Our History - Werner Stolze Pianos
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Our History

Stolze Family History Timeline

View our rich history below, each section has an interactive timeline.

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Willy Kurt Hutzelmann (Founder), FG Kurt Stolze, Wilfried Kurt Stolze & Werner Wilfried Stolze

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Willy Kurt Hutzelmann

 

Founder of the family factory “Hutzelmann” in Eisenberg, East Germany. The factory was one of few piano factory in East Germany to survive the second world war.

 

Willy Kurt Hutzelmann secured the wages of twenty employees as well as putting bread on the table during the difficult times of the great depression.

Timeline

Born 7 October 1889

Willy Kurt Hutzelmann, started the family factory in 1919 in Eisenberg, East Germany.

Earliest known photo of Willy Kurt Hutzelmann Great Grandfather of Werner Wilfried Stolze.

A new wing to the factory is completed.

Photo taken at the 10 year reunion of the Hutzelmann factory.

The Hutzelmann factory 30th existence year

The Hutzelmann factory 40th year existence.

Great Grand Mother know as Frau Hedwig Hutzelmann, born 19 May 1894 & Great Grandfather Willy Kurt Hutzelmann.

The first Cembalo serial number 1731 pre-shipment to South Africa (in photo Willy Kurt Hutzelmann & New owner of the Hutzelmann factory Thomas Hanf.)

Sadly Passed away and left his legacy to the family.

Franz Gotwἂrd Kurt Stolze

 

Born on 14th March 1905 FG Kurt Stolze married Willy Kurt Hutzelmann’s daughter, Margret Johanna and had 3 children. Kurt also worked in the Hutzelmann factory as well as the Grotrian Steinweg factory.

 

Kurt immigrated to South Africa in 1953 with his wife and 3 children on the Sterling Castle Line Ship and imported the first Cembalo in 1965 (Left Germany 1964 but arrived in SA 1965). He established a piano shop in White River, South Africa in 1959.

 

FG Kurt Stolze was the grandfather of Werner Stolze.

Timeline

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Born 14 March 1905.

First Known photograph of Kurt Stolze.

Piano Building Certificate.

Master Piano Building Degree.

Family Portrait of the Stolze Family: from left to right Margret Johanna (mother), Kurt Wilfried (son), Margot (daughter) & Kurt Stolze (father) – 3 sibling not born yet.

FG Stolze immigrates to South Africa with his wife and three children.

Arrival of the first Cembalo in South Africa.

Front view of the New Shop.

Kurt Stolze regulating the dempers of an upright piano.

Kurt Stolze tuning an upright piano.

15th July 1978, last known photograph of Kurt Stolze during their vacation in Rudesheim Germany, just days before he passed away on the 27th August.

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Wilfried Kurt Stolze

 

Born on 11 January 1941, Wilfried Kurt Stolze left South Africa in 1957 to study in Eisenberg, East Germany. He received his degree in 1960.

 

Wilfried escaped the Berlin Wall construction in 1961, and worked at Bothners factory in Johannesburg between 1961 and 1962 (the factory was known to build the Otto Bach & Knight).

 

He opened a shop in 1962. Received a letter of thanks from the office of President FW De Klerk in 1989.

 

Wilfried Kurt Stolze is Werner Wilfried Stolze’ father.

 

 “The Knowledge that I have of Pianos and the history of all different factories and where they were build will unfortunately be lost to the new generation, there are a handful of Piano Builders (not tuners) left in SA, Luckily my younger son Werner Stolze, is fully trained.”

Timeline

11 January 1941 the industry was blessed with a Piano Legend (Photo: First known photo but not on the date of birth).

Margot (sister) & Kurt Wilfried Stolze.

Escaped to West Germany, just after the 2nd World War.

Immigrated to South Africa with his Father Kurt Stolze, Mother Johanna,  Brother Hartmut & Sister Margot.

Flight taken on Trek Airways to go and study the trade in Piano Building under his Grand Father Willy Kurt Hutzelmann.

Completed his Degree in Piano Building.

Wilfried Stolze became the proud father of the next generation legacy Werner Wilfried Stolze.

Went to Malawi on special request from President Hastings Kamuzu Banda to tune & refurbish a piano (Pianist for this event was: Natalia Strelchenko).

Received a letter of thanks from the President of South Africa FW De Klerk.

Tuned the piano at the Presidential home of President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela for the visit of Michael Jackson.

Father and son Tuning a piano together.

Attending the Wedding of his son Werner Wilfried Stolze & his bride Naomi Geyer in Matjiesfontein.

27 November 2013 South Africa lost a great piano legend.

 


 

 

Dear Dad,

I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too, I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in a frame, your memory is a keepsake, from which I’ll never part.

God has you in his Arms; I have you in my heart….

Werner Wilfried Stolze

 

Born on 19 December 1979  Werner is the son of Wilfried Kurt Stolze. At the age of 8 Werner appeared in the first publication for pianos printed in the Beeld Newspaper (22 July 1988) as well as the Verwoerdburg News in 1995.

 

In 2002 Werner did his first professional tuning of a grand piano under the watchful eye of his father.In 2014 he appeared in a publication of the Pretoria Get It Magazine, dubbed the Piano Whisperer.

 

Received a letter of thanks from Willem Vogel the Artistic Director of Brooklyn Theatre in 2014 and later that year he tuned the pianos for the Piano Extravaganza (8 Pianists & 4 Grand Pianos) for RSG Kunstefees with Salon Music also performed at Brooklyn Theatre.

 

 

Timeline

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19 December 1979 the 4th Generation known as the “Piano Whisperer” was born.

Photo with his father Kurt Wilfried Stolze.

Publication in Verwoerdburg News that his dream is to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Started Apprenticeship.

Tuned his First Grand Piano for a Concert at a School.

Werner Stolze married Naomi Geyer in Matjiesfontein.  It was a morning wedding but the below listed photograph was taken the evening at the Mafia theme Party. Till today people still talk about this amazing wedding many moons ago.

Assembled Yamaha G1 Grand Piano for President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma at the Presidential residence in Pretoria.

Tuned the Piano for a Piano Extravaganza at SABS Publisher Salon Music Live Recording RSG Kunstefees Nov 2014 & received a nickname from Get It Magazine as The Piano Whisperer.

Transported Grand Piano for Tori Amos from the Linder Theatre to Monte Casino.

Hired his first apprentice & received a BEE Certificate.

  • Wakkerstroom Music Festival
  • UNISA International Piano Competition
  • Kuwait Tuning, Germany Tuning, Switzerland Tuning and Austria Tuning