Recorder, treble, with case and cork grease, boxwood / velvet / plastic, made by Fred Morgan, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, 1977
Fred Morgan is regarded internationally as one of the world's great recorder makers. His instruments are renowned for their quality and craftsmanship and played by many of the world's leading recorder players. This instrument is significant as it is from Morgan's early professional period of making after he had gained an international reputation. The recorder was commissioned by harpsichord maker Bill Bright in 1977 from Fred Morgan and played by Bright, (accompanying Morgan on the earlier rosewood instrument). Both instruments use an early recorder pitch of 410hz so they can be played together. This is another distinctive characteristic of this instrument as it is more common for modern recorders used in early music to be pitched at 415hz so they can be used in ensembles with other similarly pitched instruments.
Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1940 Morgan began playing the recorder at age twelve. In 1959 he began working for the Pan Recorder Company which made recorders for schools, working there until 1969. During the 1960s he played both as a soloist and ensemble member in a variety of performances in Melbourne and formed The Frederick Morgan Recorder Consort. In 1970 he won a Churchill Fellowship to study "Recorder Manufacture and Usage" in Europe, making drawings of instruments in museums and private collections and meeting internationally acclaimed recorder virtuoso Frans Bruggen. Soon after he also worked for a couple of months at the von Huene recorder workshop in Boston, USA then returned to Australia selling his first instruments in 1972.
In 1979 Morgan established a workshop in Amsterdam but returned to Australia in 1982 to continue working in Daylesford, Victoria. Morgan's reputation grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s making a range of instruments including the early Ganassi type. He published numerous articles about the recorder for the Victorian recorder Guild and in the international music journal, Early Music. In 1981 he released a folio of drawings of instruments in the collection of Frans Bruggen. A greatly talented instrument maker and player, Fred Morgan was sadly killed in a car crash in 1999.
(For further information see:
"Obituary - Frederick G. Morgan - Recorder Maker" by Rodney Waterman, Melbourne Age, 29/4/1999, p.24.
Michael Atherton, Australian Made...Australian Played, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1990, pp.180-185).
Curator, music & musical instruments
Made by Fred Morgan in Daylesford, Victoria in 1977, after he had established himself as an independent professional maker. By this time Morgan had a growing international reputation for his instruments which were sought by many professional players.