Researching Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800 - 1850

What was originally intended to be an introductory chapter for a book on the "Golden Age" of the zither soon turned into a sizable project in its own right. Now published, Dr. Joan Marie Bloderer's book Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800-1850 represents a significant expansion of her dissertation of the same name. In this article, Dr. Bloderer shares some of the research experiences from her latest work.

Remembering Henry Schaber

During the 1880s, immigrants by the thousands arrived in Omaha to support a booming economy. Arriving from Germany, the Schaber family brought their labor, skills and elements of their culture. In this article we explore the life of Henry Schaber, former zitherist and resident of Omaha, Nebraska.

Does Anyone Know Nikolaus Weigel?

Unsatisfied with the lack of uniformity and range of the zither of his time, Nikolaus Weigel introduced a series of innovations which served to expand its capabilities. In this article, Petra Hamberger explores the life of this modest musical pioneer whose discoveries we can appreciate even today. Originally published in the March-April 2008 issue of Saitenspiel, this article has been translated from the original German by Jane Curtis.

Zitherist Lotte Landl

Since discovering her mother's zither as a young girl in Austria, the zither has been Lotte Landl's constant companion throughout life. With numerous recordings, public performances and honors, including Austria's 'Golden Cross of Merit', she has introduced the sounds of the zither to a worldwide audience. In this article, Lotte Landl shares her biography and the milestones of her musical journey.

The Story of William Waldschmidt of Deadwood SD

As a volunteer, musician and artisan, William Waldschmidt was a role model for his time, as well as ours. Beckoned to South Dakota during the Black Hills Gold Rush, he would become a well respected member and contributor to the community he served. In this article, Jill Mounts Marcelli shares the story of her great-grandfather William Waldschmidt, former zitherist and resident of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Sharp-Corner Rhapsody

Originally published in 1910, Frederick Francis Cook's Bygone Days in Chicago provides the author's personal recollections of Chicago in the 1860s, up to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Of particular interest to zitherists is the story of "Ibach", a Hungarian zither player who would perform at a bar, colloquially known as "The Sharp Corner," located at the south-west corner of La Salle and Randolph Streets. While interesting for the scene it evokes, the story also hints at our zither player's repertoire.

Cleveland's Most Famous Zither Player

As a classically trained musician, Henry Wormsbacher was a dominant force in promoting the native instrument of his homeland, the concert zither. In this article, author Alissa Pesavanto details the life and works of Henry Wormsbacher, Cleveland's most famous zither player. Originally published in Germania Newspaper, March 1994, the author has extended her kind permission for the republication of this article.

Franz Schwarzer – Missouri's Zither King

Over 10,000 Schwarzer instruments, with the majority being zithers, were made in Washington, Missouri by Austrian immigrant Franz Schwarzer, beginning in l866. Schwarzer’s zithers competed favorably with those of European makers and were sold all over the world. In this article, George Bocklage, Washington Historical Society secretary, details the life of this innovator, musician and businessman and the exhibit which endeavors to preserve his life and legacy.