Organs and Organ Builders in Slovakia
1651 – 2006
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Anton Schönhofer jun.

[Schönhofer; Anton, Antal]

* date unknown, probably Bratislava
† after 1944, place unknown

Anton Schönhofer, junior, was born probably in the 1880s in Bratislava. He trained as an organ builder with his brothers Štefan, Vilhelm and Ján under his father who owned a workshop for the construction and repair of organs. In about 1908 the father took him on as a partner. He later worked in the workshop with his brothers. At the end of the First World War they managed to obtain a smaller job connected with the requisition of organ pipes for military purposes. Bad repute, however, accompanied their organ building work. In 1944 Anton Schönhofer, junior, went abroad where he died.

Organ builder’s workshop

The workshop of Anton Schönhofer’s sons was on Dunajska street and later on Záhradnícka street in Bratislava. It functioned until 1944 but many jobs made there have not survived either because the instruments were seemingly of poor quality or because, in view of the unserious approach to customers, they received few orders. As early as 1922 they had to build a new 37 stop organ in the R. Catholic Parish Church in Kežmarok. Because they did not meet the deadline, the organ’s price was lowered by 10,000 crowns and they undertook to enlarge it by a further 10 stops. When they did not hold to this promise, the Kežmarok people withdrew from the contract and entrusted the work to the Rieger firm. In the 1920s they applied to rebuild the organ in the Most Holy Saviour RC Church (Jesuit), Bratislava; they were turned down. In the 30s they took part in a competition for a new instrument in Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RC Parish Church (Blumentál), Bratislava. But in this competition also, where they were offering a five manual organ, they were unsuccessful.

Text: Marian Alojz Mayer