How it all began...
When Ludwig Voggenreiter and Franz Habbel founded a publishing house called “Der Weiße Ritter” (The White Knight) in Potsdam in 1919, virtually all of the technical aids we take for granted nowadays were lacking. There was one thing, however, that the founders of the company did not lack: a boundless fascination with the printed word and published song. Theirs was an abundant enthusiasm for books and for music.
In 1924, after Habbel left the firm, the name was changed to Ludwig Voggenreiter Verlag. The emphasis in those days was upon camping, travel and song books, as well as other books aimed at younger readers, but the world of belles-lettres was far from neglected, with such respected authors as Eugen Roth, Rudolf Binding and Ernst Wichert also on the list.
Upon the death of Ludwig Voggenreiter in 1947, his brother Heinrich maintained the same successful course, with song books like “Der Turm” and “Der Kilometerstein” becoming best sellers. In 1949, the firm moved to Bad Godesberg and was renamed Voggenreiter Verlag.
In 1967, he founded the Xenophon record label, which was to become an important platform for the folk and songwriting movement of the Sixties. Among the most important Xenophon discoveries were Reinhard Mey, Hannes Wader, Schobert & Black, Eddie & Finbar Furey and Clannad, whilst the label also staged the Irish Folk Festival as well as producing some superb recordings of big bands such as that of Kurt Edelhagen. It was success according to the Voggenreiter formula: Books + Music = Enthusiasm. A compelling combination…
The Seventies / Eighties
He had noticed that there was a gaping hole in the market for music books: there was no material for autodidacts! Instead of the dry and stuffy approach of the traditional textbook, a style was created that was unthreatening and informal, a case in point being Peter Bursch’s million-selling guitar tutor.
At the same time, high-quality songbooks covering a variety of musical genres, such as the songs of Rudolf Schrock, Reinhard Mey, Luis Trenker and Willy Millowitsch consolidated the position of Voggenreiter Verlag in the world of German music publishing.
The Eighties saw the appearance in various European countries of the first English-language music books and licensed editions bearing the name “Voggenreiter”. Another milestone.
accident on the 17th December 1992. Literally overnight, the two brothers, Charles and Ralph Voggenreiter, at the time only 23 and 25 and already embarked upon careers of their own, had to assume control of the flourishing business. Fortunately they rose to the challenge, making up in dedication and enthusiasm for whatever they may have lacked in knowledge of the industry.
Adopting as their own their father’s mantra — Continuity, Loyalty, Single-mindedness — the two brothers succeeded in maintaining the company’s competitive position, and by the end of the Nineties it was even moving into new segments of the market.
As the century drew to a close, Voggenreiter Verlag was already opening a new chapter with the introduction of articles other than books — instruments for children and adults as well as CD ROMs and DVDs — into the firm’s repertoire.
As the new millenium dawned,
|the company was fortunate in securing the services of its very own Goodwill Ambassador, when “Voggy” (seen here perched precariously on the squeaky end of a recorder) kindly agreed to serve as both trademark and mascot.
TodayVoggenreiter Verlag markets its goods worldwide. These include authoritative works of musical literature, highly effective tutorials for a wide range of instruments, interactive multimedia offerings of various kinds, and instrument starter packs for beginners.
... and tomorrow
The firm will continue to present its products at all the most important trade fairs (such as the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, the NAMM Show in Los Angeles, the Toy Fair in Nuremberg and the Frankfurt Buchmesse). The company’s attractive and user-oriented web site (www.voggenreiter.de) is another invaluable source of information about the current catalogue.
The positive response with which this constant broadening of the Voggenreiter range has been met is due not simply to the quality of its products; it has to do, too, with the way the company does business, both internally and externally: with fairness, friendliness and efficiency.
»To us, “The customer is always right” isn’t just a platitude. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We adopt the same honest, reasonable and friendly approach to all our business partners, authors, customers and suppliers.« (Ralph and Charles Voggenreiter)