Harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, fortepianos, claviorgans
Our instruments – harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, fortepianos, claviorgans – are exact copies of historical instruments from museums or private collections, chosen as the most representative examples of the various schools of instruments making.
Every instrument is individually hand-made using historical techniques of construction.
The quest for quality, with perfection as the ultimate and unattainable goal, is the guiding principle of all my work.
Every instrument is a unique creation whose craftsmanship is guaranteed to be authentic.
Our instruments are currently in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, Russia, U.S.A., Azerbaijan, Lithuania, belonging to musical institutions and academies of music, concert artists, and teachers at conservatories and academies.
These instruments have been used for concerts and recordings by Gustav Leonhardt, Kenneth Gilbert, Ottavio Dantone, Jean Rondeau, Andrea Marcon, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Enrico Baiano, Michele Barchi, Jose Luis Gonzales Uriol, Andreas Staier, Christopher Hogwood, William Christie, Jean Francois Malgoire, Jordi Savall, Frans Bruggen, Anner Bylsma, Fabio Biondi, Emma Kirkby, Claudio Abbado
The woods used are of only the finest quality and of european provenance.
The strings used for all the instruments are made from alloys determined by metallurgical analysis, and they give to our instruments an exceptionally full and sonorous tone.
All action parts are made by hand in the workshop: Keyboards in Spruce or Lime, Registers in Beech, Jacks in service.
For Registers as well as for jacks we use regulating screws, that allow an easier maintenance of our instruments.
The Instruments are hand painted with Tempera, the guilding made with gold leaf.
Plectra are made with usually with black Delrin, that produces in touch a very similar effect to bird quills, but with a better resistance and durability. On Demand we can use white delrin or bird quills (crow, seagull), and Leather for the register “Peau de Buffle”.
The Heart of the Harpsichord, that is the Soundboard, is made in Red Spruce (Picea Excelsa) from Fiemme Valley (Val di Fiemme), choosen and taken directly there.
The final part of the work, which includes the voicing of the plectra and the regulation of the action is accomplished with not only technical competence, but with musical understanding as well; the touch and the tone of the instrument depend largely on this phase of the work.
Several times it has been my pleasure to find in William Horn instruments “Colleagues”, who served music beautyfully.
William Horn prepares his instruments with extraordinary devotion and skill, and I consider myself very lucky to have had the chance of acquiring his marvellous two-manual 1638 Ruckers. I have had it now almost ten years, and it ages splendidly.
I’d add that a keyboard made by William Horn has even more than its own intrinsic merits, for it also benefits from its maker’s lively interest in it. Whenever, in the past years, I have had to ask William about a technical aspect or other of the instrument, he has responded with the utmost helpfulness.
William Horn is the rarest of artisans, deeply dedicated to his craft, and his keyboards are of great and lasting beauty.
Daniel Roazen from Princeton, NJ (USA)
William Horn was born and grown up in Italy. The Horn Family originates from Southern Germany (near Memmingen), in the 19th century moved to Trieste (which belonged to Austria until 1918).
Since completing his own musical studies in organ and harpsichord, he has devoted himself to harpsichord building under the guidance of Grant O’ Brien (Russell Collection, Edinburgh).
As a performer, he has played concerts in Europe and in Asia, with broadcast and CD recordings (Ensemble Florilegium, Wien Barock, P&B Dusi).
Since 1988 he has been working mainly as a Harpsichord Maker, until 2012 in his workshop in Brescia, since 2013 in Bamberg (Germany).
He’s going on with his activity as Harpsichord builder.