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Article

Gaveau  

Margaret Cranmer

French firm of piano and harpsichord makers. Joseph Gaveau (b Romorantin, 1824; d Paris, 1893) founded the firm in 1847, working with his employees in a small shop at the rue des Vinaigriers in Paris; the workshop and the offices were later transferred to the rue Servan. The firm established an excellent reputation for its small upright pianos, and by the 1880s the business was producing about 1000 pianos a year, achieving a degree of success due to commercial acumen rather than intrinsic quality. Joseph was succeeded by his son Etienne Gaveau (b Paris, 7 Oct 1872; d Paris, 26 May 1943), who organized the construction of a larger new factory at Fontenay-sous-Bois and, following the example of other well-known piano makers, in 1907 opened a new concert hall, the Salle Gaveau, in the rue la Boëtie, Paris. This street also housed the offices of the firm from ...

Article

Geib  

Margaret Cranmer, Barbara Owen, W. Thomas Marrocco, Mark Jacobs and G. Kaleschke

German family of organ builders, piano makers, instrument dealers and music publishers. One branch of the family worked first in England and later in the USA. Johann Georg Geib (i) (b Staudernheim an der Nahe, 9 Sept 1739; d Frankenthal, 16 April 1818) established his own business around 1760 in St Johann, near Saarbrücken. In 1790 the business was transferred to Frankenthal, and from about 1786 his son Johann Georg (ii) worked in partnership with him. Geib’s work was typical of the Middle Rhine school of organ building. Of the 16 instruments that can be attributed to him only six survive: the best-preserved is in the Protestant parish church in Lambrecht.

Johann Georg Geib (ii) (b Saarbrücken, 14 June 1772; d Frankenthal, 5 March 1849) ran the family business after his father’s death, first on his own and then jointly with Josef Littig. Only about nine of his organs can be traced; his work did not attain the same quality as his father’s, and the firm ceased after his death....

Article

Gerhard  

Walter Hüttel

German family of organ builders. They were active in the 18th and 19th centuries. Justinus Ehrenfried Gerhard (b 1710 or 1711; d Lindig bei Kahla, 16 Jan 1786) probably learnt the art of organ building from the craftsman Tröbs in Weimar. About 1739 he founded a works at Lindig, in which town he married in 1741. He was a great craftsman, whose art is equal to that of Gottfried Silbermann. His instruments are solidly built, with beautiful Baroque façades, good dispositions and fine tone quality. The organ at Ziegenhain (1764; one manual and pedal, nine speaking stops and pedal coupler) is outstanding for its exceptionally powerful, clear sound and excellent voicing.

Christian August Gerhard (b Lindig, 1 Sept 1745; d Lindig, 15 Dec 1817), son of Justinus Ehrenfried, continued the business in Lindig. A grandson, Johann Christian Adam Gerhard (b Lindig, 17 Aug 1780...

Article

(b Luxembourg, Aug 16, 1884; d New York, Aug 19, 1967). American writer, publisher, and inventor. In 1904 he emigrated to America, where in 1908 he founded the first of a series of radio magazines (including Radio-Craft) which he wrote for and edited. He later turned to science fiction magazines (from ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(M.Y. de P. )

(b Rheims, France, 1899; d La Varenne St-Hilaire, St-Maur-des-Fossés, France, Nov 9, 1963). French engineer and physicist. He was one of the pioneers of electronic instruments and especially of the electronic organ in the 1920s and early 1930s; some of his instruments were constructed in collaboration with the organ builder Edouard Eloi Coupleux. In 1917 or 1918, while working in the radio laboratory at the Eiffel Tower in Paris (at the same time as Maurice Martenot and Joseph Béthenod), Givelet first conceived the idea of electronic instruments based on the pitches that could be produced and varied by placing one’s hand near or on certain components in a radio receiver. His idea for a dial-operated instrument (similar to the later Dynaphone and Ondium Péchadre) was not followed up until the mid-1920s, when he returned to studying the possibilities of electronic instruments.

Givelet’s first completed electronic instrument, the monophonic keyboard ...

