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G. Ricordi & Co. München
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The Rob. Forberg Music Publishing House was founded in 1862 by August Robert Forberg (1833-1880) in Leipzig, initially as a book and music store. A significant step forwards in the development of the internationally renowned publishing house was possible with the commissions earned by representing various international companies, including Choudens in Paris, Fr. S. Urbanek in Prague, John Benjamin in Hamburg, Gorbunow in Charkow and especially Jurgenson in Moscow.
After the death of the founder, his son Robert Max Forberg took over the business, at first as a partner, and then in 1888 as the sole owner. Already by 1908 the publisher’s catalogue boasted more than 6000 titles, including works by such popular authors such as Mendelssohn, Rheinberger, d’Albert and Strauss.
The key to the publishing house’s success was Forberg’s engagement in works by Russian composers, as well as his working on a commission basis. In 1882 the Moscow music publisher, and discoverer of Tschaikovsky, P.J. Jurgenson opened a branch in House Forberg in Leipzig. From then on the Leipzig branch was responsible for introducing Tschaikovsky’s works, as well as many others such as Arensky, Tcherepnin, Balakirev into west European concert halls and receptions. Works such as “Piano concerto Nr 1” by Prokofiev, “Les Roi des Ètoiles” by Stravinsky, as well as numerous piano works by Glière and also Rimsky-Korsakov.
Due to his close contact with P.J. Jurgenson and his son, Forberg became the legal successor of the branch and took over from them in 1917, as the political situation in Russia changed.
After Max Robert’s death in 1920, his wife took over the business, but asked her nephew, Horst von Roebel, to take over the running of the publishing house. He opted to concentrate on the publishing side of the business and handed over the commission side of the business to the Hofmeister Publishing company in the 1930’s. The program, that had been entirely classical up to this point, was now complemented by easy listening music such as works by the composer Ernst Fischer.
During the September 1943 blitz, the publishing house was dramatically destroyed and numerous works and correspondence were irreparably damaged, including some of Tchaikovsky’s. In 1947 the Russian Military administration approved the rebuilding of the publishing house, whose headquarters moved to Bonn in 1950.
In 1957 Helga Schütze (1926-2005), later von Roebel, became a partner of the publishing company business. Her son, Joachim von Roebel (1945-2004) who had good personal contacts with Peter March, the founder of the Tschaikovsky Foundation in New York, succeeded in becoming the sole representative of the foundation in Europe and consequently was able to keep numerous Tschaikovsky ballets here. Following the Jurgenson tradition, the East European program was further developed. In the course of the years composers such as Koussevitzky, Kapustin and Ziev also joined the company.
Apart from this Joachim von Roedel also enlarged the catalogue regards school- and study works (bassoon school of Julius Weissenborn, improvisation courses for Church musicians, ed. by Günther Berger) as well as developing chamber music that was inspired by a practical performing criteria, such as Oskar Fischer’s “Pan-Sammlung” and the Baroque series by Richard Lauschmann. A further focal point were the organ works from original literature (Rheinberger, Rinck, and Hasse amonst others) through to the treatments of popular works by Joachim Dorfmuller.
After the publisher’s death in September 2004, his wife took over the business until December 2005. This included the running of the two publishing companies Max Brockhaus Publishing Company (1976) and the Mannheimer Music publishing company (1982) that had joined the publishers.