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Kilgen  

Barbara Owen

American firm of organ builders. It was founded in New York by George Kilgen (b Merchingen, nr Osterburken, Germany, 19 March 1821; d St Louis, MO, 6 Dec 1902), who had been apprenticed to Louis Voit (1802–83) in Durlach, Germany. Kilgen emigrated to the USA with a group of political refugees in 1848, finding employment with the Jardine firm before he established his own firm in 1851. In 1873 he moved his company to St Louis, where it prospered. In 1886 the firm became George Kilgen & Son when Charles Christian Kilgen (b New York, 22 April 1859; d St Louis, 6 May 1932) joined as a partner. The firm's most distinguished work dates from the period of the latter's presidency, and includes instruments for St Patrick's Cathedral, New York (1928), and St Justin's Church, Hartford, Connecticut (1932).

After the death of Charles Christian, dissension broke out between his sons Alfred (...

Article

Kimball  

Barbara Owen

American firm of reed organ, piano and organ makers. It was founded in Chicago in 1857 by William Wallace Kimball (b Rumford, ME, 22 March 1828; d Chicago, 16 Dec 1904), the firm becoming known as the W.W. Kimball Co. Sensing the growing commercial importance of Chicago, he moved there in 1857; a chance purchase of a consignment of pianos at an auction shortly afterwards launched his career as a piano dealer. A few years later he added reed organs to his stock, but for over 20 years he purchased his instruments from East Coast manufacturers. In 1865 Kimball married Evalyne Cone, whose brother Albert (d 1900) soon entered the firm, eventually becoming treasurer. The fire in Chicago (1871) destroyed the Kimball store but this was only a temporary setback, and in 1880 Kimball opened his first factory, for the manufacture of reed organs. In ...

Article

Martin Krivin

revised by Margaret Downie Banks

Firm of instrument makers. It was founded as the H.N. White Company (Cleveland) in 1893 by Henderson Nelson White (1873–1940), an instrument repairman, amateur musician, and businessman. White created the company’s first instrument, a trombone, in consultation with trombonist Thomas H. King (1868–1926), after whom the King line was named. The company was renamed King Musical Instruments in 1966.

Foster A. Reynolds (1884–1960) managed White’s factory and a full line of band instruments from 1903 to 1935. A department of acoustical research was established in 1909 in a new factory at 5225 Superior Avenue. Saxophone manufacture began in 1916, followed by the invention of the King saxello (1924; a straight soprano sax with a curved neck and half-turned bell) and the pioneering introduction of sterling silver bells on cornets, trumpets, and trombones. White purchased the Cleveland Musical Instrument Company (1925), added stringed instruments to his line (...

Article

Koch  

Walter Hüttel

German family of organists and organ builders. Paul Koch the elder (d Zwickau, 1546), from St Joachimsthal (now Jáchymov), Bohemia, went to Zwickau in 1543 and there renovated the organs in St Marien and St Katharinen. Paul Koch the younger (bur. Zwickau, 28 Sept 1580) worked as organist in Zwickau, from 1544 at St Katharinen, and from 1552 at St Marien. He renovated the organ in Weiden. Hans Koch was organist from 1563 to 1568 at the Petrikirche in Freiberg, Saxony. Stephan Koch (d Zwickau, 29 Dec 1590) was organist at St Dorotheen in Vienna in 1564, and later in Annaberg (Erzgebirge), where he married in 1570. From 21 July 1575 he lived as a wealthy citizen and organist and highly esteemed instrument maker in Zwickau. He completed an organ begun by Jakob Weinrebe in Bischofswerda (Christuskirche, 1571) and built instruments in Olomouc (St Mauritius, ...

Article

Kolberg  

James Holland

German firm of percussion instrument manufacturers. It was founded near Stuttgart in 1968 by Bernard Kolberg (b Oberschliesen, Upper Silesia, 1942), a percussionist and engineer. The firm has been influential in extending the possibilities of existing instruments and in the development of new ones. It has produced extended-range tubular bells (three octaves), crotales (five octaves), bell plates (five octaves), anvils (four octaves), boobams (three octaves) and other instruments, and a mounted tambourine to facilitate the endless thumb trill; it has also developed a number of technical innovations for pedal timpani....

Article

Ian Mikyska

Composers’ collective and ensemble founded in Prague in 2002. Over the years, the organizing team has included a number of composers and instrumentalists, with the remaining core today being Tomáš Pálka[1], Michaela Plachká, and Ondřej Štochl[2].

Their programming includes canonical composers of the 20th century as well as younger artists. They hold a call for scores each year, and have presented a number of works by Czech composers of older generations (kopelent, slavický, smolka). Despite a general tendency towards quiet and contemplative aesthetics, they have also performed music by composers of the so-called New Complexity and from more standard post-avant-garde traditions, always with a view to creating a dynamic and compact programme.