Article

Christopher Kent

English firm of organ builders . It was established in 1980 by Dominic Gwynn (b Ealing, 18 Aug 1953), Martin Goetze (b Luton, 14 Sept 1951) and Edward Bennett (b Coln St Aldwyns, Glos., 18 Aug 1948) with the aim of rediscovering the pre-Victorian (classical) tradition of English organ building. Their instruments reflect the findings of archival and fieldwork research, and address the requirements of soloists and ensembles dedicated to historically informed performances of early music. They have also contributed to the conservation of Britain’s organ heritage with reports and pre-restoration surveys of significant instruments and contributions to organographical conferences and literature (writings by Gwynn are listed below). Restorations undertaken by the firm have included a number of chamber and barrel organs. Among the reconstructions are the Handel organ at St Lawrence, Little Stanmore, London (1994), the 1743 Thomas Griffin organ at St Helen Bishopsgate, London (...

Article

Kurt Lueders

French firm of organ builders. The founder, Victor [Victorino] Gonzalez (b Hacinas, Burgos, 2 Dec 1877; d Paris, 3 June 1956), trained with Cavaillé-Coll (1894–9) and worked for Gutschenritter, Limonaire and Masure before going into partnership with Victor Ephrème at Malakoff, near Paris, in 1921; from 1929 he and his son Fernand (1904–40) worked together as Etablissements Gonzalez in Châtillon. The influential support of Norbert Dufourcq and the organist André Marchal gradually led to the creation of the neo-classical or eclectic organ, seeking to fuse elements of the French classical organ with the then dominant late-Romantic style. Rudolf von Beckerath, who worked in the shop until 1936, introduced German influences. Georges Danion, who married Victor’s granddaughter, headed the firm after 1956, incorporating workshops in Rambervillers from 1963 and later Lodève, and transferring the headquarters to Brunoy in 1965. From the 1980s the company’s operations diminished, and by the end of the 20th century only the Lodève shop remained active....

Article

Nicholas Thistlethwaite

English firm of organ builders. Robert Gray (d 1796) was in business at Leigh Street, Red Lion Square, London, in 1774. By 1787 he had been joined by William Gray (d c1820), and a trade card of about 1795 advertises them as ‘Robert & William Gray, Organ, Harpsichord & Piano-Forte Makers’. Following Robert’s death William carried on business in his own name; he was succeeded by his son John Gray (d 1849) who had, by 1837, taken his son Robert into partnership.

The firm’s work was highly regarded in the early 19th century. Their tonal schemes reflected the growing taste for delicate voices and imitative reeds, but the Great Organ always contained a complete chorus and William Gray was one of the first to make regular use of Pedal pipes. Important contracts during this period included new organs for St Anne’s, Soho (...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

German firm of piano makers. C(arl) F(riedrich) Theodor Steinweg (b Seesen, 6 Nov 1825; d Brunswick, 26 March 1889), the eldest son of H.E. Steinweg, continued the family piano-making business in Seesen when his father and the rest of the family emigrated in 1850 to New York where they founded Steinway. In 1855 the German firm moved from Seesen to Wolfenbüttel, where in 1858 (Georg) Friedrich (Carl) Grotrian (b Brunswick, 13 Jan 1803; d 11 Dec 1860), who had sold his Moscow music shop and piano-making business, became Theodor’s partner. The firm then moved to Brunswick.

In 1865 Theodor emigrated to New York to assist his father, having sold his share in the business to Wilhelm Grotrian (b Moscow, 12 Aug 1843; d Brunswick, 21 Feb 1917, the son of Friedrich Grotrian), Adolf Helfferich and H.O.W. Schulz, who continued the business under the name C.F.Th. Steinweg Nachf. This trade name was changed to Grotrian, Helfferich, Schulz, Th. Steinweg Nachf. in ...

Article

Karl J. Raudsepp

Canadian firm of organ builders . It was founded in 1946 by Maurice Guilbault (1903–69), who had previously worked for Casavant Frères of St Hyacinthe, Quebec, and Antonio Delage. In 1962 the company was incorporated as Orgue Providence Inc., taking its name from the location of the workshop. Guilbault’s son André (b St Hyacinthe, 28 Nov 1937) joined the firm in 1955 and succeeded his father as head of the company in 1968. At about that time he was joined by Guy Thérien (b Iberville, PQ, 20 Nov 1947; d St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, 11 May 2001), a young apprentice voicer from Casavant Frères. The company adopted its present name, Guilbault-Thérien Inc., in 1979. A new and enlarged workshop was built to accommodate the expanding business in 1985.

The firm began by rebuilding instruments using primarily electro-pneumatic technology. Examples include the electro-pneumatic rebuilding of the historic 1863...

