The Piano appears in England - Zumpe


As far as can be gathered the first piano to appear in England was brought into the country by Samuel Crisp in the early 1750s.  He claimed it was bought in Rome, where according to tradition it had been made by Father Wood an English monk in 1711.


However, it was during the early 1760s that the most important piano makers arrived in England, and set the seed for the growth of the interest in the early piano through the work of Zumpe and  the musician J C Bach.


Due to the Seven Year War halting piano making in Germany a number of makers, including some form Silbermann’s workshop, were forced to come to England.  Amongst these were Americus Backers and Johannes Zumpe who arrived in about 1760.  There were twelve men in all, and they were sometimes known as the “Twelve Apostles”.  Zumpe, who had begun only to made square pianos, took employment with Burkat Schudi, the famous harpsichord maker.  In 1761 Schudi was joined by John Broadwood, who was a Scottish cabinet maker and probably the most famous of early piano makers.  Eight years after joining the company Broadwood married Schudi’s daughter and in 1770 he became Schudi’s partner.   The craft of piano manufacture had been taken by Silbermann’s apprentices to England, eventually establishing the English school of piano making through the work of Zumpe and Broadwood particularly.




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