Klaus Ahrend Harpsichord
An extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has arisen.
Klaus Ahrend was a gifted harpsichord maker, the brother of Jürgen Ahrend, builder of the Burns House organ. A student and lifelong colleague of the keyboard maker Martin Skowroneck, Klaus Ahrend was fiercely dedicated to handcrafting fine instruments based on historic precedents.
In 1970, the British physician Martin Birnstingl and his wife, the architect Renate Prince, commissioned an instrument from Klaus Ahrend. Ahrend based the instrument on two originals of the 18th-century Flemish maker J.D. Dulcken. It took 3 years to craft the instrument. Following Birnstingl’s death, the player Timothy Roberts acquired the harpsichord, regularly performed, and recorded with the instrument.
Kevin Keim recently asked Klaus' nephew Hendrik Ahrend if he ever hears of his uncle’s harpsichords becoming available.
In an extraordinary coincidence, Hendrik Ahrend wrote, “just two days before I received your message, I myself had a message from Tim Roberts in London asking my advice about his Klaus Ahrend harpsichord, as he felt it was time to find a new home for the instrument. This is the very first time I have heard of one of my uncle’s rare harpsichords becoming available.”
Both Kevin and Tim Roberts agree the Burns House would be an ideal setting for the harpsichord, not only because the Ahrend instruments would be “reunited”, but that the place and its instruments will be dedicated to practice, rehearsal, composition, and study. The cost would be £26,000 (approximately $34,000). We are so hopeful donors will support the purchase and transport of this extraordinary instrument, so that generations of musicians and students can benefit from the presence of this special instrument in a special place.
“This instrument is important in the history of harpsichord making, as 20th-century builders revived historic styles and building techniques. Klaus Ahrend was an important figure in this history; in addition, he is the brother of the well-known organ maker Jürgen Ahrend, who built the splendid Ahrend & Brunzema organ already in the Burns House – the two instruments will complement each other beautifully. Lastly, the instrument is based on a Dulcken; I personally have never seen an instrument of this type in southern California; it would be a welcome addition to our harpsichord pantheon."
The Colburn Conservatory
Hear the Klaus Ahrend Harpsichord...
We Are So Grateful to Our Lead Pledges.
Willard Hanzlik (Boulder & Sarasota)
Heidi Richardson & Michael Dyett (Mill Valley)
Centerbrook Architects & Planners (Centerbrook)
Susan Morehead (Austin)
Sandra Kulli (Malibu)
Kimberly Kohlhaas (Austin)
Tori Nourafchan & David Rosenstein (Santa Monica Canyon)
Maristella Casciato (Los Angeles & Rome)
Wim de Wit & Nancy Troy (Sonoma)
Tina Beebe & Buzz Yudell (Rustic Canyon)
Scott Gill & Bill Stegeman (Austin)
Jane Jarrett & David McCarthy (Portland)
Karen Simonson & Barton Phelps (Los Angeles)
Shirley Blum (Rustic Canyon)
Andrea Lunsford (The Sea Ranch)
Tom Strickler (Santa Monica)
Michael Maltzan (Los Angeles)
Fred & Laura Clarke (New Haven)
Kim and Keith Allen-Niesen (Los Angeles)
Peter & Patricia Keim (Pittsburgh)
Marc Winkelman (Austin)