Article

Hugh Davies

revised by Laurence Libin

(b Christiana, Norway, Dec 20, 1860; d Chicago, IL, May 14, 1935). American piano manufacturer. His father was a cabinet maker and organ builder; the family came to America about 1869. After training with his father, Gulbransen worked initially for the Tewksbury & Carpenter reed organ company in Mendota, Illinois. At age 17 he reportedly went to work for the E.P. Carpenter company in Worcester, Massachusetts, and for some years alternated employment between these two firms before going to Story & Clark, where he rose to become superintendent. He next moved to the Melville Clark piano company in DeKalb, Illinois, and finally established the Gulbransen-Dickinson company in Chicago in 1904. In 1915 his firm took over the H.P. Nelson plant and by 1917 it had supposedly become the world’s largest manufacturer of player pianos. Gulbransen patented significant improvements to player pianos between at least 1911 and 1925. On the verge of bankruptcy in ...

Article

Kurt Lueders

French family of organ builders . The firm was founded by Charles [(Johann-)Karl] Haerpfer (b Nördlingen, Germany, 17 June 1834; d Boulay-Moselle, 19 Oct 1920). After working with Steinmeyer, Walcker and Haas in Lucerne, Haerpfer went to work for Cavaillé-Coll in Paris where he met Nicolas-Etienne Dalstein. A partnership was founded on 29 July 1863 in Boulay-Moselle, where the family has remained to this day. The fine, intact organ of St Sébastien, Nancy (1873), is considered their masterpiece and exemplifies their adroit synthesis of French and German styles, with features such as cone-valve chests and Doppelflöten stops standing alongside a French Récit division and reed style.

Frédéric [Friedrich] Haerpfer (b 13 July 1879; d Metz, 11 Dec 1956), son of Charles, worked as an apprentice in the firm from 1894 and, following journeyman experience with Weigle in Stuttgart and Mascioni in Milan, made a significant contribution to the organ section of the Vienna congress in ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer and Kari Michelsen

Norwegian firm of piano makers and music publishers. The brothers Karl Hals (b Sörum, 27 April 1822; d Christiania [now Oslo], 7 Dec 1898) and Petter Hals (1823–71) set up as Brødrene Hals, piano makers, in Christiania in November 1847, having studied piano making abroad. They first made only oblique-strung upright pianos, but later changed to upright vertical and cross-strung instruments, better suited to the harsh Norwegian climate. They manufactured several thousand instruments and they also specialized in repair work. They received medals at exhibitions in 1862, 1866, 1867 and 1900. In 1890 the factory had 100 employees.

By 1869 their bichord and trichord upright pianos had three iron bars and metal plates bracing the deepest octaves, the larger trichord upright pianos having five iron bars with metal plates for all the strings. All vertical upright pianos had seven octaves whereas grand and cross-strung upright pianos had seven and a quarter octaves. In cross-strung upright pianos the strings were somewhat longer, giving a rich tone, the metal plate being fastened to an iron frame under the soundboard, and to three iron bars placed over it. The firm made harmoniums from ...

Article

Bengt Kyhlberg

Swedish family of organ builders. They were active for five generations in Göteborg; in 1898 they began to work under the name ‘Olof Hammarberg’, the name of the firm through the 20th century. The first member of the family to build organs was Adolf Fredrik Pettersson (1811–72), who was originally a master carpenter; in 1848 he completed the rebuilding and enlargement of the organ in the church of St Karl Johan, Göteborg. His son, Gustaf Adolf Pettersson (1840–98), gained experience in his father’s workshop and with the Danish firm of Marcussen at Aabenraa; after his father’s death Gustaf registered as an organ builder in Göteborg, where he constructed mainly small pipe organs and harmoniums. His son, Olof Pettersson Hammarberg (1871–1942), was also a pupil at Marcussen’s and later trained in Germany and the USA. The 150 organs built during his directorship are all markedly Romantic in character....

Article

Hans Klotz

revised by Hermann Fischer

German firm of organ builders. Philipp Furtwängler (b Gütenbach, Baden-Württemberg, 6 April 1800; d Elze, Hanover, 5 July 1867), a clockmaker in Elze, taught himself to build organs, completing his first instrument in 1838. He took his son Wilhelm (b Elze, 5 June 1829; d Elze, 3 Sept 1883) into the firm in 1854, and his son Pius (b Elze, 14 July 1841; d Hanover, 16 Jan 1910) in 1862, when the firm’s name was altered to Ph. Furtwängler & Söhne, Elze. Adolf Hammer (b Herzberg im Harz, 6 April 1854; d Hanover, 5 March 1921) entered the firm in 1883, in which year it moved to Hanover and changed its name to P. Furtwängler & Hammer, Hanover. Adolf Hammer’s nephew Emil Hammer (b Wesermünde, 22 Feb 1878; d Hanover, 3 Dec 1958) became managing director in 1921 and sole proprietor in ...

