History of Breitkopf & Härtel

The history of the world's oldest music publishing house. Further information in our book publications:

BV 109-112, BV 296

1719 Founded by Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf (1695-1777) in Leipzig. The firm initially devoted itself exclusively to the printing of books. Later Breitkopf purchased the "Golden Bear House" near the Thomaskirche and the Nicolaikirche. Its heraldic animal still embellishes the publisher's mark to this day.  
1736 "Schemellis Gesangbuch" (with Bach chorales) foreshadows the company's future music publishing activities.  
1754/55 Improvement of the printing of music with movable type by Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf (1719-1794). He later invented a Gothic type called "Breitkopf Fraktur", which is still known and valued today.  
1762-87 Breitkopf's "Thematische Verzeichnisse". The thematic catalogues with music incipits document the company's impressive stock of works and provide information on the music of Haydn and the early classical era.  
1795 Gottfried Christoph Härtel takes over the publishing house (since then: " Breitkopf & Härtel"). Subsequently, close editorial collaboration with Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Wagner and Brahms.  
1797 The "Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung" (1797-1848), edited by Friedrich Rochlitz, is the first high-quality music journal in Germany.