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Playing in and maintaining your recorder

A new wooden recorder has to be played in. Give your instrument time to get accustomed to the moisture and warmth that comes through playing. You can use this time to explore and become familiar with the unique characteristics of your recorder.

Play it daily in the first three to four weeks – but not for periods longer than 20 minutes. Look for slow passages to play. Explore and savour every individual note: what makes each note sound best? Experiment with various dynamic levels. Find the limits of your instrument, but don’t tax it too much in the high registers.

Older wooden recorders that have gone without being played for a while must be played in again.

Wooden recorders with plastic head joints are ready to be played immediately and don’t need to be played in.

Wood is a living, breathing material: for this reason the recorder maker crafts the windway to be a bit wider than necessary when new. Thus, while it is being played in, the block may swell slightly. However, the block sometimes swells more than expected, which may cause problems with the response or result in a “hoarse” sound. If this is the case with your instrument, we can easily solve the problem with a simple correction in our Recorder Clinic.

Warm up your instrument before playing it, especially during the colder seasons of the year. You might try warming it up under your arm or by placing it in your pocket. In this way, you will avoid a build-up of condensation and possible problems with “hoarseness” or a slow response when playing.

Dry each part of the recorder carefully after playing. Use a cleaning rod with a cotton (lint-free) cleaning cloth. Do not forget to blow out the condensation that has collected inside the instrument. Hold the palm of your hand against the open end of the head joint, place your mouth over the labium and blow strongly – the moisture will escape at the top of the windway. Be careful: many players place their fingers on the labium while blowing through the windway. The labium edge is very easily damaged, so ensure your fingernails never come into contact with the labium!
After playing, keep your recorder out of its case to let it dry.
Do not keep it assembled during this time, as this could result in warping or even the formation of cracks at the tenons.
Mould tends to grow in recorders that have not been given sufficient time to dry!

Protect your recorder from extreme changes of temperature as this leads to cracking from the stresses placed on the wood.
Avoid storing your recorder in hot places such as in cars or on windowsills, which could cause the paraffin wax used for impregnation to melt.

Clean the surface of your recorder with a damp cloth. Using a drop of washing up liquid will allow you to remove unsightly marks even more easily, especially around the beak. The windway can be carefully cleaned with the help of a bird feather. MOLLENHAUER Recorders made of plastic can be washed in the dishwasher.

The tenons of your wooden recorder need maintenance to keep them responsive and easy to move. You can use the joint grease that comes with every instrument for this purpose.Be sure to apply it sparingly, removing excess grease to avoid it getting into the edges of the finger holes. If the joints are stiff and difficult to twist, try rotating them in one direction only. That will make it easier!

Recorders with keys require special attention: when assembling or dismantling your recorder, always grasp the body either above or below the keys to avoid bending the key mechanisms. If g your recorder a key no longer works lightly and soundlessly any more, it might just need a drop of oil applied between the hinges. Do not use recorder oil, which is only meant for wood maintenance! For a readjustment, we are recommending Hetman's Wind Instrument Oil Nr.6 Heavy Slide Oil. This is a viscous synthetic maintenance product which improves the mobility of key action and also reduces key noise.

Anticondens (ord. no. 6138) is effective in preventing “hoarseness” caused by condensation which blocks the windway. A combination of organic washing up liquid and water, it releases the surface tension of the little water droplets within the windway, leading to a flat film of moisture. Dribble just a few drops of Anticondens into the windway from the side of the labium and let it run down over the block surface to the windway entrance. Then blow the Anticondens out of the recorder as described above.

Our maintenance kit (order no. 6132) has everything you need for the care of your wooden recorder, including extensive instructions.


Oiling the recorder overviewAll wooden recorders need to be oiled from time to time in order to protect them from the moisture generated during playing. Oiling maintains beauty of sound and response.
Without oil the wood would lose its lustre and the surfaces of the bore would become rough. It may even develop cracks or suffer alterations in dimensions as a result of expansion when playing and subsequent shrinkage when drying out.

