German Music Industry

Norbert Abel formed the Abel Hammer Company (Helmut Abel GmbH) in 1982 along with his father, to manufacture piano hammerheads, shanks and flanges for the piano industry.  Over the years, they have created many interesting products such as chemical free felt and high quality hammerheads for both...
Philipp Alexander is proud of his musical past. His family formed Musik-Alexander in Mainz, Germany in 1782. They began as brass instrument makers and later opened a music store while continuing the making of horns. One of the company’s milestones took place in 1909 when they introduced the now...
Hans-Jorg Andre’s great great grandfather formed Musikhaus Andre Musikverlag Johann Andre in 1774. The company was the first to bring lithograph processes to the production of printed music, making a profound and everlasting impact on the way music was printed. Over the years the publishing...
Winfried Baumbach came to represent the German musical instrument industry beginning in the 1980s. As the managing director of the European Music Industries Association, he has played a vital role in the organization and development of the German market. He has also been key in the expansion of...
Christian Benker has been an influential leader in the German musical instrument manufacturing industry. With fresh ideas and marketing skills he helped Hofner reinvent itself during the 1950s and 60s. Christian worked alongside Mr. Hofner, the inventor of the widely popular Beatle bass and Mr....
Gerhilde Benker served as president of Hofner Music, a firm founded by her grandfather Karl Hofner in 1864 in Eger, Germany. Her father, Walter, was the inventor of the Hofner bass, which has been known as the Beatle Bass ever since young Paul McCartney began playing the instrument. The endorsement...
Frank Bilz applied his passion for music into the expansion of the Markneukirchen Germany music school programs entitled Musicon Valley. As Marketing Director of the school, which is located in the music-rich village where musical instruments have been handcrafted for hundreds of years, Frank has...
Ingbert Bluthner followed in the rich history of his family tradition of building world-class pianos. Under Ingbert’s leadership the company expanded production and models along with developing new global distribution chains. Over the years, since his own oral history interview, Ingbert has been...
Michael Compernass is the president of the Hoyer Guitar Company in Germany. Michael focuses on the history of the company’s innovative products, particularly those created by Arthur Hoyer in the late 1940s until his passing in 1967 and Arnold’s son, Walter, who ran the company for a decade....
Irmgard Dittmar has been a part of the music products industry her whole life. Her father was a noted trumpet builder and designer, and she has worked for the Schreiber music company for nearly 40 years. Over the years she has served as President Hugo Schreiber’s assistant and in doing so has...

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