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
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
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
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
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