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Kohn, Bernhard

Bernhard Kohn, proprietor of the piano firm of Kohn, founded in 1856, and located at Himmelpfortgasse 20, Vienna I. In 1886, he is recorded for the first time as a piano dealer, supplying pianos made by Steinway, Blüthner und Schweighofer. Among its customers were Gustav Mahler and members of the Wittgenstein family. In 1926, Kohn was a member of the Genossenschaft der Klavier-, Harmonium und Orgelbauer in Wien (Association of piano, harmonium, and organ manufacturers in Vienna).

At the end of the 1920s, together with the piano maker Friedrich Karbach, Kohn took over the Austrian piano manufacturer Schweighofer. At the same time, a descendant of the Schweighofer family opened a parallel piano factory and built instruments under the Schweighofer name. To distinguish them, sometime after 1920 Kohn & Karbach put the original Schweighofer inscription on their instruments and added the Karbach name on the soundboards. The Schweighofer (Kohn & Karbach) company produced pianos until 1938 when it was closed because Kohn was Jewish.

Schenker's diaries of 1914 and 1918 show that Schenker hired his piano from Kohn, and that he sometimes used one of the company's piano tuners.

No correspondence between Kohn and Schenker is known to survive.

Sources:

Genossenschaft der Klavier-, Harmonium und Orgelbauer in Wien, Mitgliederverzeichnis 1926 (Vienna 1926), p. 11.

Allan Janik and Hans Veigl, Wittgenstein in Wien. Ein biographischer Streifzug durch die Stadt und ihre Geschichte (Vienna, New York 1998), p. 108-110.

Jens-Uwe Witter, Das Klavier-Lexikon. Namen und Fabrikate aus dem Klavier-, Orgel- und Harmoniumbau sowie Handel und Service von 1788-2000, 2nd edn (Rothenburg ob der Tauber 2000), p. 399.

Schweighofer website

Contributor: Marko Deisinger

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