedrich Zech (b San Francisco, 20 May 1857; d San Francisco, 20 April 1891), studied at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1876 to 1880 and in San Francisco. He became music director of the Arion Singing Society and several other German singing societies in San Francisco....


Alexander Pilipczuk

(b ?1683; bur. Hamburg, April 13, 1763 ). German harpsichord maker. The year of his birth is conjectured from an entry in the register of deaths and burials at the Jacobikirche in Hamburg stating that he was 79½ when he died. According to Krickeberg and Rase he was probably a pupil of Michael Mietke. He is first mentioned in 1722 in the register of citizens of Hamburg. On 1 September that year he married the widow of the instrument maker Carl Conrad(t) Fleischer (1680–1721/2), whose workshop near the old Gänsemarkt opera house he took over. There were three children of the marriage, all with godparents from Hamburg families of musicians. Christian Zell is thought not to have been related to the painter and draughtsman Gottfried Zell, active in Hamburg 1788–90. Three surviving Zell harpsichords are known: one dated 1728, in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg , another, dated ...


Edwin M. Ripin

revised by Denzil Wraight

[Zentis, Hieronymus de ]

(b Viterbo, ?1609–11; d Paris, 1666/7). Italian maker of harpsichords, spinets and organs . His first recorded commission is from 1635, and in 1641 he was appointed to maintain Pope Urban VIII’s keyboard instrument collection. Zenti was perhaps the best known Italian keyboard maker of his day. His craftsmanship is neat, although not elaborate, but his extensive employment at the royal courts in Stockholm (1652–6), Paris (1660–c1662) and England (1664) bears testimony to the regard of his contemporaries for his instruments. He was in Paris again in 1666 and died there some time before Easter the following year (see Barbieri). It seems that during Zenti’s periods abroad his wife oversaw his workshop in Rome, with various assistants.

No organ by Zenti survives. In 1660 he was commissioned by Camillo Pamphili to build the new organ of S Agnese in Navona, Rome, but never executed the work, having taken up the appointment to the French court. The inventory of instruments belonging to Ferdinando de’ Medici in Florence in ...



Rudolf Hopfner

Austrian firm of woodwind instrument makers . Its founder, Johann Joseph Ziegler (b Komorn [now Komárom], Hungary, 1795; d Vienna, March 10, 1858 ), was granted a privilege to trade in Vienna in 1821. He made all kinds of woodwind instruments for orchestral use, as well as the csakan, an instrument which enjoyed great regional popularity during the early 19th century. Ziegler worked on improvements to instrument design, for instance introducing metal clarinet mouthpieces. In 1837 he sold six clarinets (two in A, two in B and two in C) and two bassoons to the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle. It says much for the efficiency of his firm and the quality of its instruments that it could meet extremely large orders: in 1845 Ziegler apparently supplied instruments to the bands of 30 Austrian regiments, and he had a flourishing export business. After Ziegler's death the firm was continued by his son Johann Baptist (...


Jerzy Gołos

(b1752; d1829). Polish organ builder. Active in Kraków and its environs, he seems to have specialized in large structures, building organs for Wawel Cathedral (1785), St Mary (1800) and the Franciscan and Dominican churches. The Dominican church organ perished in the great fire of ...


(b Morgenroethe, Saxony, Germany, Sept 4, 1817; d Philadelphia, PA, Oct 20, 1898). Instrument maker of German birth. He immigrated to the United States in 1864 and settled in Philadelphia. His work with and improvements to the accordion led him to devise a complex “tone numbering” system of musical notation that used numbers in place of notes; he wrote articles describing this as early as 1871. After years of revising the system he decided to invent a musical instrument that would require its use; he tried at first to adapt the accordion for this purpose but soon turned his attention to the autoharp, a zither with attached chord bars. He first alluded to his plans to manufacture the instrument around 1878 in his book Zimmermann’s Directory of Music in General; he applied for a patent in 1881 (issued the following year) and began production in 1885. Within three years he had sold 50,000 instruments. His models ranged from one with 21 strings and three bars that could produce only three chords to a concert instrument with 49 strings, six bars, slides, and levers that could produce 72 chords. In ...


Edward Garden

(b Sternberg, Sept 22, 1851; d Berlin, April 25, 1922). German music publisher and woodwind and brass instrument manufacturer . He had factories in St Petersburg (1876), Moscow (1882) and Riga (1903). The headquarters of the publishing firm was established in Leipzig in 1886, with the actual printing being carried out by Breitkopf & Härtel. Zimmermann became friendly with Balakirev in 1899 and thereafter published all the works of that composer. It may be that it was Zimmermann’s exhortations that encouraged the prolificness of the final decade of Balakirev’s life. He also published the majority of the compositions of Balakirev’s protégé Sergey Lyapunov. Other composers’ music published by him include Medtner, Josef Hofmann, Tausig, A.S. Taneyev and Reinecke. He suffered financial hardship during World War I, but, although he resumed the publication of music by Russian composers in 1919, he was unable to reopen his former Russian factories and shops. In ...


Howard Schott

revised by Edward L. Kottick

[Wallace ]

(b Berlin, Oct 11, 1922). Harpsichord maker and developer of the kit harpsichord, of German birth. He came to the United States in 1938, studied psychology at Queens College, New York (BA 1949), and continued with postgraduate work. But his musical interests led him to study piano technology. He was never apprenticed to a harpsichord builder, but, having to deal with harpsichords in the course of his work as a piano technician, he determined in 1954 to build one for his own use in amateur chamber music playing. It was a somewhat simplified one-manual model with little claim to historical authenticity. He continued to produce similar harpsichords, which found a ready market. In 1960 he introduced a kit version in response to the evident demand for a basic inexpensive harpsichord. The kit was designed for production on a small industrial scale, and by the end of 1969...


Margaret Cranmer

[Johann Christoph ]

(b Fürth, nr Nuremburg, June 14, 1726; bur. London, Dec 5, 1790). English harpsichord and piano maker of German origin. He may have worked for the Silbermanns and was the most famous of the German keyboard instrument makers known as the ‘12 Apostles’, who emigrated to London about the time of the Seven Years War. Zumpe worked briefly for Burkat Shudi, and married Elizabeth Beeston on 3 December, 1760 before setting up his own shop ‘at the sign of the Golden Guittar’ in Princes Street, Hanover Square, in 1761. There he probably made a few harpsichords, before commencing his successful square piano business. Fétis (1851) wrote that his first lessons were on a Zumpe piano dated 1762. J.C. Bach probably acted as an agent for Zumpe pianos, which in 1771 cost 18 guineas each.

An early Zumpe square, dated 1766, is preserved in the Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart. It has a compass ...