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Article

Voit  

Hermann Fischer

German firm of organ builders in Karlsruhe-Durlach. The firm was founded in 1764 by Johann Heinrich Stein (1735–67) of Heidelsheim, and continued by his cousin Georg Markus Stein (1738–94), organ builder to the court of Baden-Durlach; after the latter’s death it passed by marriage into the hands of Johann Volkmar Voit (1772–1806) of Schweinfurt. In 1807 Johann Ludwig Bürgy (1761–1838) of Niederflorstadt married Voit’s widow and ran the workshop until 1835. He was succeeded by his stepson Louis Voit (1802–83) who ran the firm until 1870. It was then taken over by the latter’s sons Heinrich (1834–1914) and Carl (1847–87). After Carl’s death, Heinrich’s sons Emil (1864–1924) and Siegfried (1870–1938) were taken into the firm as partners, and it became known as H. Voit & Söhne. In 1930 Siegfried Voit retired from the business, and the workshops were taken over by their former manager Karl Hess (...

Article

Walker  

Nicholas Thistlethwaite

English firm of organ builders . Joseph William Walker (b London, 17 Jan 1803; d London, 1 Feb 1870) was reputedly ‘parlour apprentice’ to G.P. England (see England) in London; he worked with W.A.A. Nicholls (England's successor) and then set up business as a pipe maker. He built his first organ in 1827. Joseph Walker's instruments are notable for their full-toned diapasons and bright upperwork; most had one or two manuals but he built larger organs for the Exeter Hall (1839), Highfield Chapel, Huddersfield (1854), and the International Exhibition of 1862. Under his son, James John Walker (b 21 Aug 1846; d 19 Sept 1922), the firm secured a series of prestigious contracts including Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, London (1891), St Margaret's, Westminster (1898), and York Minster (1903). All these instruments were characterized by a restrained opulence in which fully developed flue choruses co-existed with strings, orchestral reeds and bright flutes....

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b ?1665 or 1666; d London, March 13, 1736). Music seller, engraver, printer, publisher and instrument seller, probably of Irish extraction. He was established in London by about 1690. On 24 June 1692 he was appointed musical instrument-maker-in-ordinary to William III in succession to John Shaw, whose trade sign of ‘The Golden Harp and Hoboy’ he also adopted; in the same year he married Mary Allen, by whom he had 15 children, of whom only three survived infancy.

In 1695, when he began publishing, Walsh had few rivals in the trade. John Playford was dead, and his son Henry evidently lacked the initiative to maintain the family firm as a flourishing concern. Thomas Cross, while popular for his introduction of the engraved single-sheet song, was concerned more with engraving than publishing. Walsh was quick to take advantage of the situation, and engraved music appeared from his premises on a scale previously unknown in England. In addition to works by English composers he printed much popular continental music (including Corelli’s sonatas) which he often copied from Dutch editions. From about ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith, Peter Ward Jones and David Hunter

(b London, Dec 23, 1709; d London, Jan 15, 1766). English music seller, printer, publisher and instrument maker . He probably assumed control of the business of his father, John Walsh (i), in about 1730, when the relationship with the Hare family apparently ceased and the numbering of the firm’s publications started. On 8 May 1731 Walsh succeeded to the appointment of instrument maker to the king. Although John Johnson and other rivals arose, the business continued to prosper and maintained its excellent engraving and paper. Burney characterized Walsh (ii) as ‘purveyor general’. Walsh fully developed the firm's relationship with Handel, publishing almost all his later works and in 1739 being granted a monopoly of his music for 14 years. About half of Walsh's output was of Handel compositions. The firm also sold other publishers' works, and bought up the stock of smaller firms when they ceased trading. Many of Walsh's apprentice engravers later set up on their own, including John Caulfield, Thomas Straight and Thomas Skillern. Walsh, who never married, was elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital in ...

Article

Weber  

Nancy Groce

American firm of piano makers. Albert Weber (i) (b Heilingenstadt, Bavaria, Germany, 8 July 1829; d New York, NY, 25 June 1879), a gifted pianist as a child, immigrated to New York in 1845. He apprenticed as a piano maker in the workshop of Charles J. Holden, then worked several years in Van Winkle’s piano factory. In 1852, he established his own shop at 103 West Broadway. Following a disastrous 1854 fire, he moved to a larger factory at Broome and Crosby Streets, which the thriving firm quickly outgrew. By 1869, when Weber opened an impressive showroom at 108 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the firm had become the sixth largest producer of pianos in the United States, with gross annual sales of $221,444. Weber was succeeded by his son, Albert Weber (ii) (b New York, NY, 1858; d Florida, 1908), who established a branch in Chicago in ...

