German Musical Instrument Awards are announced



Musikmesse 2016: winners of the German Musical Instrument Awards are announced
Awards ceremony on 8 April 2016 in the Frankfurt Römer

Precise responsiveness, excellent balance and perfect tone: three prize-winning instruments have stood out among the consistently strong entries for the 2016 German Musical Instrument Awards (Deutscher Musikinstrumentenpreis – DMIP) because of their outstanding performances in the playing test. In the concert guitar category, the 'Simplicio-Modell' by guitar maker Adrian Heinzelmann took first prize. In the B-flat clarinet category, the first prize was shared between the concert clarinet 6550 by Harald Hüyng and the B-flat clarinet no. 250 by Leitner & Kraus. The official awards ceremony will take place in the 'Kaisersaal' of Frankfurt’s city hall (the Römer) at 17.00 hrs on Friday, 8 April 2016 The instruments will be on display at the Musikmesse in Galleria 1 from 7 to 10 April 2016.
The DMIP award winners for 2016
In the concert guitar category
'Simplicio-Modell' concert guitar
Gitarrenbau Adrian Heinzelmann
In the B-flat clarinet category, German system
B-flat concert clarinet 6550
Harald Hüyng: Meisterwerkstatt für Holzblasinstrumente
Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia
B-flat clarinet no. 250
Leitner & Kraus GmbH: Meisterwerkstätte für Klarinetten
Neustadt an der Aisch, Bavaria
The human factor
The German Musical Instrument Awards, sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie - BMWi), have been awarded since 1990 at the International Musikmesse in Frankfurt. The high-profile competition awards prizes to outstanding products in the music industry in categories that change from year to year. It provides incentives for German instrument makers to increase their productivity further, and so improve their ability to compete. The winning instruments are chosen in a three-stage assessment procedure at the Institute for Musical Instrument Making in Zwota, Saxony. The three criteria on which they are judged are: technical specifications, level of craft expertise and performance when played by well-known musicians. This year the entries were judged to be of equal quality in terms of the first two objective criteria. It was the human factor that emerged as significant: in the case of all three winning instruments it was the opinion of the musicians that proved to be the deciding factor.
In the concert guitar category, the 'Simplicio-Modell' won over the jury with its wide dynamic range, precise responsiveness and extraordinary balance. In particular, the guitarists were able to bring out the guitar’s excellent playability, which is due in part to the clever design of the bridge. They were also impressed by the fine and powerful sound of the instrument, its modern shape, and its appealing overall design. What is remarkable about their choice is not only the fact that the musicians were in unanimous agreement, but also that the maker is a very promising newcomer: Adrian Heinzelmann completed his training as a stringed instrument maker in 2011 and won the Dr. Auguste Schaedel-Dantscher Foundation prize for outstanding achievement in the same year. In 2011, he enrolled in a musical instrument making degree course at Zwickau University of Applied Sciences in Western Saxony, in order to broaden his skills and knowledge. In 2012, he won first prize at the guitar-making competition in Luby (Czech Republic) with his 'Simplicio-Modell'. In 2013, he started his own business and in 2014, he moved to his current workshop in Berlin. Alongside conventional methods, the ambitious guitar maker uses modern measurement techniques for the technical development of his instruments, in order to record and control the construction of every guitar. His 'Simplicio-Modell' pays tribute to the 'no.327' guitar of 1931 by F. Simplicio. This was the main inspiration for the look of the guitar, but he applies cutting edge techniques in its construction.
In the B-flat clarinet category, two instruments took the lead from the outset and they too demonstrated their strengths in the playing test. The concert clarinet 6550 by Meisterwerkstatt Harald Hüyng won over the musicians, chiefly because of its outstanding responsiveness, intonation, dynamic range and playability. They were particularly impressed by the regular parameters of the clarinet, as well as the flexibility with which it responds to the way it is played. This is all topped off with meticulous workmanship and a harmonious visual appearance, which was also borne out in the score awarded for craft expertise. The master workshop Harald Hüyng sets great store by tradition and, to this day, it crafts its instruments by hand in its own workshop, right through from working the wood to mounting the keys. The decision to do this means that the family business does not have to rely on outside suppliers and it is also able to keep the expertise in-house. This enables the highly trained team to put new ideas and inspirations into practice in collaboration with professional musicians.
The B-flat clarinet no. 250 B-Klarinette Nr. 250 by the Leitner & Kraus Meisterwerkstätte für Klarinetten stood out from the crowd because of its special tonal quality, which all the judges, irrespective of normal differences in taste, deemed to be outstanding. In addition, the instrument was impressive for its acoustic and technical parameters which were also confirmed by the scores awarded in the objective assessments. Its attractive appearance and the pleasant way that it sits in the hand were highly praised as well. What is more, the judges underlined the clarinet’s excellent value for money, which sets this model apart from other comparable clarinets. The master workshop was founded in 1993 by Josef Leitner and Wolfgang Kraus, who have been working as clarinet makers for over 40 years to date. The heads of the company combine this intense wealth of experience with a special eye for detail and constant quest for innovations. Fresh inspiration is also coming up through the younger generation, who have already won the title of master craftsman and will be carrying the family business forward.
Further information about Musikmesse can be found on the internet at
Musikmesse – It’s my tune: 7 to 10 April 2016
Musikmesse is the International Trade Fair for Musical Instruments, Sheet Music, Music Production and Music Business Connections with a range of products covering the entire spectrum of products for musicians, from classical instruments, guitars and basses, wind instruments and percussion to electric equipment. In 2016, Musikmesse will set course for a successful future with a new concept that not only offers even more services for retailers, distributors and the industry but also underscores significance of the fair as the international business platform for the musical-instrument industry. Moreover, with emotionally charged, themed worlds of music and numerous events, it will be an even more powerful magnet for both international trade visitors and music aficionados. At the last Musikmesse in Frankfurt, 1,310 exhibitors from 51 countries presented their latest products, innovations and services to 65,355 visitors from 120 countries.
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €645* million in sales and employing 2,297* people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 29 subsidiaries and 57 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 40 locations around the globe. In 2015, Messe Frankfurt organised 132* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.
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*preliminary figures for 2015

Cover artwork: Juan Gris




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