Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Wolfgang Zuckermann

Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Wolfgang Zuckermann

Article excerpt

Wolfgang Zuckermann, 96 years old, Oct. 31, 2018, at his home in Avignon, France. He was born Oct. 11, 1922, in Berlin, where his family ran a leather products business, before moving to the U.S. in 1938. He served with the Army in Europe during World War II, then graduated in 1949 from Queens College in New York City.

Zuckermann's family was musical; he played cello in a string quartet with his father and two brothers. Although he preferred the sound of the piano over that of the harpsichord, he became fascinated with the latter while working with keyboards in Greenwich Village during the early 1950s. He hired a woodworking assistant, studied the history of the harpsichord, and began building instruments based on 18th-century examples. After a 1958 fire decimated his Christopher Street shop, he devised a kit of parts to build a fivefoot-long harpsichord, starting at the cost of $150 (later rising to foot-long $308 by 1966). …

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