Wilhelm Brückner (luthier)

Wilhelm Brückner (born 30 September 1932 in Erfurt) is an East German violin maker.

Wilhelm Brückner with daughter Ruth Brückner, March 2021: Still in the workshop at the age of 88.

Life and workEdit

In 1960 Wilhelm Brückner took over the violin making company, which had been founded in Erfurt in 1897[1] by his grandfather of the same name (also Wilhelm Brückner). Before Wilhelm Brückner the Elder (1874 to 1925 – from a traditional Vogtland violin making dynasty) settled in Erfurt, he had received training from the violin makers Giuseppe Fiorini and Alfred Stelzner,[2] on which his descendants (now in the fifth generation[3]) could build.

 
A typical Brückner viola.

Wilhelm Brückner received the master craftsman's certificate in 1956. His masterpiece was a viola.[4] The viola building was then also the main focus of his further professional activity. In the following years he developed into an outstanding violin maker in the GDR and the Eastern Bloc.[5][6] In 1972 he won the gold medal[7] in Poland at the most prestigious and oldest violin making competition named after Henryk Wieniawski. In 1979 he was the first violin maker to be accepted into the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR,[8] which above all brought easier travel to the West. Despite political difficulties he was able to teach Swedish violin makers[9] and successfully take part in the international violin making competition "Antonius Stradivari" in Cremona in 1982 and in the "Louis Spohr violin making competition" in Kassel in 1983, where he was the most successful participant from the Eastern Bloc with six prizes.[10] In order to solve the serious problems of the still freelance violin makers in the GDR primarily with the procurement of materials, he initiated the establishment of the "specialist group of violin makers of the GDR" in 1978 and became its first deputy Chairman.[11] Together with Alfred Lipka, he had started early on to develop his own[12] viola model[5] (the so-called "wide-assed Brückner viola"),[3] which was relatively broad in the lower part and had a sonorous "black" sound, which was then often copied by colleagues[13] and was acquired by numerous internationally renowned soloists. Star conductor Kurt Masur affirmed in a letter in 2005: Wilhelm Brückner's instruments "were always so valuable that they could be compared with old Italians.[14]

Customers were and still are, for example:[15] Hans-Christian Bartel, Hatto Beyerle, Oleg Kagan, Alfred Lipka, Tatjana Masurenko, Nils Mönkemeyer, Sophia Reuter,[16] André Rieu,[17] Matthias Sannemüller.

As the oldest active member of the colleagues in the Association of German Violin Makers and Bow Makers, Wilhelm Brückner built and repaired in the same workshop as his grandfather,[3] from 1981 together with his daughter, violin maker Ruth Brückner (born 1962). On the occasion of his 90th birthday, Brückner announced his retirement from active work.[18]

 
Wilhelm Brückner with the violinist David Oistrach in Erfurt in 1974

Awards and exhibitionsEdit

Source: Menzel[4] P. 17

  • 1972 gold medal at the H. Wieniawski International Violin Making Competition in Poznan (Poland)[19]
  • 1979 Diploma International Triennial Antonio Stradivari Cremona Italy[10]
  • 1981 Golden Groblicz at the International Violin Making Competition H. Wieniawski for the best artistic design[20] and special prize from the Association of German Violin Makers
  • 1982 4th place International Triennial Antonio Stradivari Cremona Italy
  • 1983 Most successful participant from the Eastern Bloc with a silver medal and five diplomas at the International Louis Spohr Competition Kassel[21]
  • Decoration of Honor in Gold for Crafts

Exhibitions in United States (1978 San Diego, 1997 Austin), Italy (1979 Cremona), Great Britain (1995 London),[22] Netherlands (1998 Maastricht), Japan (1974 Tokyo), Poland (1981 Poznan), Canada (1981 Toronto), Austria (1992 Vienna, 2019 Salzburg) as well as in various German cities[23][24]