The frequency of oiling depends on the kind of wood and the demands placed on the instrument as the moisture generated during playing means that the maker’s initial treatment of the surface will need renewing.
Generally speaking recorders require oiling 2–3 times a year. Observe your instrument: if the wood inside the bore looks dry and grey it requires oiling. If it has a slightly oily sheen then oiling is not necessary.

Linseed oil is the traditional oil for woodwind instruments. It dries to provide a smooth fine coating that is particularly good at protecting your recorder against moisture and will not wear off as easily as the thinner almond oil.
Caution: rags covered in linseed oil can self-ignite! Lay any rags used for oiling out on a flat surface to dry. Once dry the rags can be disposed of in the household rubbish.

Neither block nor windway should at any time come into contact with the oil! This is a very important “rule” and must be adhered to. The function of the oil is to protect the wood against moisture through its waterrepellant properties. This, however, is undesirable in the vicinity of the block and windway as the block is supposed to absorb condensation. Contact with oil would lead to the formation of droplets of moisture in the windway and lead to blocking or clogging. For this reason it is important to hold the head joint upright when oiling so that no oil from the bore will flow to the bore-end of the block.
Blocks made of Synpor must not come into contact with oil at any time.

The Mollenhauer maintenance set (order no. 6132) contains the following items required for oiling your recorder: recorder oil, cleaning rod, small brush, pipe cleaner. In addition you will also require: a small piece of cotton cloth (absorbent but lintfree!) and a surface for leaving oiled recorder parts to dry.

Ölen in vier Schritten

Oiling in four steps

1st step: Preparation
The instrument must be completely dry so that the oil can soak thoroughly into the pores of the wood without trapping any remaining moisture. This means that the recorder should not be played for at least 12 hours before oiling.
Any keys should be protected so that neither the pads nor the moving parts come into contact with the oil. Plant oil hardens as it dries and would hinder the mechanism of the key.
Therefore, insert a folded piece of clingfilm between finger hole and key pad so that no oil from the bore can come into contact with the keys. Always hold the recorder with the keys facing upwards.


Oiling the the lappOiling the the middle joint of a recorderOiling the the foot joint of a recorderOiling the the beak of a recorder

2nd step: oiling the parts   The middle and foot joints should be thoroughly oiled using a cleaning rod wrapped with a small (lintfree!) piece of cotton rag or kitchen roll covered in oil, then placed on a surface to dry.
Parts with keys should be placed with the keys facing up.
The head joint requires particular care: hold the head joint with the beak pointing up so that no oil can flow towards the block.
Insert the cleaning rod with the oily rag from below and carefully push it upwards while turning gently, stopping just before the block. Look through the “window” to make sure that no oil comes into contact with the bore-end of the block.
Use the little brush to oil the labium, ensuring that it does not come into contact with the block. On larger instruments the sides of the window may be oiled as well but on the smaller ones (sopranino and soprano) this should be avoided so that no oil can get near the windway.
The back of the beak can be refreshed with a tiny drop of oil after cleaning off any dirt.
Unvarnished recorders should also be wiped with a slightly oily cloth on the outside; this will refresh the grain of the wood and hide any little scratches and other marks.
Varnished recorders must be thoroughly dried: no oil should remain on the varnished surfaces as this could lead to unsightly stains!

Oiling the head joint of a recorderOiling the labium of a recorderOiling the side labium of a recorder

3rd step: leave the oil to soak in
Leave the instrument to rest for at least 10 hours. The head joint should be left standing upright so that no oil can flow onto the block.

An olied recorder must dry

4th step: wipe off any remaining oil
Wipe off any remaining oil by thoroughly drying all the parts with a clean cloth.This step must not be missed out under any circumstances because any superfluous oil will harden to a rancid sticky layer that can be very difficult to remove.
Dry all the finger holes with a pipe cleaner as any remaining oil will have a detrimental effect on the tuning of your instrument.