Article

Weigle  

Walter Supper

German firm of organ builders. It was founded in Stuttgart in 1845 by Carl Gottlieb Weigle (b Ludwigsburg, 19 Nov 1810; d 1882), formerly an apprentice to his brother-in-law, Eberhard Friedrich Walcker. Weigle built some 100 organs by 1880, when his son Wilhelm Theodor Friedrich Weigle (b Stuttgart, 17 Nov 1850; d Stuttgart, 6 Jan 1906) took over the company; he moved it to Echterdingen in 1888. There he patented (1893–4) a type of loud, high-pressure metal pipe (Stentor) with mouth extending across half the pipe’s circumference, like a steam whistle; it did not endure. Yet under his direction the firm produced well-regarded pneumatic-action organs and exported instruments overseas. In 1902 the firm escaped bankruptcy. Together with J. & P. Schiedmayer, in 1908 Weigle built for the Protestant church in Eichwalde a hybrid harmonium and nine-stop pipe organ, called Parabrahm from an Indian term meaning ‘perfection’ and ‘completion’; two others were built, in ...

Article

Maria Calderisi

Canadian publisher, instrument maker and dealer . It was founded in Toronto in 1888 by Eri Whaley and G.C. Royce, with a branch in Winnipeg 1889–1922. Its earliest publications were deposited at the copyright office in 1890 and by 1920 the firm’s output (c1500 pieces) surpassed that of all other Canadian music publishers. Unlike most of its competitors, Whaley, Royce & Co. owned a printing plant and functioned also as a job printer. Evidence of the firm’s enterprise is contained in its Descriptive and Select Catalogue of Sheet Music and Music Books published and for sale by Whaley, Royce & Co.(1895). Besides the usual popular and light classical repertory, the company published serious works including a piano arrangement of Sibelius’s Finlandia (1894) and Rhakmaninov’s Prelude op.3 no.2 (1923), as well as the music of many Canadian composers, notably R.S. Ambrose, Gena Branscombe, W.O. Forsyth, C.A.E. Harriss and Clarence Lucas. Calling itself ‘Canada’s Greatest Music House’, the firm also produced songbooks, operatic vocal scores, cantatas and oratorios, educational music and two periodicals. Its publishing activities waned considerably from ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

English firm of music publishers and instrument makers . Although supposedly established in London about 1750, the earliest identifiable figure in the business was Charles Wheatstone (1768–1823), who came from a Gloucester family, and who was active in London from about 1791. The firm was known as Wheatstone & Co. from about 1815. Charles's brother William (b Gloucester, 17 Aug 1775; d London, 12 July 1854) moved with his family to London in 1806, where he became a flute teacher and manufacturer and music seller on his own account from about 1813, holding patents for improvements to the instrument. He also published a number of books of airs for the flute.

His sons, the future Sir Charles Wheatstone (b Gloucester, 6 Feb 1802; d Paris, 19 Oct 1875) and William Dolman (b Gloucester, 1804; d London, 30 Aug 1862) entered their uncle's business, which they took over following his death, and William senior then amalgamated his own business with theirs about ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

British firm of piano makers. The firm was founded in 1876 by W.M.Y. Maxwell to import and distribute Blüthner pianos from Leipzig to the British Isles. Later, he entered a partnership with W.J. Whelpdale (d 1913) and, following a fire at the uninsured London factory of Squire and Longson in 1934, they hired the staff from this firm, acquired premises and began manufacturing an upright piano which they named the Welmar after the two directors. In 1939 the company was renamed Whelpdale, Maxwell & Codd Ltd, after the directors of the time. The firm was allowed to continue manufacturing instruments during World War II and due to wartime regulations five other manufacturers were taken under its wing. The factory of one of these firms, Sir Herbert Marshall & Sons Ltd, makers of Marshall & Rose upright Pianos, suffered considerable bomb damage during the war, and Whelpdale, Maxwell & Codd have continued to produce these instruments to the present day. Following the liquidation of the Bentley Piano Company in ...

Article

Percival Price

revised by Charles Bodman Rae

Since 1968 the official name of a bellfoundry located in Whitechapel Road, east London. The lineage of the foundry can be traced back to at least 1420. From 1570 its bells have been produced by master bellfounders of the following families: Mot (16th century); Carter, Bartlett and Clifton (17th century); Phelps, Lester, Pack, Chapman and Mears (18th century); Mears, Stainbank and Lawson (19th century); and Hughes (from 1904). From 1865 to 1968 the foundry was known as Mears & Stainbank. It has been principally engaged in making tower bells, both single and in short-range diatonic series: the latter mostly for swinging in the manner of English change-ringing, but some to be rung hanging stationary, as chimes. From the early 19th century or before, it also made musical handbells. At first these were mostly sets of 8 to 12 bells in diatonic series for practising change-ringing; but with the increasing popularity of handbell music in the 20th century (...

Article

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...

Article

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...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...