The history of brass musical instruments production in Russia musters one and a half century.  Musicians from Germany, Austria and other European countries with great musical traditions and vast experience were the ones who introduced the art of playing brass instruments to Russia. The Russian emperors, empresses and their families who themselves had foreign roots and connections  made a habit to invite numerous specialists from abroad.  The Russian Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894), a keen lover of cornet, French horn and tuba, influenced the development of Russian music in general and affected the history of brass musical instruments first-hand by establishing the first courtier orchestra  (now The St.Petersburg Symphony Orchestra).

Thanks to Alexander III brass music became fashionable in Russia. When being the heir to the throne Alexander III loved taking part in private concerts which were held on the last Thursday of each month. For this purpose brass septet was established. The Emperor Alexander  II enjoyed visiting these concerts fairly often. Among the exhibits of St. Petersburg Museum of Theater and Musical Art one can find private instruments of Alexander III: a cornet, a Cherveny`s "Quartet", four French Horns and tuba.


The Russian market of that time for brass instruments was very much influenced by the Czech maker V. F. Cerveny, who had founded his own factory in 1842 in Hradec Kralove, Chechia. He was an inventive manufacturer whose success is described in a booklet published in 1906 for the first "Russian Exposition of Musical Instruments".


Around 1882 Josef Josefovich Schediwa (1853-1915), who had worked for Cerveny, founded his own factory in Odessa, and produced, among other tubas and basses, a variation on the helicon that he christened the "Herkulesophone". He published a "Catalogue for the production and ordering of metal wind instruments" with many, many designs, schemes, charts and diagrams.

The history of The St. Petersburg Musical Wind Instruments Factory began when Julius Heinrich Zimmermann (1851-1923) opened a music store in St. Petersburg in 1875. He soon became one of the most important merchants and manufacturers, with branches in Moscow, London, Riga and Leipzig. Although at the beginning the clientele consisted mainly of amateur musicians, professionals were not far behind.  

At the turn of the century, the success of the instruments was confirmed: the brand brought home highest honors from the major international expositions. Some original "Zimmermann" tubas have survived good enough to allow us to appreciate the quality attained during the era. Military orchestras were the most loyal customers of Zimmerman, particularly during the First World War.

Along with many important things Russia had to restore its musical life after undergoing all the shocks and shakes of the beginning of the 20th century: revolutions, wars and destruction. Theaters, orchestras, musical schools, factories and workshops entered a long and difficult path of revival. Many traditions and technologies were lost irrevocably. The St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) Musical Wind Instruments Factory, the successor of Zimmerman Factory, though related to the Zimmerman factory, was, as the matter of fact, new-created. Masters managed to create absolutely new and unique instruments without drafts and essential tools. The management could afford to concentrate on product diversification and quality improvement due to the centrally planned economy of that times. Sales were not their headache at all. Following the tradition of the beginning of the century, military orchestras were the most established and loyal customers.

The Factory`s specialists mastered the production of quality woodwind instruments, such as bassoon, flute, clarinet and saxophone. The annual production reached 20,000 wind instruments.

The break-up of the USSR and economic reforms of 1989-92 interrupted the period of prosperity. Everything disappeared: government orders, federal funding and government management. The factory employees learnt in a hard way that their products were not essential commodities and the demand dropped drastically. With 20,000 maximum production in the late 80th, the factory produced only 500 in 1993. It important to notice that total musical industry  of the former USSR found itself in the similar sad situation. Unfortunately, not all enterprises could live this through. Only 10 out of 50 musical factories function today. And we are proud to be the only wind musical instruments manufacturer in the former Soviet Union.

Having adjusted to the new market environment, the directors managed to save exclusive tools (more than a hundred pieces), highly qualified employees and age-long traditions.

Privatization of 1991 advantaged the factory`s development. New directors were lucky enough to find investments and to revive the production. The factory has benefited from close and invaluable cooperation with the leading St. Petersburg musicians and orchestras: The Symphony Orchestra, The Mariinski Theater Orchestra. Their recommendations on performance improving and technological advance are considered with great attention and taken into realization.      


Each instrument to leave the factory is being tested by experts in hope to satisfy our valued customers. Above this, the factory has got technical and personnel expertise to produce unique tailor-made instruments to perform rare musical forms according to the specific needs of theaters.


Our goal is to guarantee high quality of our instruments by maintaining traditions, introducing up-to-date technology and modern forms, and bringing-up new generation of our emplooyees.