S. Sabathil & Son Ltd.

S. Sabathil & Son Ltd. Vancouver harpsichord makers (whose workshop is on Bowen Island). The company was established in 1960 by Simon (b ca 1896 d Vancouver 1980) and Sigurd (b 1939) Sabathil, who had immigrated to Canada from Marianské Lázne, Czechoslovakia.

S. Sabathil & Son Ltd.

S. Sabathil & Son Ltd. Vancouver harpsichord makers (whose workshop is on Bowen Island). The company was established in 1960 by Simon (b ca 1896 d Vancouver 1980) and Sigurd (b 1939) Sabathil, who had immigrated to Canada from Marianské Lázne, Czechoslovakia. By the 1970s the company was producing three clavichord models and nine harpsichord models, including three with double keyboards and one with pedal. Other instruments have been custom-made, including a double-ended one. By 1980 the company had turned to the manufacture of historical reproductions, eg, 17th-century Flemish single keyboard (after Andreas Ruckers) and 18th-century French single and double keyboard models. Sabathil & Son have employed aluminum frames in their instruments to achieve stable tuning and audibility in modern halls and by 1991 were using 300-year-old cedar in the soundboards. The keyboards and some basic materials were formerly imported, but in 1980 the firm began to make its own keyboards. The quality of sound and craftsmanship and decoration are particularly impressive. Sabathil instruments have been purchased by colleges, conservatories, and individuals in North America and Europe. About 30 per cent of the instruments (produced in the 1970s at a rate of about 100 annually but by the early 1990s at a rate of between 10 and 30 annually) have been sold in Canada. The company has issued three demonstration records.


Further Reading

  • Knight, Irene G. 'Sabathil & Son Ltd. Harpsichords,' Canadian Music Trade, vol 4, Jun-July 1982

    Leeper, Muriel. 'New technology shapes genteel harpsichord,' Music, vol 5, Aug 1982