Welcome to Zither US

Here you will find information pertaining to the concert zither, an instrument with Alpine origins commonly associated with the German-speaking lands of Europe. The concert zither has an incredibly rich history here in the US. By providing a venue to share its history and music, it's hoped that interest will be renewed and new players will be encouraged to take up this wonderful instrument.

To grow as a resource, Zither US is seeking your contributions. Did you have an ancestor who played the concert zither? Do you play, or have you attended a recent performance? If so, consider sharing your experiences and knowledge with the community. For more information on how to become a contributor, contact us.

For the enjoyment of the zither community, hundreds of vintage zither arrangements and compositions have been digitized and published. Visit the page of the Vintage Zither Music Project to browse the current collection.

Apollo Zither Club

This zither photo was sent to us by Trish Kellen. The Apollo Zither Club was led by Henry Schaber, pictured front and center with the conductor's baton, and was just one of several zither clubs that existed in Nebraska. This zither club image is circa 1898. For more information on Henry Schaber see "Remembering Henry Schaber."

Researching Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800 - 1850

What was originally intended to be an introductory chapter for a book on the "Golden Age" of the zither soon turned into a sizable project in its own right. Now published, Dr. Joan Marie Bloderer's book Zitherspiel in Wien. 1800-1850 represents a significant expansion of her dissertation of the same name. In this article, Dr. Bloderer shares some of the research experiences from her latest work.

Remembering Henry Schaber

During the 1880s, immigrants by the thousands arrived in Omaha to support a booming economy. Arriving from Germany, the Schaber family brought their labor, skills and elements of their culture. In this article we explore the life of Henry Schaber, former zitherist and resident of Omaha, Nebraska.

Thirty-Second Sterling Zither Seminar

Zither players from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey convened once again for the 32nd Sterling Zither Seminar. Jane Curtis served as host for the event and led the zither enthusiasts through a well-structured seminar program, which spanned two days. The seminar was held at the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA.

Producing a Music Album with Play-Along CD

To celebrate 20 years of music together, Ilse Harris and Johanna de Groot recorded a CD to present as a gift to friends and family. After many requests for the album's sheet music, the idea came to create a play-along CD so that other zither players could enjoy playing along with a backing band. In this article, Ilse Harris shares her recording experience, from idea to reality.

Does Anyone Know Nikolaus Weigel?

Unsatisfied with the lack of uniformity and range of the zither of his time, Nikolaus Weigel introduced a series of innovations which served to expand its capabilities. In this article, Petra Hamberger explores the life of this modest musical pioneer whose discoveries we can appreciate even today. Originally published in the March-April 2008 issue of Saitenspiel, this article has been translated from the original German by Jane Curtis.

Zitherist Lotte Landl

Since discovering her mother's zither as a young girl in Austria, the zither has been Lotte Landl's constant companion throughout life. With numerous recordings, public performances and honors, including Austria's 'Golden Cross of Merit', she has introduced the sounds of the zither to a worldwide audience. In this article, Lotte Landl shares her biography and the milestones of her musical journey.

The Story of William Waldschmidt of Deadwood SD

As a volunteer, musician and artisan, William Waldschmidt was a role model for his time, as well as ours. Beckoned to South Dakota during the Black Hills Gold Rush, he would become a well respected member and contributor to the community he served. In this article, Jill Mounts Marcelli shares the story of her great-grandfather William Waldschmidt, former zitherist and resident of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Sharp-Corner Rhapsody

Originally published in 1910, Frederick Francis Cook's Bygone Days in Chicago provides the author's personal recollections of Chicago in the 1860s, up to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Of particular interest to zitherists is the story of "Ibach", a Hungarian zither player who would perform at a bar, colloquially known as "The Sharp Corner," located at the south-west corner of La Salle and Randolph Streets. While interesting for the scene it evokes, the story also hints at our zither player's repertoire.

Cleveland's Most Famous Zither Player

As a classically trained musician, Henry Wormsbacher was a dominant force in promoting the native instrument of his homeland, the concert zither. In this article, author Alissa Pesavanto details the life and works of Henry Wormsbacher, Cleveland's most famous zither player. Originally published in Germania Newspaper, March 1994, the author has extended her kind permission for the republication of this article.


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