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.
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.
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”.
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.
Obermayer - Horngacher
First ideas and experiments from about 1920 in Munich.
In 1955 Max Horngacher joins the company
Obermayer junior died 1960.
October 1, 1966
Official company takeover of Max Horngacher 01.10.1966.
first harp no. 350
Personnel extended from 1967 also in the mechanical area.
From 1973 additional staff in the wood workshop.
In 1974 Klaus Horngacherbegan his apprenticeship as an organ builder, which he completed in 1977 with the title of Bavarian State Champion.
In April 1977 Klaus Horngacher joins the company Harfenbau Maximilian Horngacher with a further 2 year apprenticeship as a harp maker.
In 1982 Klaus Horngacher passed his master’s examination in harp making.
in 1987 illness of Maximilian Horngacher and first fair participation at the World Harp Congress in Vienna.
In 1992 the company was transformed into a limited liability company with Maximilian Horngacher and Klaus Horngacher as managing directors.
Multiple participations at the American Harp Congress as well as at European Harp Congresses.
In 2010 Klaus Horngacher took over the company as sole managing director.
June 16, 2017
Maximilian Horngacher died 16.06.2017