BibliographyEdit

 
Still in the same workshop after five generations.
  • Annel, Ulf: “Brückner & Brückner” in “111 places in and around Erfurt that you have to see” Volume 2, Emons Verlag, 2016, page 42 f. ISBN 978-3-96041-153-6
  • http://www.dakapo-pressebuero.de/flipbook/2014_06_16_Musikinstrumentenbroschuere_Sachsen/files/assets/basic-html/page6.html (accessed 7 March 2021)
  • Christensen, James: "Dr. Alfred Stelzner: Pioneer in Violin Acoustics" https://www.draeseke.org/stelzner/pioneer.htm (accessed 7 March 2021)
  • Elsner, Anette: Um die Welt mit Erfurter Bratschen (around the world with violas from Erfurt), Thüringer Landeszeitung 19 January 2005
  • Emans, Rainmar (Ed.): “The great Erfurt instrument tradition is continued by the Brückner family”, p. 436 in the book accompanying the state exhibition “Der Junge Bach”, self-published, 2000, ISBN 3-00-006280-7
  • Ermrich, Barbara: Fünf auf einen Streich Thüringen Magazin 2020 p. 31
  • Frieling, Rudolf Matthias: „Instrumentenbau aus erster Hand“, Kulturjournal Mittelthüringen 4/2010 p. 34 ff.
  • Hansen, Nicolas: Deutschlandfunk Kultur 12 October 2014 “Family business made in Germany – The world of handicraft: The violin maker in Erfurt” https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/familienunternehmen-made-in-germany.942.de.html?dram:article_id=298940 (accessed 7 March 2021)
  • Hirsch, Jens: Wilhelm Brückner – Wie die alten Italiener (like the old Italians), TOP Thüringen 4/2012 p. 64 ff.
  • Hirsch, Wolfgang: Nur Altmeister Stradivari ist unübertrefflich (Only old master Stradivari is unsurpassable), Thüringer Landeszeitung, 4 February 2006
  • Imai, Nobuko: Catalog "1995 International Hindemith Viola Festival Tokyo, London, New York" London, 1995 p.32
  • König, Grit (dapd) et al. On 29 September 2012: “Life full of violins” Leipziger Volkszeitung, “An Erfurt man built 333 violas for musicians all over the world” Thüringer Allgemeine, Neue Musikzeitung (nmz) (accessed 7 March 2021) 29 September 2012Von zehn Bratschen sind zwei bis drei Spitzenprodukte – Erfurter Geigenbauer Wilhelm Brückner feiert 80. Geburtstag | nmz – neue musikzeitung
  • Kummer, Birgit: André Rieu spielt erfurtsch (André Rieu plays "sound from Erfurt"), Thüringer Allgemeine 8 January 2005
  • Menzel, Ruth: “Five generations of Brückner in musical instrument making”, Stadt und Geschichte 1/2012 p. 16 f.
  • Mielke, Ursula: Die Bratsche ist des Meisters Welt (viola is masters word), Thüringer Allgemeine 13 July 1996
  • Müller, Judith: "Three generations pull different strings", 60plusminus, January 2013 p. 16 f. 60plusminus Thüringen by CALA Verlag GmbH und Co. KG https://issuu.com/calaverlag/docs/60_-jan13-th (accessed 7 March 2021)
  • Neues Deutschland: "International Award for violin maker from Erfurt" https://www.nd-archiv.de/ausgabe/1981-08-07 page 4 (accessed 7 March 2021)
  • Połczyński, Romuald: “Da Capo 75 lat Międzynarodowych Konkursów im. Henryka Wieniawskiego “Poznan 2011, pp. 214 and 224. ISBN 978-83-60746-92-9 https://www.wieniawski.pl/da_capo_75_years.html Download the book (PDF files): part 2 (3,51 MB)
  • Sethe, Stefan: “A pioneer of arts and crafts turns 80”, BK-Report 12/2012 p. 8
  • Sethe, Stefan: “VIOLIN MAKING IN THE MIRROR OF THE TIMES: The Brückner family of violin makers has been bringing wood to life for five generations”, published by neobooks, 2013 ISBN 978-3-8476-3410-2 Also available as a 50-page illustrated PDF "Festschrift" in: https://geigenbau-brueckner.de/en/#flipbook-df_rand1219145200/5/ (english version) (accessed 29 June 2021)
  • Stasser, Sylvia and Würker, Wolfgang: “Erfurt in oblique tones” Paolo-Film produced for ZDF 1991, also broadcast on 3Sat on 5 April 1992: http://www.paolo-film.de/erfurt-in-schraegen-toenen.php
  • Stepanova, Elena: Die Ostfriesen aus Thüringen – Auch in Bayreuth erklingen die Instrumente aus der Erfurter Brückner Werkstatt (The instruments from the Erfurt Brückner workshop can also be heard in Bayreuth, Thüringer Allgemeine, 5 August 2006 p. 4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 17. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Dr. Alfred Stelzner – Pioneer in Violin Acoustics". www.draeseke.org. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "60plusminus Thüringen". Issuu (in German). p. 16. Retrieved 30 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b Menzel, Ruth: “Five generations of Brückner in musical instrument making”, Stadt und Geschichte 1/2012 p. 16 f.
  5. ^ a b König, Grit (dapd) et al. On 29 September 2012: “Life full of violins” Leipziger Volkszeitung, “An Erfurt man built 333 violas for musicians all over the world” Thüringer Allgemeine, 29 September 2012 Von zehn Bratschen sind zwei bis drei Spitzenprodukte – Erfurter Geigenbauer Wilhelm Brückner feiert 80. Geburtstag, Neue Musikzeitung.
  6. ^ "Von zehn Bratschen sind zwei bis drei Spitzenprodukte – Erfurter Geigenbauer Wilhelm Brückner feiert 80. Geburtstag | NMZ – neue musikzeitung".
  7. ^ "Da Capo 75 lat międzynarodowych konkursów". www.wieniawski.pl. p. 214. Retrieved 30 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 30. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Ulf Kloo | Kloo Luthier". klooluthier.com. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  10. ^ a b Menzel, Ruth: “Five generations of Brückner in musical instrument making”, Stadt und Geschichte 1/2012 p. 17 f.
  11. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 29. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/profile/2822-merton/content/: He has “made the latest contribution to the viola”.
  13. ^ "Viola query". Maestronet Forums. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 5. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 44. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Classe Maestra con la Maestra Sophia Reuter – Viola.Academy". Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 40. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Wichmann, Martin (13 September 2022). "Thüringens ältester Geigenbauer macht Schluss" [oldest violin maker is breaking up]. BILD. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Da Capo 75 lat międzynarodowych konkursów". www.wieniawski.pl. p. 224. Retrieved 30 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Połczyński, p. 224
  21. ^ "Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany) – Brückner & Brückner GbR – Violin Maker". Violin Making Brückner Erfurt (Germany). p. 32. Retrieved 29 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Imai, Nobuko: Catalog "1995 International Hindemith Viola Festival Tokyo, London, New York" London, 1995 p.32
  23. ^ "Merton's Content". Maestronet Forums. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  24. ^ Emans, Rainmar (Ed.): “The great Erfurt instrument tradition is continued by the Brückner family”, p. 436 in the book accompanying the state exhibition “Der Junge Bach”, self-published, 2000,