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The American Musical Instrument Society


The Curt Sachs Award 2003

Fredrich von Huene

The Curt Sachs Award for 2003 was presented at the society's annual meeting in Great Britain to Friedrich von Huene, acclaimed Boston maker of historical recorders and other woodwind instruments.

Von Huene was born in 1928 to a German family that had fled the Baltic area in 1919 during the Russian revolution (his proper name is Friedrich Freiherr von Hoyningen, genannt Huene). He spent his childhood in Mecklenburg, and in 1945 the family fled, once again from the Russians, to West Germany. With his American mother (his father was killed in the war), five siblings, and other relatives, he removed to the United States in 1947/48.

Von Huene served during the Korean war as a flutist and piccolo player in the U.S. Air Force band in Washington, D.C. Subsequently he graduated from Bowdoin College in 1956 and, refusing a graduate stipend from Harvard University, he apprenticed himself to the firm of Verne Q. Powell, Boston flute makers. During this time he married. His wife Ingeborg had been a childhood friend, with whom he had become reacquainted during a European trip. They have five children.

Leaving Powell's employ in 1960, von Huene set up shop in Boston as a recorder maker, dedicating his efforts to recreating historical instruments. In 1966 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which permitted him to study early woodwinds in Europe. He is a past president of the Boston Recorder Society and was a founder of the Boston Early Music Festival. In 1984 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bowdoin College, and in 1992 he received the Arion-Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music.

While his family now operates the very successful business in Boston making, selling, and repairing early instruments, Friedrich von Huene has always remained dedicated to the design and manufacture of superior Renaissance and Baroque instruments. To date 10,485 instruments bear his name and stamp.

—Cecil Adkins, Chairman
Curt Sachs Award Committee

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