Konvergence often collaborates with other ensembles on combined programmes with an unusually well thought out dramaturgy. Over the years, they have worked with ensembles such as Platypus, Adapter, the Fama Quartet, le concert impromptu, the Isang Yun Trio, and the Quasars Ensemble....

Article

Korg  

Hugh Davies

Japanese firm of electronic instrument manufacturers. It was founded in Tokyo in 1963 by Tsutomu Katoh and the accordion player Tadashi Osanai as Keio Geijutsu Kenkyujo. From 1968 the firm became known as Keio Electronic Laboratories; although they used the brand-name Korg (‘Katoh-Osanai organ’) on the products, this became the company's official name only in the mid-1980s. Keio began by constructing rhythm units for Yamaha's Electone electronic organs, then produced its own separate units, the Doncamatic rhythm machine followed by the MiniPops series. Korg soon became one of the most successful Japanese manufacturers of electronic instruments, and produced the first Japanese synthesizer in 1968. In 1986 Yamaha bought a 40% stake in Korg.

The range of Korg instruments has included monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers (such as the Polysix), synthesizer modules, electronic organs and pianos (many digital models), string synthesizers, home keyboards, electronic percussion units, guitar synthesizers, samplers, electronic tuners and a vocoder. Its most successful product has been the M1 work station (...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Unique MIDI synthesizer controlled by a gamma-ray spectrometer designed and built by Jerry Chamkis (b Los Angeles, CA, 1942). He studied physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, but disillusioned by the emphasis on military applications, he left and became chief engineer at a radio station in Houston, Texas. In 1975, he formed AERCO (Acme Electric Robot Company), where he initially produced peripheral devices and memory expansions for small computers and then moved on to computer-controlled hot wire cutting systems, broadcast equipment, and microphone preamplifiers. Since about 2000 he has concentrated on various art projects such as the Kosmophone.

The gamma-ray spectrometer used for the Kosmophone operates at 3–7 million electron volts, the energy coming primarily from very high-energy cosmic radiation. Although mostly stopped by the atmosphere, gamma rays produce secondary energy emissions that the Kosmophone detects, sending the information to a synthesizer MIDI control port. The radiation pulses are processed and digitized to 12 bits, 7 of which are sent as the MIDI pitch value and 4 as the MIDI velocity value. The first Kosmophone was built from standard nuclear instrumentation modules and custom circuit boards. The second version is a self-contained portable unit with an integral detector, a self-contained nuclear analyser, an Alesis QSR synthesizer, and a 100-watt-per-channel amplifier. It was first shown publicly at the Electricity and Me show at Gallery Lombardi in Austin, Texas, in ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

French piano manufacturer, founded in 1831 by Jean-Georges Kriegelstein (b Riquewihr, Alsace, 1801; d Paris, France, 20 Nov 1865). Having arrived in Paris in 1815, he was listed as a piano maker there by 1824, and worked for Jean-Henri Pape from 1826 until 1831. In partnership with Arnaud (about whom nothing is known), he exhibited two square pianos in 1834, one with an upstriking action and one with a downstriking action, the latter receiving a silver medal; it was patented in 1833. At this time, Kriegelstein and Arnaud, of rue des Petites-Stables, employed 20 to 25 workers who made 70 pianos per year. Kriegelstein and the French composer Charles Plantade were partners from 1838 until at least 1849 with a factory at rue Laval, St Georges. In 1839 Kriegelstein patented a grand piano nut and a damper system. Another patent of 1841 was for an Agraffe with adjustable screw placed between the tuning pin and the bridge to adjust the tuning....

Article

Gillian Weir

Swiss firm of organ builders. The firm was founded in Männedorf, near Zürich, by Johann Nepomuk Kuhn (1827–88). He was succeeded by his son, Carl Theodor Kuhn, after whose death in 1925 ownership of the company passed to family friends, who with their successors control the company. By 1876 it had built organs for such important cathedrals as St Gallen and the Zürich Grossmünster, and by 1900 had exported widely, especially to France.

The company has always been noted for its progressiveness, and has patented several major technical innovations, such as the ‘System Kuhn’, developed in 1891 for the firm's first tubular-pneumatic organ. It responded quickly to the Orgelbewegung: the Berne Minster organ of 1930 was built with slider-chests and a Rückpositiv (but electro-pneumatic key- and stop-actions), and the 1937 organ at Fribourg was Kuhn’s first instrument with slider-chests and mechanical key- and stop-action. In 1964 it built its last electric action organ, and since then, under the guidance of Friedrich Jakob, who became associated with Kuhn in ...