Jan Albarda

Jan (Horatius) Albarda. Harpsichord maker and designer, b The Hague 7 Jun 1910, naturalized Canadian 1973. An architect 1937-51 in the Netherlands and 1951-74 in Canada, Albarda in 1962 became the second harpsichord builder to begin production in Canada.

Albarda, Jan

Jan (Horatius) Albarda. Harpsichord maker and designer, b The Hague 7 Jun 1910, naturalized Canadian 1973. An architect 1937-51 in the Netherlands and 1951-74 in Canada, Albarda in 1962 became the second harpsichord builder to begin production in Canada. Working alone in Toronto and, after 1974, in Elora, Ont, he had made and restored 100 instruments by 1989, including one- and two-manual harpsichords, spinets, virginals, pedal harpsichords, and clavichords for players throughout North America. Though he has restored 18th- and 19th-century instruments, he has not built replicas, preferring to concentrate on new design, development, and improvement. In 1977 he completed the first two-manual harpsichord with sympathetic (non-playing) choirs of strings in the second overtone. He named the new instrument "cembalo marino," following the precedent of the tromba marina and the violetta marina (viola d'amore), which also had sympathetic strings. Albarda is the author of a layman's book about harpsichords, Wood, Wire and Quill (Toronto 1968; Willowdale, Ont 1976).

See also Harpsichord building.