About this Site

Welcome to this website, which has been set up of the occasion of John and Ann Feldberg’s  80th birthday year as an historical record, as an aid to anyone interested in harpsichord building or the twentieth century revival of baroque and early music and as a resource for present or past owners of John Feldberg harpsichords.

John Feldberg Harpsichords and Clavichords was started, in 1957 in Sevenoaks Kent, by John Feldberg who was then just twenty seventy years old. Following his untimely death in 1960, the workshop was continued by his widow Ann Feldberg and master craftsmen Peter Whale and grew to employ a roster of outstanding and dedicated harpsichord makers including, at various times,  Derek Adlam, Tim Constable, Hugh Craig, Malcom Fisk, Ken Haydn, Christopher Jones, Nick Martin and  Malcom Rose.

With their help, the workshop flourished for over 20 years, making harpsichords, clavichords, spinets, virginals and even a muselar. From the 1970s onwards most, if not all, John Feldberg instruments were meticulously researched copies of original instruments, using as near as possible, similar materials.

Before it closed in 1980, the workshop produced 272 instruments which were sold to customers all over the world and played by musicians from Raymond Leppard to George Malcolm, Kenneth Gilbert, Trevor Pinnock, Peter Hurford, Christopher Hogwood and Jane Clarke (Dodgson). Instruments were also hired out to numerous  venues and orchestras;  amongst them Glyndebourne, the  Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, the BBC, Dartington Music Summer School  – and the Abbey Road recording studios!

In addition 63 school may have the infamous ‘schools harpsichord’ residing in a quiet corner (an innovative kit form of harpsichord designed by John to make harpsichords an affordable options for schools, that the school made up themselves). If done well it produced a very pleasing instrument.

On this website you can trace the whereabouts of a specific instrument, listen to recordings, or retell the various and often fascinating stories that surround each individual instrument. There are also useful links that might help if you need a spare string, new Neupert plastic jack or the whereabouts of a good harpsichord restorer who has knowledge of the Feldberg Harpsichords.

If you would like to know more, can identify the whereabouts of a Feldberg or Feldberg Whale instrument, or have any memories of the workshop to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Ann Feldberg (now enjoying a well earned retirement)
and daughters, Rachel, Lore and Emily Feldberg