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Laurence Libin

(b Chelsea, London, UK, Dec 20, 1957; d London, UK, Aug 18, 2007). English organ designer and organ historian. He attended Westminster School, Winchester College, and St Chad’s College, Durham University, before beginning work in 1979 for N.P. Mander Ltd. He collaborated with his architect brother Julian on the case for Mander’s organ at Magdalen College, Oxford, completed in 1986. In 1987 he was employed by J.W. Walker & Sons, designing instruments for Oriel College, Oxford (1988), Carlisle Cathedral (quire organ), and Kesgrave parish church near Ipswich. In 1989 he surveyed Buckingham Palace’s much-deteriorated ballroom organ. Returning to Mander as head designer in 1990, Bicknell undertook restoration of the chapel organ at St John’s College, Cambridge, designed a four-manual mechanical-action organ inspired by Cavaillé-Coll for St Ignatius Loyola in New York (1992) and two organs for Chelmsford Cathedral (completed 1994 and 1995), and directed construction of the organ in Gray’s Inn Chapel (...

Article

Peter Bavington

(b London, England, May 27, 1922; d Malta, March 17, 1964). English organologist and collector of keyboard instruments. He was a Fellow of Trinity College London and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Born into a wealthy and artistic family (the owners of Mottisfont Abbey), he acquired his first keyboard instrument in 1939, and over the following 25 years built up a substantial collection of 17th- and 18th-century harpsichords and clavichords. Through detailed study of these and other antique instruments, he became an acknowledged expert, and was asked to compile catalogues of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Benton Fletcher collections. Although not himself a craftsman, he took a keen interest in the present-day manufacture of early keyboard instruments, being among the first to criticize modern developments and advocate a return to a more historical style. His book The Harpsichord and Clavichord outshone its predecessors for the accuracy and detail of its descriptions and the penetration of its analysis; it helped to inspire a change of direction in harpsichord making in favour of careful copies of antique instruments. Frank Hubbard was among those influenced by it. In ...

Article

Patrizio Barbieri

(b Gunzing, near Lohnsburg am Inn, Germany, Nov 28, 1669, d Mainz, Germany, April 30, 1728). German priest, philosopher, editor of Latin works of Raymond Lull, and inventor of an enharmonic keyboard. While working at the court of Johann Wilhelm, Prince-Elector of the Palatinate, in Düsseldorf, Salzinger invented and built a keyboard (‘Tastatura nova perfecta’) accommodating the division of the octave into 31 equal parts. His enharmonic harpsichord is mentioned by Joseph Paris Feckler, who reports (1713) that a further two had been ordered: one for the Emperor in Augsburg, the other for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in Florence. Details of this instrument appear in Salzinger’s ‘Revelatio secretorum artis’ (1721), which he published as an introduction to his edition of Lull’s Ars magna et major. This work tells that ‘the Most Serene Elector continuously used this harpsichord for music at court’, and that years earlier the construction of an organ with the same kind of keyboard had begun, only to be halted in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Haarlem, Netherlands, Feb 24, 1942). Dutch clavichord builder and researcher active in Aerdenhout. He was educated at the choristers’ school of St Bavo Cathedral in Haarlem and at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied music education and the recorder (1962–69). He built his first clavichord as a hobby in 1960 and assembled three from kits. He began building clavichords from technical drawings in 1976 while teaching school music at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam (1970–95) and directing a chamber choir that he founded in 1972. Between 1978 and 2011 (the first four years working with Jan Oudshoorn, then alone) Vermeij produced 56 clavichords, three of them after the 1763 Hass (GB.E.u) but mainly after designs of Christian Gottlob Hubert. In 1985 he began research on all extant Hubert instruments, resulting in The Hubert Clavichord Data Book, and in 1999 he restored the ...