Organs and Organ Builders in Slovakia
1651 – 2006
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Michal Podkonický

[Potkonicky, Podkonitzky; Michael, Michal]

* 26.9.1753, Banská Bystrica
† 4.6.1816, Banská Bystrica

Son of the organ builder Martin Podkonický. He trained with his father. After the latter's death (1771) he had to wait two years in order to reach the age of 20, so as to be able to take over the workshop. In November 1773 he became a burgher of Banská Bystrica. Shortly afterwards, on January 26, 1774, he married Anna Šarlota Stertzová.

Organ builder’s workshop

This unquestionably talented master lived a bohemian life, very often did not fulfil the engagements that he entered into and was years behind with his work. Finally a printed report of the Council of Hungary, numbered 17456, was sent to all departments on July 14, 1812, directing that no further orders should be given to the organ builder Michal Podkonický, because he was unable to fulfil them and had completed scarcely a third of those for which he was already contractually bound. It sometimes happened that when they wanted work to go ahead they had to lock the master in the choir. In the end he was imprisoned in Gelnica for debts and for neglect of work; he was released only on the bond of a Banská Bystrica magistrate.

The workshop of Michal Podkonický was one of the largest in Slovakia. About 1804 he had at least four journeymen working for him. The workshop built a relatively large number of instruments, including a number of two-manuals. Apart from organs, spinets and clavichords were produced also.

Text: Marian Alojz Mayer