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Announcing the release of “Zig Kanstul: Last of the Great Masters”

The story of Zig Kanstul is also the account of brass instrument development from the mid-20th century to the present day. Now this incredible narrative is brought to life in a new book: Zig Kanstul: Last of the Great Masters. It is authored by R. Dale Olson, a respected member of the international trumpet elite, and a long-time associate of Zig’s. World-renowned artist Arturo Sandoval provides the foreword. Brass designer, historian, and restorer Robb Stewart is editor, with Scott Birdsall providing the cover photograph and book design.

The book outlines Zig’s personal biography as it relates to brass instrument design and production during the last half of the 20th century and the early days of the 21st. Zig’s apprenticeship under Foster Reynolds, his R&D and production management of F.E. Olds & Son, and roles with the Benge Company and C.G. Conn are also explored. The founding and continuing management of Kanstul Musical Instruments has been the culmination of one of the truly remarkable careers in the history of contemporary brass instrument design and production.

Historic figures who constitute Kanstul’s professional genealogy, such as William Graves, Elbridge G. Wright, James York, Frank E. Olds, and Foster A. Reynolds are extensively discussed. Friends, colleagues, and clients—some of the most prestigious brass players, educators, and authorities of the past six decades—offer their personal insights into the work of Zig Kanstul. All are accompanied by extensive graphics and photographs.

Zig Kanstul: Last of the Great Masters is a must-read for brass players, educators, scholars, and anyone else interested in a personal, inside look at the often opaque, but fascinating, world of the art of brassmaking and one of its last Masters.

The book is available in both hardcover and softcover. Contact us for information on how to order.

“When I first arrived in the United States, I began working with Zig Kanstul and it was he who designed the exceptional flugelhorn I played for decades. Although I knew that Zig was one of the foremost instrument makers in the country, I did not know that he was one of the most famous in the history of instrument making. As we worked together I came to appreciate his skills and insights in producing some of the best brass instruments in the world. He created instruments that were of the best quality and that possessed an outstanding sound! This was something that not only I appreciated as a musician, but that was inevitably transmitted to the audience as well. I feel very lucky and honored to have known and worked with Zig throughout the years, and I am eternally grateful for his support and for what he contributed not only to the players of his exceptional works of art, but to the industry as a whole.”

— From the foreword, by Arturo Sandoval