Martin Skowroneck 1926-2014

© Tilman Skowroneck 2014. Last update to this post 2 July 2014.

2013-12-24 20.36.11-2

Martin Skowroneck, December 24, 2013. Photo © Jessica Skowroneck

It is my sad duty to announce that my father Martin Skowroneck, flautist and maker of harpsichords, recorders and baroque flutes, passed away this morning due to complications after heart surgery. He had been in hospital for four and a half difficult weeks. We, his nearest family, were able to say goodbye to him, and my mother was staying with him for the last two days and nights.

My mother and I would like to thank you for your overwhelming response, via various internet media, e mail, phone calls and ordinary mail. It means very much to us to know how he is remembered.

In sadness

Tilman Skowroneck


M. Marais Tombeau pour Mr. de Ste. Colombe

Wieland Kuijken viola da gamba, Tilman Skowroneck harpsichord. Recorded live 30 January 2005

The funeral service was on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 12:00 at the

Kirche zu Oberneuland, Hohenkampsweg 6, 28355 Bremen



25 Responses to “Martin Skowroneck 1926-2014”

  1. Stephen Kabat Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Tilman. May your father rest in peace.
    Steve Kabat, Cleveland, OH,USA

  2. Voigt Anton Says:

    Though we are not acquainted personally, I still want to express my sympathy to the loss you encountered. May you get some comfort from any source you believe in.

    Anton Voigt Professor emeritus Lecturer Donau University Krems President of EPTA Austria Artistic Director of “Sonntagsmusik im Salon”


  3. Bradley Lehman Says:

    All the best to your family. I met him once, and remember him fondly.

  4. José San Vicente Says:

    Recently I have read your father book on the art of making harpsichords, I acknowledge your father as one of the promoters of the harpsichord renacimiento with Hubbard.
    Let the times bring more people like your father.
    José San Vicente México

  5. Javier Nuño Says:

    Sad day for the harpsichord world… Rest in peace and all my thougths with the family.

    Javier Nuño, Mexico.

  6. Gerald Ortman Says:

    I remember your father as a teacher, through his book, and am sad at his passing. May he rest now in comfort and peace; and I wish all his family good health.

  7. Zvi Meniker Says:

    Dear Tilman, I am so sorry to hear that. I always felt very privileged to have known him. May he rest in peace, my heartfelt condolences to you and your mother.

  8. Freek Sluijs Says:

    This ìs sad news. The fear of our parents becoming sick or even dying is around us as an inevitable part of life. The rejoycing when our babies are born is as heartfelt as the mourning when we lose someone close and dear to us.
    My condonleances go to you, your mother, Martins grandchildren, and all those who are or were in your neighbourhood and live in our hearts.
    Freek Sluijs, Hilversum, the Netherlands

  9. Marten Root Says:

    Beste Tilman, ik heb altijd zeer genoten van jouw vaders bijzondere en vriendelijke aandeel in Bremen, hetzij door zijn fysieke aanwezigheid wanneer hij concerten bijwoonde in de Hochschule en korte gesprekjes na afloop, of via al de instrumenten van hem die ik heb mogen leren kennen zowel in Bremen als ook in Amsterdam. Ik wil je condoleren en wens je en jouw moeder veel sterkte hopend elkaar weer eens te zien hetzij in Bremen of elders. Zeer hartelijke groet, Marten Root

  10. Douglas Amrine Says:

    I am very sorry to hear this news. I didn’t know your father very well, though he was always kind enough to reply to my letters, but I know and appreciate his instruments. He was an artist – he created beauty in the world. Many of us waited years to own a ‘Skowroneck’, and we all feel that it was definitely worth the wait.

  11. Yoshio Watanabe Says:

    Very sad to hear the news. Please let me pray for the soul of your father. I remember the very nice party in January 2007, like yesterday, and feel sorry for not having an opportunity to see him again since.
    All the best to you and your mother.

    Yoshio Watanabe

  12. Jacqueline Sorel Says:

    Dat is verdrietig nieuws, Tilman. Gecondoleerd met dit grote verlies. Ik wens jullie een mooi afscheid. Hartegroet, Jacqueline

  13. dominiceckersley Says:

    So sorry to hear this,TIlman. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  14. Martin Cheng Says:

    So sorry to hear this news.
    R.I.P. Master!