Clean and polish the footjointClean and polish the head jointCleaning the toneholes


Drop anticondense into the windway  Close the end of the headjoint  Blow the anticondense out of the windway  Cleaning the beak

Anticondens (ord. no. 6138) is effective in preventing “hoarseness” caused by condensation which blocks the windway. A combination of organic washing up liquid and water, it releases the surface tension of the little water droplets within the windway, leading to a flat film of moisture. Dribble just a few drops of Anticondens into the windway from the side of the labium and let it run down over the block surface to the windway entrance. Then blow the Anticondens out of the recorder as described above.

Wood types

A wealth of sound from fine woods

The main factor influencing the sound of a recorder is the design of the instrument. However, the type of wood used also influences the sound. Which wood is “best” really depends on an individual’s idea of sound as well as on the purpose for which the instrument will be used.

For solo repertoire woods that produce a robust, elegant sound that is rich in overtones are more suitable as they can easily be heard when played in combination with other instruments.

For consort playing the blending of the individual parts is more important: here instruments with a soft, full sound that are well matched are called for.

For those who prefer a recorder that is light in the hand olive or plumwood is recommended. Other players prefer the heavier feel of dense woods such as grenadilla or palisander (rosewood). There is a choice of European and exotic woods – all carefully selected, stored and seasoned.


warm with a strong fundamental
specific weight 0.65



robust, well-balanced and forceful
specifi c weight 1.05


Castello Boxwood

Castello boxwood
warm and bright
specifi c weight 0.8



full, open tone
specific weight 0.85



intense and elegant
specific weight 1.2



full tone with a strong fundamental
specific weight 0.95



light weight, clear sound
specific weight 0.61



soft and light
specifi c weight 0.63



earthy, smooth structure
specific weight 0.79



earthy, smooth structure
specific weight 0.79

Recorder designs

Historic and modern designs

Nowadays recorder players can choose instruments from a wide range of models that reflect the skills of recorder making of the most divers historic periods.

Recorders of the Renaissance and the Early Baroque (1) are recognised by their wide cylindrical bore and comparatively large finger holes. Their exterior is usually plain with only very limited decoration as can be found in those made by Hieronymus F. Kynseker
(1636–1686, Nuremberg). Their characteristic is the full strong sound, particularly in the lower register, that blends well in consort playing: the emphasis at the time was on consort playing rather than on solo repertoire.

Baroque recorders (2) are characterised by a more complex and irregular bore and smaller fingerholes. The exterior of these threepart recorders is decorated with ornamentally turned joints, such as those by Jacob Denner (1681–1735). Their elaborate design and detail make them highly suitable for the virtuosic music of the Baroque era: quick and clear response and flexibility over a range of more
than two octaves combined with expressiveness and an even sound throughout all registers.

Harmonic recorders (3) surpass their historic predecessors in their innovative design. Their slightly conical bore combined with the lengthening of the instrument by the addition of keys open up entirely new sound possibilies and extend their range well into the third octave. Our Modern Alto and the Helder recorders were the first models to put this design into practice.

Epoch of the recorders

  1. Renaissance / Early Baroque: Kynseker
  2. Baroque: Denner
  3. Harmonic recorder: Modern Soprano

Baroque & German Fingering

German and baroque fingering


Most school recorders are still offered with German and Baroque fingering so that a choice must be made at the time of purchase.

The most important difference is the fingering for the note F (soprano) that at first is easier to finger in the German fingering system (in comparison to the forked fingering of the Baroque system, see below). However, this apparent ease of fingering seriously compromises the tuning of the instrument in other keys than the home key. Even F-sharp requires more complex fingerings in order to sound reasonably in tune.
For this reason modern recorder tutor books are geared towards Baroque fingering which – when taught properly – is no more difficult for pupils to learn.

A common error:
often the double finger holes C/C-sharp and D/D-sharp (soprano) are regarded as evidence of Baroque fingering. However, the double holes are possible in both fingering systems.

The Baroque fingering can easily be recognised by the larger 5th finger hole in comparison to a German fingered instrument.


Recorders for left-handed people?

