International Music Store Ltd.

International Music Store Ltd. Establishment specializing in printed music and recordings, located on Ste-Catherine St West in Montreal. A store was opened in 1913 on Drummond St as the International Music Shop, under the management of Martin Hufnagel.

International Music Store Ltd.

International Music Store Ltd. Establishment specializing in printed music and recordings, located on Ste-Catherine St West in Montreal. A store was opened in 1913 on Drummond St as the International Music Shop, under the management of Martin Hufnagel. The name was changed to International Music Store in 1916. After Frank Ramsperger, of Swiss-German origin, acquired it in 1922, the store began selling radios, phonographs, and musical instruments. With the help of his sons Leo and Fred, Ramsperger expanded the printed music section (which included teaching material), managed by Leo, and the record section, managed by Fred. (The latter closed his section in April 1977 and moved to Toronto.) In the 1940s and 1950s there were studios with pianos for rent. The store was thus a meeting place for musicians, including Billy Eckstein and Arthur LeBlanc. The business was managed 1977-86 by Leo Ramsperger. It numbered among its former employees Norma Shearer, the actress; Yvan Dufresne, director of the record company Discotel; and Terry McEwen, the former artistic director of the classical section of London records, a regular panelist on the intermissions of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, and Kurt Herbert Adler's successor 1982-8 as general director of the San Francisco Opera. The printed music department, which in 1980 had over a million scores of classical and popular works in stock, was described at that time as one of the largest in Canada. The store was closed in 1986 following the sale of the building and the difficulty of adequately relocating the business. The Librairie Lettre-Son subsequently purchased its stocks.


Further Reading

  • Rodriguez, Juan. 'Goodbye to International's record half,' Montreal Gazette, 30 Apr 1977

    Finlay, Dennis. 'This store knows the score,' Montreal Scene, Oct 1977

    Laughlin, Ann. 'No encore for landmark music shop,' Montreal Gazette, 24 Mar 1986