    Cheng (from Hong Kong)

  15. Katrina Faulds Says:

    So sorry to hear this, Tilman. All best wishes to you and your family – thinking of you. Katrina

  16. Knight Vernon Says:

    Tilman, I am sorry to hear of the death of your father. He was influential in my life when I first started making instruments in 1972. In 1973 I had the good fortune to see and play two of his harpsichords on a trip to visit makers in New England. May God rest his soul in peace.

  17. Johann-Gottfried Schmidt Says:

    Meine tief empfundene Anteilnahme! Dein Vater hat uns bei den Begegnungen mit seiner fachlichen und menschlichen Größe beindruckt und mit seiner herzlichen Art eingenommen. Seine Anteilnahme beim Tod meines Vaters, hat meiner Stiefmutter und mir damals sehr gut getan. Wie wichtig er darüber hinaus für den Cembalobau und die historische Aufführungspraxis war und sein wird, wirst Du selbst wissen. Mein Beileid auch an Deine Mutter.

  18. Heiko ter Schegget Says:

    Beste Tilman,
    Wat een droevig nieuws. Van harte gecondoleerd. Ik heb je vader altijd zeer bewonderd. Hij was mijns inziens de eerste na eeuwen die prachtige blokfluiten en klavecimbels bouwde, een groot talent, integer en geniaal. Ik wens jou en je moeder heel veel sterkte toe.
    Een hartelijke groet,
    Heiko ter Schegget

  19. James Louder Says:

    Tilman…I’m saddened to learn of your father’s death. I did not have the privilege of knowing him personally, but the death of any instrument-maker–let alone one of your father’s incomparable stature–tears at this organbuilder’s heart. His work was a beacon to everyone who aspired to create historically valid instruments that were, in the first place, living musical entities.

    My heart is the heavier because of the recent death of my own master-in-art, the Swiss-Canadian organbuilder, Hellmuth Wolff. I mention it because Hellmuth owned an alto recorder from your father’s hands, an instrument he treasured. When Hellmuth visited a prospective client’s church, he would take your father’s recorder with him and play it in order to form an idea of the acoustics. This is how great work from one artisan’s hand leads to more from another’s–and there’s a kind of immortality in that.

    Again, my sympathy. May God’s peace be with your father, also with yourself and all your family.

    James Louder
    Montreal, Québec

  20. Johan Brouwer Says:

    Beste Tilman, Ik bezocht Martin 1 keer samen met Bill Brighy, ik bespeelde een Prachtig Vlaams instrument en de middag was heel indrukwekkend, Sterkte voor de komende tijd.

  21. jmccarty3 Says:

    Tilman, I well remember meeting your father about 25 years ago in Atlanta. It was a great honor, as was the privilege of playing several of his instruments. My sincerest condolences to you and your family. May he rest in peace.

  22. Gordon Murray Says:

    I am so sorry to hear the news of your father’s passing. As one of the minority who has the privilege of owning one of your father’s instruments, I am reminded daily just how important your father and his work is to the present level of early music making. His instrument is well known and well loved by all my students in the Vienna Music University. My deepest condolances to you and to your mother, who was such a gracious hostess when I picked up my instrument in 1992. Be assured that your father’s legacy lives on.

  23. Zachary Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. May Jesus comfort you and all your family members.

  24. Keith Hill Says:

    Dear Mr. Skowroneck,

    I am sorry to hear of Martin’s passing. He was the first person to urge me to become a harpsichord maker. His voice was one of intelligence and moderateness in a scene frequented by ultra purists. I can well remember the moment from years ago when I was giving a talk on the relationship between makers, performers and composers at the Antwerp Piano Week. I stood up to speak and said that we in the 20th century did not have to ask the question about the relationship between makers, performers and composers because we were living everyday with how that relationship works in the field of computer manufacturers, end users, and programmers. No sooner had I said that and all the computerphobes in the audience, which was most of those there, jumped to their feet and took issue with my audacity to compare fortepianos to computers. The loud objections and complaining from mostly English musicologists went on for about 20 mins. during which I was absolutely silent. Then your father, Martin, stood to his feet and the whole room went quiet. He said, and I quote: “I too am no friend of computers…but I think Mr. Hill has a point.” At which he sat down and the group broke up.

    I was so proud of your father that afternoon.


    Keith Hill

  25. Reinhard von Nagel Says:

    Quelle perte!
    Reinhard von Nagel

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