History

Josef Obermayer, the founder of our company, was born in 1879 in Altoetting/Bavaria. He studied mechanical engineering and architecture and managed the real estate of a brewery in Munich. In his young age he loved the Tyrol mountains and the music played there, especially the music with the Tyrolean folk harp. However, since the Tyrolean harp was no longer enough for him, he wanted to develop his own concert harp. In addition, he trained as a carpenter and precision mechanic. and began with the first attempts to build a concert harp from around 1920 in Munich. After he had started his first studies with the special features of the harp approximately 15 years earlier, he founded his workshop for harp making 1924 in Munich and around 1926 he was able to present the first finished instruments.

historia
Handwerk 1935 3

After his son joined the company, they produced their harps together in Munich for well-known customers at home and abroad.

Since the war had destroyed his workshop in Munich he moved to Kufstein were he already lived before and began to build concert harps again at the Pfandlhof in Kufstein from 1946 to around 1952.

In 1952 he found and finally bought the house in Starnberg, where the company is still based today, and continued production in Starnberg.

Wappen starnberg herb
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Maximilian Horngacher DSCN0189 600x400 2
Maximilian Horngacher DSCN0189 600x400 first hap 1

Maximilian Horngacher, who played the Tyrolean harp himself, met Josef Obermayer and his harp making at Pfandlhof in Kufstein. This encounter aroused his interest in harp making so much that he that he started with studies as a carpenter and finally joined Josef Obermayer’s company in 1955, where he first learned all the details of harp making in the wood department

and after the death of son of Josef Obermayer in 1960 also in the mechanical department. When Josef Obermayer died in July 1966, Maximilian Horngacher, who had passed his master’s examination in harp making in 1965, was able to take over the company on October 1st. 1966.

After initial difficulties, the company became under his leadership soon as a well known figure on the world market. Some reasons for this were, among other things, the special developments for the world-famous harpist Nicanor Zabaleta or the development of the Beckmesser harp for the opera “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”.

beckmesser
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Klaus Horngacher, the current head of the company, joined the company in 1977 after successfully completing his studies as an organ builder and after further training as a harp maker, in which he went through all departments, he passed his master’s examination in 1982.

After Maximilian Horngacher suddenly fell ill in 1987, Klaus Horngacher partially took over the management of the company and in 1992 the company was converted into a GmbH (Ltd.). Klaus Horngacher expanded international relationships by taking part in music fairs and harp congresses around the world, as well as through global service activities.

Maximilian Horngacher left the company in 2010 and died in 2017 at the age of 91 after a successful life.

The company is currently manufacturing new instruments with 6 employees and is also still internationally active through service work at home and abroad as well as participation in trade fairs. A constant further development of the instruments as well as new models are still an important point in the company philosophy the quality of sound and work with selected materials is in the foreground.

Historical Catalog Cards

Historical dates
Obermayer - Horngacher

1879

history

Josef Obermayer born 1879 in Altötting – died July 1966 in Starnberg

Trained mechanical engineer and architect.

Afterwards still apprenticeship as precision mechanic and carpenter.

Worked as a brewery real estate manager.

Played Tyrolean folk harp himself in the beginning.

1879

1920

First ideas and experiments from about 1920 in Munich.

1920

1924

Workshop founded in 1924 in Munich.

Adressbuch Werbung Obermayer OK

Adressbuch Datum Firmengrundung Obermayer OK

Deckblatt Adressbuch OK

1924

1926

First deliveries in 1926.

Katalog 1927 Front Ruck

Katalog 1927 Innen 1

Katalog 1927 Innen 2

Katalog 1927 Innen 3

1926

1935

1935

Handwerk 1935 1 OK

Handwerk 1935 2 OK

Handwerk 1935 3 OK

1935

1938

Obermayer Junior joined the company in 1938.

Munchner Stadtanzeiger 1938 OK

1938

1939

Moved from Munich to Kufstein in 1939.

Melodie aus Holz und Stahl 1939 OK

1939

1946 - ca. 1952

From 1946 – ca.1952 harps built in Kufstein.

Europas einziger Harfenbauer OK.jpeg

Harfenbau in Tirol OK

Harfenbau 1949 OK

Besuch bei einem osterreich OK

Eine Harfe 60000 OK

1946 - ca. 1952

1952

From 1952 company headquarters moved to Starnberg.

Die Harfenkonige von Starnberg OK

1952

1955

In 1955 Max Horngacher joins the company

1955

1957

Company also mentioned in american newspaper in 1957.

Toledo Blade USA OK

Harfenklange nach dem Osten exportiert OK

1957

1960

Obermayer junior died 1960.

1960

1962

Seine Harfe gehen in alle Welt

1962

1966

Josef Obermayer senior died July 1966.

Obermayer 1966 OK

1966

October 1, 1966

Official company takeover of Max Horngacher 01.10.1966.

October 1, 1966

1966

first harp no. 350

1966

1967

FirstBeckmesser harp built in 1967.

Beckmesser OK

1967

1967

Personnel extended from 1967 also in the mechanical area.

1967

1970

Tiroler Bub mit heimplicher Liebe OK

1970

1973

From 1973 additional staff in the wood workshop.

1973

1974

In 1974 Klaus Horngacherbegan his apprenticeship as an organ builder, which he completed in 1977 with the title of Bavarian State Champion.

1974

April, 1977

In April 1977 Klaus Horngacher joins the company Harfenbau Maximilian Horngacher with a further 2 year apprenticeship as a harp maker.

April, 1977

1977

Teure Harfenklange 1977 OK

1977

1978

Harfen fur die Besten 1978 OK

1978

1982

Max Horngacher einer der letzten Harfenbauer der Welt OK

1982

1982

In 1982 Klaus Horngacher passed his master’s examination in harp making.

1982

1987

in 1987 illness of Maximilian Horngacher and first fair participation at the World Harp Congress in Vienna.

1987

1990

Koenigliche Instrumente OK

1990

1992

In 1992 the company was transformed into a limited liability company with Maximilian Horngacher and Klaus Horngacher as managing directors.

1992

Participation in the World Harp Congresses 1993 Copenhagen, 1996 Seattle, 1999 Prague, 2002 Geneva, 2005 Dublin, 2008 Amsterdam, 2017 HongKong.

Morgenavisen because of Congress Copenhagen Horngacher 1995 OK

1997

Die Ferraris unter den Harfen Horngacher 1997 OK

1997

Multiple participations at the American Harp Congress as well as at European Harp Congresses.

2004

Himmlisches Instrument der Engel Horngacher 2004 1 OK

Himmlisches Instrument der Engel Horngacher 2004 2 OK

2004

2010

In 2010 Klaus Horngacher took over the company as sole managing director.

2010

2011

Suser Klang aus 2800 Teilen Horngacher 2011 1 OK

Suser Klang aus 2800 Teilen Horngacher 2011 2 OK

2011

June 16, 2017

Maximilian Horngacher died 16.06.2017

June 16, 2017

2020

Sie haben Ihre Finger im Spiel Horngacher 2020 OK

2020

Catalog 1927

Catalog 1928

Catalog 1940

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