19-24 FEB 2019
Wermland Operas orkester lovordas ofta för sin samspelthet och homogena klang.
De presenterar en omfattande konsertverksamhet såväl som att spela till Wermland Operas alla operor och musikaler.
Orkestern har 34 fast anställda musiker och under chefsdirigent Johannes Gustavsson utvecklas de stadigt och förfinas
både som individuella musiker och orkester. På senare år har de bland annat gett prov på sin stora flexibilitet i Hans Eks
arrangemang av Monteverdis L’Orfeo och fått lovord för framförandet av Korngolds Die tote Stadt
The Legend is born.
In the middle of the 19th century, the city of Leipzig was one of the cultural centers at the heart of Europe equal to Paris, London or Vienna. The enlightened and affluent middle-class of Leipzig was very ambitious, self-confident and open minded, and the city itself was already well known for its international trade and its university. Changing social conditions due to the industrial revolution meant that scientific and cultural education was no longer reserved for the aristocracy. The people of Leipzig prospered.
It permitted the city to maintain the University, the St. Thomas Choir, the Opera, the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Academy of Music, founded in 1843 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.
These were convincing reasons for Julius Blüthner to open his piano factory, which became a highly successful enterprise. On 18th November 1853, having acquired a sound knowledge in piano making, Julius Blüthner started his pianoforte factory. His instruments were quickly recognized for their outstanding technical and musical qualities and were established in concert halls all over the world.
Production began in a rented workshop with the help of three journeymen and the motto, “God will lead me!” Ten instruments were made in the first year, eight grand pianos and two square ones. Soon the instruments captured the attention of experts, top pianists and musical authorities. Around the world music lovers became aware of the instruments built by Julius Blüthner in Leipzig. Well known artists like Brahms, Jadason, Liszt, Mahler, Moscheles, Nikisch, Rachmaninov, Schumann, and Tschaikovsky were welcome guests in the Blüthner factory. During their musical tours the artists spread the knowledge about these marvelous instruments. The appointment as purveyor to the British court, the Tsar Nicolas II, the Danish King, the German Emperor, the Turkish Sultan and certainly to the King of Saxony, underlines the universal appreciation of the Blüthner instruments.
Motivated by his success, Julius Blüthner started in 1868 to create an international sales network that soon spanned the world. It still flourishes today. His participation at the trade fairs and exhibitions in Brussels, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Paris, Philadelphia, Sydney and Vienna which helped him present his instruments. The decorations, such as first prizes and gold medals, bequeathed subsequently in the history of the firm, are listed on the soundboard of every Blüthner instrument.
As the manufacturing facilities became too small for the growing demand, Julius Blüthner purchased the rented workshop and also a large plot of land on which he built new facilities. 1890 the factory employed 800 workers, with a manufacturing area of 85,000 m² to house the various production departments. It was important for Julius Blüthner to keep the company structured as a family business, and this philosophy is still maintained to this day.
After his death in 1910 his sons took on responsible positions in the company. Julius Blüthner was a strict teacher. All his sons were required to learn the business in detail and gain a thorough understanding of the entire production process.
In1892 Max Blüthner became partner, later followed by his brothers Bruno and Robert. They all had learned the craft of piano building. As Julius Blüthner had wished, all aspects of the business were handed down to the successive generations of the Blüthner family.
The First World War limited exports to the United Kingdom severely but the firm succeeded to find other markets.
In 1932 Dr. Rudolph Blüthner-Haessler, having a juridical education joint the management of the firm to represent the third generation.
A special marketing event was the order to build an extra light instrument for the Air ship Hindenburg, a passenger transporter. In 1936 the piano was taken on board for the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Amid the ocean a concert was broadcast to be received by 63 radio stations around the world. The radio at that time was in its heyday.
The piano was not on board during the second crossing which spelled disaster for the Hindenburg which went up in flames during its landing at Lakehurst. But the piano did not escape this fate. During World War II it burned during an air raid in 1943 that destroyed the factory.
After the war, many friends and customers encouraged the family to rebuild the company. With determination and a strong vision for the future, Dr. Rudolf Blüthner-Haessler restructured the company and, despite the difficult situation for private enterprise, undertook the monumental task of rebuilding the company to an international standard. It was in 1948 that the first instruments could leave the factory again. The company supplied famous conservatories and musical institutions such as the Tschaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and the Leningrad Conservatory (as it was known at that time), whose outstanding pianists demonstrated the prevailing quality of the instruments.
After the death of Dr. Rudolph Blüthner-Haessler on June 16, 1966, his son Ingbert Blüthner-Haessler took over the management. However, in 1972 the East German government decreed the nationalization of the till then privately owned industry including Blüthner. He remained managing director which proved to be a good decision because the quality and the tradition could be maintained. After the unification of Germany in 1989, Ingbert Blüthner-Haessler reorganized the company back into a family business and started to reorganize the world wide distribution. Soon a new factory to modernize the production process became necessary. In 1996 the new factory in Störmthal near Leipzig was opened.
Since 1995 Dr. Ingbert Blüthner-Haessler shares the management of the company with his two sons, Dr. Christian Blüthner-Haessler, who studied medicine and economics, and Knut Blüthner-Haessler, who studied piano making and mastered every aspect of piano production. Today Dr. Christian Blüthner-Haessler is in charge of the sales and finances of the company and Knut Blüthner-Haessler is in charge of production and all technical aspects. As a result of the large demand and the interest in Blüthner instruments, the company has subsidiaries and service centers in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, the Netherlands and Asia as well as a worldwide network of Blüthner dealers.
Copyright The 9th Nordic Piano Competition. All rights reserved.