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100 years of Voggenreiter – Celebrating a century of music
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Voggenreiter Publishers is located near Bonn. All of these years, Voggenreiter history has been inseparably associated with the youth and music movement(s) of the age. Now adding innovative modern music apps to its program, the renowned publishing house is ready for the digital age.
Wachtberg, January 2019 This date marks the 100th anniversary of Voggenreiter Publishers, now located near Bonn, former capital of Germany. Founded by Ludwig Voggenreiter and Franz Ludwig Habbel as Der Weiße Ritter (The white knight) in Regensburg in 1919, Voggenreiter is one of the most trendsetting and up-to-date publishers specializing in music method books today. Recent proof: A new generation of music apps enabling children and toddlers to playfully learn to play an instrument. Thus succesfully setting the course for the digital age, the traditional publishing house is pioneering musical education.
And not for the first time, either. Rich in unexpected turns and twists, success and tragic strokes of fate, Voggenreiter’s company history contains several milestones of youth culture and music history. One of the most remarkable ones was created by Ernst Voggenreiter (second-generation company director and father of Ralph und Charles Voggenreiter, todays company directors) himself. By adding his own record label “Xenophon“ to the company in the late 60s and the early 70s, he paved the way for the successful musical careers of stars like German chansonier Reinhard Mey and Schobert & Black.
Recognizing the enormous potential of guitar player Peter Bursch’s idea of a completely “note-free“ guitar method in the mid-70s, Ernst Voggenreiter was also pivotal in making “Peter Bursch’s Gitarrenbuch“ one of the most successful – and bestselling – guitar method books worldwide. Voggenreiter continued to successfully transfer this playful approach to other instrument methods. The result: Voggenreiter Publishers evolved to become market leader in German music books.
When Ernst Voggenreiter died in a tragic plane crash in 1992, company business was – practically overnight – left in the hands of his sons Ralph and Charles Voggenreiter. “We were 25 and 23 old that time“, Ralph Voggenreiter remembers, „and both had no idea of the publishing business.“
To be thrown in at the deep end proved to be the “ultimate challenge“ – mastered by Ralph and Charles with bravura, however. And of course there were dues to pay and unlucky decisions to be corrected – but in the end, the brothers succeeded in keeping their company on the road to success.
And just like their ancestors, third-generation company leaders Ralph and Charles have a keen eye and a good nose for future trends. They succeeded in convincing stars like Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Lage, Reamonn or Die Toten Hosen to have their songbooks published by Voggenreiter; established a whole new instrument set range tailor-made for children under the brand name „Voggy“ and – last not least – – set new standards for contemporary music education with innovative interactive music apps. „You should never rest on your laurels“, Charles Voggenreiter comments, „times are changing. And music education changes, too. These apps enable children to playfully learn a musical instrument – using modern tools like tablet, smartphone or computer.“
Celebrating the 100th Voggenreiter anniversary, Ralph and Charles came up with another unique idea: a very special classical “travel“ guitar. “We’re sending this guitar on a journey across Germany“, they comment, “and wherever it goes, famous musicians will sign it, telling a little tale of Voggenreiter history.“ At the end of its musical journey this classical guitar will be raffled.
Info about the current Voggenreiter program at www.voggenreiter.de.
Voggenreiter, January 2019
About Voggenreiter Publishers:
Voggenreiter Publishers is one of Germany’s leading publishers of music and music-related books. Founded as Der weiße Ritter (The white knight) in 1919, todays proprietors, brothers Ralph and Charles Voggenreiter are the third generation to lead the company. Todays range of products includes more than 200 method books, specialised literature, multimedia products, instrument sets, beginner’s sets and present-day interactive music apps for children and toddlers. Voggenreiter products can be purchased at international music, book and toy stores as well as many department stores and online shops