Nowadays many items in daily use are produced in a version for left-handed people: scissors, tin openers etc. Is it also useful to offer a recorder especially for left-handed people, designed for playing with the right hand at the top? In order to answer the question about left-handed recorders one should think about the way the hands are used when playing the recorder. The demands on the fingers covering the finger holes at the front are more or less equally distributed between both hands (there are some easier and some more difficult fingerings in both hands). The only exception is the thumb of the left hand: while all other fingers are only required to open or close the finger holes the thumb is responsible for the sensitive overblown notes. Not only does it have to make sure that the high notes sound clean but are also in tune. That is precision work! If anything, left-handed people are at an advantage when playing the recorder! A student who learns to play using a left-handed recorder will require especially made instruments whenever he/she plays recorders. In an ensemble situation: play a colleague’s bass? Impossible.Try out interesting recorders in a music shop? Impossible. It is only by making a left-handed player dependent on a special instrument that he/she becomes disadvantaged. However, if someone has a disability that doesn’t allow the use of a normal recorder, for instance if left-hand thumb or right-hand little finger are too short or immobile, then a left-handed recorder is a good alternative that might actually enable the student to play the recorder. In this context Mollenhauer offers some left-handed school recorders – on request. Complete text: Gisela Rothe: Blockfloeten fuer Linkshaender?

Blockflöten für Linkshänder

Gisela Rothe: Blockflöten für Linkshänder?
Size: 191.26 KB

(in German language only)


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Our history

The company history:
                 how it all began ...

The history of the company name MOLLENHAUER goes back to 1822. It began with an initiative by Johann Andreas Mollenhauer (1798–1871) and has continued through several generations to the present day.
The members of the Mollenhauer family named in this article are representative of the many men and women – craftsmen and tradesmen, musicians and teachers – who have been closely associated with this family and, inspired by the idea, have shared and contributed their skill for almost 200 years.
The name Mollenhauer, like many other surnames, indicates a profession: the mould-maker made wooden troughs and corn shovels – he shaped moulds. Such moulds were used by bakers, butchers etc. and also in family households for the preparation of dough, roasts, and other similar uses.
The family of the company’s founder, however, had not been involved in the trade of mould making for some time when in 1815, at the age of 16, he left his home town of Fulda and took to the road to further his education as a turner and watch maker.

Travelbook from Johan Andreas Mollenhauer 1822

On the road
According to his surviving diary (download as PDF 5,4MB), Johann Andreas Mollenhauer chose to go into service with various woodwind and brass instrument makers in order to learn their particular trade. These included Carl Doke in Linz to whom he returned several times, Thumhard in Munich, and Franz Schöllnast in Bratislava, at that time capital of the kindom of Hungary, nowadays also known in Germany as Pressburg, capital of Slovakia. Franz Schöllnast was a remarkable Csakan maker.

Fulda at the time of 1822Johann Andreas returned to Fulda in 1822, having covered more than 4,000 km and spent more than 7 years on the road, and registered his trade there as an instrument maker. Just one year later he exhibited his first flutes, clarinets and oboes at an exhibition in Kassel. Under the chairmanship of composer and court director of music Louis Spohr, the adjudicators remarked in their judgement:
“The quality of workmanship displayed is distinctive in all three categories of instrument: wood, brass and silver ...”
A few years later the distinguished craftsman was appointed court instrument maker by the prince elector of Hesse. His books and balance sheets go back to the year 1828 and, at the time of his death in 1871, list the sale of 5559 instruments, namely: “2422 flutes, 24 csakans, 17 flageolets (two of them double flageolets), 2839 clarinets, 216 bassoons , 37 oboes, and 4 basset horns” (cf. Mollenhauer, Otto: Chronik der Firma J. Mollenhauer & Söhne Fulda – a company history of Mollenhauer & Sons –, Fulda 1993). Various brass instruments are also listed in these books. His clientele extended well beyond the German borders, even to the United States. It is unlikely that Johann Andreas made all these instruments himself. Three of his sons are thought to have been involved in the production, the elder two later opened their own workshops – Valentin Mollenhauer as a brass instrument maker in Fulda and Gustav Mollenhauer as a woodwind and brass instrument maker in Kassel. The workshop in Kassel is still famous for its double reed instruments and has been owned by the Schaub family for three generations.
His third son Thomas Mollenhauer (1840–1914) proved to be a versatile and gifted successor for the Fulda workshop of J. Mollenhauer & Sons. Like his father, he travelled to further his knowledge of the trade after his initial training in his father’s workshop.

