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200 years of string instruments and family history
from Markneukirchen
and elsewhere

To my family,

the many Pfretzschners of this world,

and all interested parties,

In 1834 my great-great-great-grandfather Carl Gustav Adolf Pfretzschner founded the company G.A. Pfretzschner in Markneukirchen at the age of 29 and started trading with musical instruments and accessories from the Vogtland Musikwinkel. The first-born, Gustav Adolf, was to continue the company and did so with great commercial skill. With business contacts to Gothenburg, Paris, London, Tokyo and New York, the company G.A. Pfretzschner was one of the, today one would say, "big players" in the musical instrument business at the turn of the century before last and probably played a decisive role in the upswing of the region.

Then the two world wars and socialism came, and like many other companies, G.A. Pfretzschner did not survive this period. Nevertheless, especially Wolfgang Pfretzschner, the grandson of Gustav Adolf, wanted to follow in these footsteps and always felt connected to the musical instrument trade, even in difficult times. After all, his father had sent him to New York in 1929 to become independent and learn the "business" from a business partner far away. In 2005 uncle Wolfgang died at the age of almost 100 years.

Two things connect me with my great-great-uncle. One is the trip to the USA, I was also in America for a year as a young man - and the other is probably the feeling you get when you hold a beautiful, handmade violin in your hands. And now I'm standing there with my uncle's diary from 1929 (which I can hardly read) and the "instrumental" heritage, which I unfortunately can't play. Violins, violas, cellos, even a double bass and a few bows that have remained after all these years from the G.A. Pfretzschner company. Granted, there are worse things.

The instruments spent many decades dying in their dark boxes and nobody could enjoy their sound - but that's what they were created for by master craftsmen. Weren't they? I will give them piece by piece into good, musical hands. So that their sound will remain with us for a long time to come. You can see the pictures of the instruments here in the "Gallery", so they stay together at least "virtually".

About interesting things from the family history and about the diary I will report from time to time here in the "Blog". I hope you enjoy it a lot.

If you are interested in the history of the company G.A. Pfretzschner and the instruments shown, please contact me.

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