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Article

Christopher Larkin

German family firm of wind instrument makers. The business, located in Mainz, was established in 1782 by Franz Ambros Alexander (b Miltenberg, July 22, 1753; d Mainz, Dec 1, 1802), who was described in a Mainz Cathedral report of the same year as a wood-turner and wind instrument maker. Portraits depict Franz Ambros and his son Philipp (1787–1864) with clarinets. After his death, Alexander's business was continued by his widow and two of his sons, Claudius (1783–1816) and Philipp, later joined by a third, Kaspar Anton (1803–72). Under the direction of Philipp and Kaspar Anton the firm became known as Gebrüder Alexander, the name it still bears. Kaspar Anton's two sons Franz Anton (1838–1926) and Georg Philip (i) (1849–97) became the third generation to direct the company. Woodwind instruments, mainly for military use, were the firm's main products until the mid-19th century. By that time, however, band instrumentation had become more brass orientated; after Philipp's death in ...

Article

René Pierre

Wind instrument makers of Strasbourg. [Life data refer to Strasbourg unless noted.] Jean (Johannes) II Keller (1710–78) was admitted as a turner in the corporation of carpenters in 1736. His three sons were woodwind makers. Jean III Keller (b 14 Dec 1737; d 1785), his first son, was described as ‘Instrumentenmacher’ at his marriage in 1765 and upon the births of his four children. He used the mark ‘[fleur de lis] / KELLER / A STRASBOURG’. Isaac Keller (b 26 Jan 1740; d 11 June 1802), the second son, was received into the corporation of carpenters in 1785, at the death of his brother Jean III. He joined the third son, Jean Philippe Keller (b 10 Nov 1743; d 1 July 1794) by 1790 to create a new partnership, marking their instruments ‘[angel trumpeter] / LES / FRERES/ KELLER’. Etienne Ozi (...

Article

Lasairíona Duignan

revised by Barra R. Boydell

(d Dublin, 1813). Irish composer, music publisher and instrument maker. George Petrie considered him to have been the ‘most eminent British composer of military music in his time’. A Collection of Quick and Slow Marches, Troops &c. can be dated 1795–8. A square piano dated 1796 bears Holden’s name (possibly as seller rather than maker). In 1805, described as a ‘military music master and instrument maker’, he had premises in Arran Quay, Dublin. Nothing further is known about Holden’s apparent activities as an instrument maker. In 1806 he moved to Parliament Street, where he opened a music shop and began publishing, largely his own music although this continued to be issued by other Dublin publishers. On his death the business was continued by his widow until about 1818. Holden's publications included A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes (c1807); many of the airs may have been collected by his son Francis Holden. The elder Holden published two more collections of Irish music (issued periodically), collections of Welsh tunes, masonic songs and country dances, numbers of marches and quick steps, often dedicated to specific regiments and corps, and many individual songs and other instrumental pieces....

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(fl 1740–62). English music publisher, printer, music seller and possibly violin maker. He began his business in London by 1740, and probably acquired part of those of Daniel Wright and Benjamin Cooke, some of whose publications he reissued from the original plates. Around the mid-18th century the predominance of the Walsh engraving and publishing business began to wane, and Johnson was responsible for publishing some of the best music of the day, including works by Arne, Felton, Geminiani, Nares, Domenico Scarlatti and Stanley, as well as annual volumes and large collections of country dances. Unusually, many of Johnson's editions bore dates; their technical quality was high, some being engraved by John Phillips. A number of fair-quality violins bear the Johnson label, most probably made for rather than actually by him.

Johnson appears to have died about 1762, and from that time to 1777 most of the imprints bear the name of ‘Mrs. Johnson’ or ‘R. Johnson’, presumably his widow. The old imprint ‘John Johnson’ occasionally appears in these years, and may refer to her late husband or to another relative. Johnson's sign from ...

Article

Brian Boydell

( b ?Dublin; d Dublin, 1763). Irish music publisher, music seller, instrument dealer and violinist . He worked from about 1738 in the business established by his brother Bartholemew (d July 1758) about a year previously at Corelli’s Head, opposite Anglesea Street in College Green, Dublin. In April 1740 he advertised a proposal for printing Geminiani’s Guida armonica by subscription; it was finally issued in about 1752. Notable publications by him include collections of songs from Arne’s Comus, Dubourg’s variations on the Irish melody ‘Ellen a Roon’ and in December 1752 ‘six Trios for 2 Fiddles and thorough Bass composed by Sieur Van Maldere’. From 1741 a number of publications were issued in conjunction with William Neale, including the Monthly Musical Masque consisting of a collection of contemporary popular songs; the first issue was advertised in January 1744. Manwaring also imported Peter Wamsley’s best violins, Roman fiddle strings and ‘all the newest music published in London’. In addition to his business he took a prominent part in Dublin musical life during the 1740s as a violinist, often appearing with his brother who was also a violinist. He acted as treasurer of various charitable musical societies. After his death his wife carried on the business until ...

Article

William C. Smith

revised by Peter Ward Jones

[ Theobald ]

( b Duchy of Modena, 1762; d London, June 14, 1839). Italian flautist, instrument maker and publisher . He apparently played both the flute and the oboe, but gave up the latter after moving to England where he first appeared at a London concert in February 1785, subsequently becoming well known as a solo and orchestral flautist, and remaining active in this capacity until about 1803. In 1787 he established premises in London where from various addresses he published his own compositions (mainly for flute) and other works. From 1789 he sometimes employed the piano maker and music publisher James Ball to print and sell his publications. In 1800 Monzani entered a partnership with Giambattista Cimador as Monzani & Cimador, from about 1803 occupying a building known as the Opera Music Warehouse. Cimador’s arrangement of several Mozart symphonies for flute and strings was allegedly provoked by the refusal of the King’s Theatre orchestra to play the works in their original form because of their difficulty; six of these were published by Monzani after Cimador’s death. From ...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

English family of music publishers, printers and string instrument makers . The business was founded in London by Peter Thompson about 1741, when he took over the business of John Young; it was continued after his death (c1757) by his widow Ann and son Charles, sometimes under the imprint Thompson & Son. About 1761 they were joined by a second son, Samuel Thompson (d Aug 1795), to become Thompson & Sons. Ann left the firm in about 1763, and thereafter it was under the direction of various family members whose names appeared on its imprints: it was under the joint management of Charles and Samuel until about 1776, after which Samuel continued alone for a year; he was then joined by another Ann (whose relationship to the preceding Ann is not known), and these two remained with the firm until Samuel’s death, on their own (...