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Article

Harrass  

Anne Beetem Acker

[Harass, Harras]

German family of harpsichord builders active in Grossbreitenbach, Thuringia. Family members included Johann Heinrich (i) (b 4 May 1665; d ?1714), Johann Mathias (1671–1746), Johann Heinrich (ii) (1707–78), and Johann Nicol (dates unknown). Little is known about the family except that the two Johann Heinrichs were father and son. Two two-manual harpsichords attributed to the workshop of Johann Heinrich (i) are extant: an instrument ascribed to Harrass (c1710, D.SH.m), with a disposition of 8′ + 4′ on the lower manual and 8′ on the upper manual, and a so-called Bach harpsichord (c1700, D.B.im), unsigned but closely resembling in some respects the later instrument. The latter has been altered, but it originally had a three-register disposition (4′ and 16′ on the lower manual; 8′ with buff stop and push coupler on the upper manual), later expanded to four registers. It is said, questionably, to have belonged to Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and possibly to Johann Sebastian Bach. Both instruments have a double-curved bentside and five-octave compass ...

Article

Nicholas Thistlethwaite

English firm of organ builders. It was founded in Rochdale in 1861 by Thomas Hugh Harrison (b London, 27 Dec 1839; d Isleworth, 24 March 1912), whose father, another Thomas (c1807–93), had set up in business as an organ parts supplier in the New Road, London, in 1830. The son served an apprenticeship with Henry Willis, and then went north to exploit the demand for organs created by the building of churches and chapels in the industrial districts. He may have acquired Richard Nicholson's business when the latter moved away from Rochdale in 1861 (see Nicholson family). In 1870 he moved to Durham. His brother James (who had also been apprenticed to Willis) joined him in 1872 and the firm became Harrison & Harrison. The organs of this period are well-built, of good materials, and already reveal the concern for tonal refinement, and taste for smooth reeds, solid Pedal Organs and variety of string tone which were to become characteristic of the firm’s work after ...

Article

G. Kaleschke

German family of organ builders. They originally came from Thuringia, but worked until about 1703 in the Worms and Darmstadt region, then in Dürkheim (Leiningen) and subsequently in a wider area. Augustinus Hartung (1677–1739) established a thriving workshop, working initially in the mid-German and later in the south German tradition. About ten of his organs survive. His son Johann Michael Hartung (b Dürkheim, 3 Feb 1708; d Dürkheim, 13 Jan 1763), first mentioned as an independent builder in 1733 but still associated with his father in 1737, became the most important member of the family and was widely acknowledged and respected; under his direction the firm attained great importance, and at his death he was an alderman and police official. Only some 13 one- and two-manual organs have been attributed to him but he might have built many more; his last known project was for Assenheim in ...

Article

Hass  

Donald Howard Boalch

revised by Peter Williams and Alexander Pilipczuk

[Haas, Hasse, Hase, Hasch]

German family of harpsichord, clavichord (and organ?) makers. Hieronymus Albrecht Haas (b Hamburg, bap. 1 Dec 1689; bur. Hamburg, 19 June 1752) received Hamburg citizenship on 2 October 1711. In 1713, at the time of the birth of his son, he was described as Instrumentenmacher and Clavirmacher. Chamberlain’s accounts from Plön dating from 1744 record the delivery by Hieronymus Albrecht of a ‘Clavicimbel’ for Duke Friedrich Carl von Plön. This instrument was probably one of his last; the latest known instruments by him, two unfretted clavichords, are dated the same year (Boalch, 3/1995, pp.369–70).

Johann [Johan] Adolph [Rudolph] Hass (b Hamburg, bap. 12 March 1713; bur. Hamburg, 29 May 1771), son of Hieronymus Albrecht, received his citizenship on 28 October 1746. On 12 October 1747 he became a member of the city chamber of commerce. His seventh child, Margaretha Catharina, married the instrument maker Johann Christoffer [Christopher] Krogmann (...