Persistence on the way to success

Bernhard Kolberg, founder and managing director of Kolberg Percussion, was born in 1942 in Gliwice/Upper Silesia. He graduated from a technical school and having emigrated to Germany trained to be a mechanical engineer. Then he studied percussion at the Stuttgart Conservatory (Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst).

During his studies he realized there were hardly any serviceable accessories in the field of percussion in symphony orchestras. Even then Bernhard Kolberg laid the foundations of two important groups of products of his future company: on one hand he started production of sticks and mallets, on the other hand he contrived the so far unique standardized modular combination stand system for percussion instruments and accessories.

For 12 years he was percussionist in several symphony and opera orchestras and thus gained the practical experience with the professional orchestra work, which is so well appreciated by Kolberg’s customers. At the same time he was apprenticed to the well-known Zurich master drum builder Eugen Giannini, learning what was necessary to found his own company for percussion instrument-building in 1968.

In the course of the years one new development was followed by the next, from sound effects suitable for the use in symphony orchestras to the Kolberg Celesta. One of the special high-lights was the launching of the Kolberg timpani in 1984. Latest masterpiece: the Kolberg Soloist Marimba, 2002.

Early on Bernhard Kolberg started to develop another important pillar of the company: having started with special chairs for orchestra musicians Kolberg Percussion now belongs among the world’s leading producers of orchestra equipment.

All developments are founded on the direct and continuous contact to the customers, the close cooperation with musicians, composers, planners, and architects. This way optimum solutions can be put into practice.

Always enlarging the range of products means extending the premises, too. The once tiny workshop has been developed into a modern enterprise of 4,000 square metres production area and over 1,000 square metres exhibition rooms. The new administration building is even housing a percussion museum.