Hubbard, Frank (Twombly)
(b New York, 15 May 1920; d Newton, MA, 25 Feb 1976). American harpsichord maker. He studied English literature at Harvard (AB 1942, MA 1947) where his growing interest in early music led him and his friend William Dowd to construct a clavichord. Its success encouraged them to abandon academic pursuits and to prepare for careers as builders of early keyboard instruments constructed on historical principles. In 1947 Hubbard went to England to learn the craft and worked briefly at the Dolmetsch workshop before joining Hugh Gough at his London premises. He also studied early keyboard instruments in British and continental collections. On his return to the USA in 1949 he and Dowd founded a workshop to build harpsichords on historical principles rather than in the modern fashion then practised by virtually all professional makers. Their firm produced models based on the surviving instruments made by the leading historical makers of Italy, Flanders, France and England. Numerous restorations of many such harpsichords from important public and private collections helped them evolve their own designs and refine their methods of construction. The partnership with Dowd continued until 1958, after which each continued to make instruments independently.
Meanwhile Hubbard had been doing the research that led to the publication in 1965 of his authoritative historical study of harpsichord making from the 16th century to the 18th. During 1955–7, partly supported by grants, he had been able to examine many more instruments in Europe and to establish close contacts with museums there. As a result he was asked in 1967 to set up the restoration workshop for the Musée Instrumental at the Paris Conservatoire, where he worked in 1967–8 and taught the restoration of historical instruments and the construction of harpsichords on historical principles.
Hubbard’s own production of finished instruments was necessarily limited, but he also developed a harpsichord, based on a Taskin instrument of 1769, which could be produced in kit or semi-finished form. By the end of 1975 about 1000 of these kit instruments had been produced. As a dedicated amateur violinist and chamber musician Hubbard also restored a number of early violins to their pre-19th-century state and made bows of a pre-Tourte type for instruments of the viol and violin families.
‘Two Early English Harpsichords’, GSJ, iii (1950), 12–18
‘The Encyclopédie and the French Harpsichord’, GSJ, ix (1956), 37–50
Harpsichord Regulating and Repairing (Boston, 1963/R)
Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making (Cambridge, MA, 1965, 2/1967)
‘Reconstructing the Harpsichord’, The Historical Harpsichord: a Monograph Series in Honor of Frank Hubbard, i, ed. H. Schott (Stuyvesant, NY, 1984), 1–16
H. Haney: ‘Portrait of a Builder: Frank Hubbard’, The Harpsichord, v/1 (1972–3), 5–9, 14–17
T. McGeary: ‘Frank Hubbard’, English Harpsichord Magazine, i/4 (1975), 98–105
H. Schott: ‘Tribute to Frank Hubbard’, EMc, iv (1976), 252 only
M. Steinberg: ‘Frank Hubbard 1920–1976’, Boston Sunday Globe (7 March 1976)
(b Paris, 22 June 1917; d Paris, 19 Aug 1992). French pianist and composer. He studied piano with Lazare Lévy at the Paris Conservatoire, receiving a premier prix in 1930, and also studied harmony with Jean Gallon and composition with Paul Dukas. He won second prize in the Prix de Rome in 1934, and in 1935 won the Louis Diémer Prize. In 1937 he studied conducting in Vienna with Felix Weingartner, and in 1942 was appointed director of the Versailles Conservatoire. From 1957 to 1982 he taught chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire, where his students included Catherine Collard, Michel Dalberto and Katia and Marielle Labèque. He performed with Pierre Fournier, André Navarra and Paul Tortelier and made notable recordings of Fauré’s two piano quartets (with the Gallois-Montbrun Quartet) and two piano quintets (with the Via Nova Quartet). He also recorded the complete piano works of Fauré and Dukas. Hubeau’s compositions include a violin concerto (1939, recorded by Henry Merckel), chamber music and songs.
Huber, Ferdinand (Fürchtegott)
(b St Gallen, 31 Oct 1791; d St Gallen, 9 Jan 1863). Swiss composer and teacher. After spending much of his youth as a foster child in Lippstadt, he returned to his native town and resolved to become a musician. Sent to Stüttgart to study with Georg Nast, he learnt to play various instruments and taught himself the techniques of composing. He came into contact with the court musicians in Stuttgart and won the favour of Weber in particular. After completing his studies he joined the royal court orchestra as a trumpeter. In 1816 he returned to Switzerland, and the following year took a position as music teacher at the Fellenberg educational institute in Hofwil, near Berne. The next years of his life were the most successful. He was attracted to mountain landscapes and nature became the most powerful influence on his work. He was a keen student of folk music, and his songs (mostly for solo voice with piano or guitar accompaniment), though properly classified as art music on account of their form, derive wholly from Alpine folk music in spirit and expression. Huber was the first to tune several alphorns to the same pitch so that airs for alphorn in yodelling style could be played in three parts. He was commissioned to lecture in Grindelwald on the playing of alphorns; he also began to publish songbooks.
In 1824 Huber moved back to St Gallen and became a singing teacher at the town’s schools and organist at St Catherine’s; he also conducted an opera season there (1825–6). He founded and led a military band and a boys’ band, as well as several male choirs for which he wrote many new works. He moved to Berne in 1829 and taught there for three years, but then returned once again to St Gallen to lead the Zum Antlitz choral society and to teach singing, the organ, the piano and the violin. He was acquainted with Liszt, who used some of his melodies in his Album d’un voyageur; Mendelssohn also praised Huber’s songs. He spent his last years composing and teaching a few private pupils.
K. Nef: Ferdinand Fürchtegott Huber: ein Lebensbild (St Gallen, 1898) [with short autobiographical sketch]
W. Rüsch: Ferdinand Huber, 1791–1863: der Komponist unserer schönsten Schweizerliede (Schaan, 1932)
W. Rüsch: Die Melodie der Alpen: Gedanken über Ferdinand Huber (Zürich, 1942)