About Fritz Heller

Fritz Heller has been working for more than 30 years as player and maker of historic wind instruments. As a musician he has played with leading Early Music ensembles, such as Musica fiata, Musicalische Compagney and Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse. Since 1989 he has mainly been involved in projects with his own ensembles Rabaskadol and Barocco Locco which resulted in a great number of interdisciplinary projects, concerts and CD recordings.

These recordings regularly make use of his own instruments, indeed most of his models are tested in a concert situation (and all of them in rehearsal). As an instrument maker he is in regular contact with the most important collections of musical instruments e.g. Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Musikinstrumentenmuseum Berlin and the Leipzig collection.

The aim of his work is to provide players with the necessary instruments with which to recreate the authentic sound of their particular period. His starting point is always a copy of a particular museum instrument. Modifications the he accepts are: Making the instruments in pitches which are in general use now i.e. a'= 480,465, 460, 440, 415 Hz and compensating the effect of inhomogeneous shrinking of the wood.

He uses only European timbers, sycamore, field maple, boxwood, yew, plum wood and other fruit wood species, he also uses Arundo donax and buffalo horn. The surfaces are treated with linseed oil, sycamore is coloured using translucent coloured oils based on historic recipes.

The Dutch magazine "Luister" featured a report on the work of Fritz Heller in 2008 (in Dutch) which you can download using the following link:

De zink van Fritz Heller - Op slag verliefd (Luister 2008)