Logo Joseph Sternberg

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In the year 2001, JA Musik GmbH from Markneukirchen in Saxony founded the Sternberg Hangszermanufaktura Kft. The JA Musik Group is a German-French production company for brass- and woodwind instruments. The idea for this new company came from Toni Novotny from the retail shop for musical instruments Fon Trade in Budapest. He himself is trained craftsman for brass-instrument production and always visited and held good contact to the Vogtland area in Saxony. It was there, that in 1991, the state owned East German brass-instrument production company VEB B&S was privatised by Gerhard A. Meinl and the JA Musik GmbH.

During the Frankfurt Music Fair 2000, Toni Novotny fills Gerhard A. Meinl into his idea of starting the old Hungarian brass tradition anew. Gerhard A. Meinl takes this idea on and ponders on it. As he himself is in the seventh generation a trained craftsman for Brass Instruments, and his family stems from Bohemia, from Graslitz, where his ancestors started the building of brass- and woodwind instruments in 1803, he had an open ear for these thoughts.

Today, Gerhard A. Meinl is the main shareholder of JA Musik GmbH and also its Chief Executive as well as Chief Executive of all JA Musik - daughter companies. With the JA Musik Group, he always held best contact to the worldwide renown Hungarian professional musicians: Starting with Prof. Laszlo Szabo, Tubist at the Franz-Liszt-Akademie in Budapest or Lajos Lencses, solo Oboist in Stuttgart (Germany) and professor at the Conservatoire National Superieure of Lyon (France) or the young stars in the brass scene, Gabor Boldoczki (Trumpet) and Roland Szentpali (Tuba) and the brass-quintet Ewald Brass, the present all time winner at the quintet-competitions.

With the start of this brasswind-instrument-production, at a small scale and with the best Hungarian craftsmen, we start new the old brasswind tradition of the country. Just until the second world-war, there were brass-wind craftsmen with their own production in Hungary. Hungary in general is well known for its Western-European craftsmen tradition in various aspects: just think of the handmade Hungarian jewellery, the ceramics or the leather-assesoires. This is why the JA Musik Group chose the name "Joseph Sternberg" for this new start: it is an old, traditional name for the small craftsmen tradition of the Hungarian pre-war history.

Sternberg Kft. was founded in 2001 and shareholders are the JA Musik GmbH from Saxony, Germany, and Gerhard A. Meinl himself. To lead the company, Zoltan Juhasz is Chief Executive, responsible for the production at Sternberg. Gerhard A. Meinl and Jakob Freiherr von Wolff, both Chief Executive at JA Musik GmbH, are as well Chief Executive at Sternberg Kft. to support the new member in the JA Musik Group.

With the master-craftsman Zolan Juhasz at the top, JA Musik GmbH already found a good number of trained brass-wind craftsmen to start the new Sternberg Hangszermanufaktura Kft. They all worked in as brass-wind repair shop and dreamed about a great possibility to use their talent and skills by creating their own, high-profile, instruments. They found a place to do it with the new Sternberg Kft..

The company ISC Budapest was asked to build within the industrial part in Budaörs, in the west of Budapest, a brand new production building according to the plans of Sternberg Kft. There, Sternberg will get a high-tech galvanic to silver plate the instruments and a lacquering cabin of the newest sort. Of course both is based on a modern cleaning system, which complies to the strictest environmental laws. With this, Sternberg Kft. will be a centre also for many small instrument repair shops in this area, which will use this silver-plating and lacquering facilities. Until now they had to survive without this or go to Austrian companies.

With Budaörs, close to Hungary we chose the new place for Sternberg Kft. for many reasons: First of all, Sternberg Kft. needs a steady contact to the world-class musicians of Budapest. Also, Sternberg Kft. will exchange ideas with the Franz-Liszt-Akademy in Budapest. Budapest is the cultural city of the Eastern-European countries, with every important orchestra and musician passing by.

Dr. Wittinghoff, mayor of the town Budaörs, has granted Sternberg Hangszermanufaktura Kft. the permission to use the town seal in ist original form for the brand of "Joseph Sternberg Budaörs" - Instruments. Below you will find a old Fluegelhorn in an Hungarian style, as you used it for hunting purposes in the middle age especially in Western Europe. The new brand therefore is "Joseph Sternberg Budaörs".

The grand opening of Sternberg Kft. is on 16.2.2002, together with a blessing from the local catholic priest. The musical framework will be the Brass-Quintet Ewald Brass. Sternberg Kft. is happy and proud to receive honoured guest and customers form all over the world, including Germany, France, Norway, USA and of course Hungary itself.

The production at Sternberg will include Trumpet, Fluegelhorn, Frenchhorn, Tenorhorn and Bariton/Euphonium.

To start with, Sternberg Kft. will also work with part-kits received from the German Vogtländische Musikinstrumentenfabrik, Saxony. Parallel they will develop a new, own line with the Brand "Joseph Sternberg Budaörs" with the production place being Hungary as "Made in Hungary". Basis for this will be the input of the good Hungarian musicians, who will also make the last quality check. Already there are the first request for these instruments from Japan and Canada.

From the year 2003 on, Sternberg Kft. will train their own craftsmen, to fully rebuild a great tradition of Hungary, the master-craftsmen-production of brass-wind instruments.

Brief summary of Wind Instrument Making in Hungary