In Memoriam: Johannes Scherzer

ITG has learned of the passing of instrument builder Johannes Scherzer, who passed away on April 27, 2018, at the age of 95 in Markneukirchen.

Johannes Scherzer

The famous brass instrument maker and trumpet innovator had all reason to proudly look back on a long history and heritage with numerous innovations and designs in trumpet making initiated by himself: many masterpieces and excellent world-class models have been created in close cooperation with the world’s best musicians, even in the difficult GDR times behind the "Iron Curtain."

The model associated with Johannes Scherzer is the remarkable classic rotary valve piccolo trumpet in High Bb/A (model Scherzer 8111) – award-winning and often copied. His original design was and still is the perfect partner for baroque trumpet concertos: trumpet legends such as Maurice André or Pierre Thibaud had their Scherzer piccolo trumpets in constant use, and they knew why.

Johannes Scherzer received his initial training by his uncle Kurt Knoth in the "Rino" brass workshop founded in 1900 by Emil Knoth in Markneukirchen’s Mosenstrasse 13. After he earned his own master craftsman‘s certificate in 1951, Johannes Scherzer took over the workshop in 1961 and  initially built the whole line of brass instruments there. Since 1970, all instruments were engraved with "Meister J. Scherzer" plus the original "Rino" logo. It was in the 1980s when due to increasing success and high demand the focus shifted entirely towards the manufacturing of rotary valve trumpets.

In 1984 Scherzer’s workshop was made part of VEB Blechblas- und Signalinstrumentenfabrik (B&S). After the wall came down, B&S was privatized under Gerhard Meinl in 1991 and the Scherzer workshop found a new home in the "White House" in Klingenthaler Strasse 8 before it finally moved into the most modern new production facility of B&S, now part of Buffet Crampon Group. Even after his retirement, Johannes Scherzer was still active as an advisor and shared his rich experience acquired in decades; no trend in instrument making was unknown to him. Johannes Scherzer passed away on April 27th, 2018 at the age of 95 in Markneukirchen. With him the guild of brass instrument makers loses one of their last living legends after Hans Hoyer, Herbert Fischbach, Carl Geyer, Anton Meinl, Peter Hirsbrunner Sr., Renold Schilke and Zigmant Kanstul.

Johannes Scherzer will live on in the trumpet models of his design bearing his name.

(Source: Martin Matthies/Buffet Crampon)

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