The Boehm Flute
Receptive to all innovations in musical instrument making, Thomas learned about the newly developed cylindrical flute and its complicated key mechanism when he stayed with Theobald Böhm in 1863/4. He returned to Fulda after this stay but remained in friendly contact with his master in Munich.
It was not long before Thomas Mollenhauer delivered his first Boehm flute to the United States. He then developed an alto flute based on the Boehm system and, following its inventor’s advice, even successfully improved his piccolo flute. In a letter to Thomas Mollenhauer dated 24th August 1878 Theobald Böhm expressed his gratitude for Thomas’ help in spreading knowledge of his invention against a background of aversion to the new flute construction.
“Thomas did not restrict his activities to flute making” as his grandson Otto Mollenhauer (b.1920) points out in his carefully researched family history. “He must have had immense energy and pleasure in his work, particularly in his early years as an instrument maker. He transferred his knowledge of flute making to the clarinet. In 1867 – he was only 27 years old – Thomas exhibited a new model of the clarinet, ‘Thomas Mollenhauer’s System’, that he had developed for the Paris Expo; an instrument with a complex key mechanism that fully covered all holes.”
Other inventions were forthcoming, for instance a bass clarinet suitable for marching band that copied the u-shape of the bassoon; also the German clarinet and various flutes based on the improved Boehm system.
Various prizes and medals obtained at exhibitions in Paris (1867), Wittenberg (1869), Vienna (1873) and Berlin (1898) are evidence of the good reputation of the instruments produced by the Mollenhauer workshop and its workforce of around 10 craftsmen.

2022 Medaillen Thomas Mollenhauer 

The economic strength of his business enabled Thomas to move in 1892 from his small suburban workshop into much larger and more centrally located premises in Fulda where workshop, shop and family accommodation were all under one roof.

The old Mollenhauer house in Fulda

This success continued under Thomas’ sons Josef (1875–1964) and Conrad Mollenhauer (1876–1943). Both had learned the trade in the parental business. Josef went on to study with the bassoon maker Heckel in Wiesbaden/Biebrich while his brother Conrad went to Berlin to learn from the flute maker E. Rittershausen.
During this time he also visited workshops in Markneukirchen in the Vogtland. He was particularly interested in the large scale production of musical instruments in cottage industries using industrial methods to produce low cost instruments.
When they returned to their father’s workshop they decided to drastically modernise production in order to keep up with the strong French, British and American competitors that were using more modern production techniques.
Conrad Mollenhauer – a keen flautist – went on to specialise in the production of Boehm flutes and piccolos while his brother Josef devoted his time to the making of clarinets and trumpets.

Gold from America
The decision proved to be the right one. When their flutes obtained a gold medal at the Stgoldmedaiile Louis Expo in 1904, the American market opened to them.
The partnership between the two instrument makers did not, however, last very long: in 1912 Conrad Mollenhauer left the company that, almost 100 years later, continues trading as a specialist music shop under the old company name of J. Mollenhauer, in order to found his own flute workshop.
Only two years later the first world war destroyed all carefully established international business links. The hardship of the post war years and the economic crisis of 1928 determined the daily routine. In the few years of economic recovery after 1933 Conrad again employed several people including his eldest son Thomas who qualified as an instrument maker in 1934.
The company lost much of its hard-earned international reputation, however, during the years of Hitler’s dictatorship.

Flute Catalogue from the year 1934

A new start with the recorder
Recalling his forefathers’ tradition as innovative instrument makers, Thomas Mollenhauer (1908–1953) used his initiative and, immediately after the end of the second world war, began the production of recorders. Following his father’s death during the war Thomas also carried on his father’s flute making business in the parental workshop that continued under the name of Conrad Mollenhauer.
The recorder gained unprecedented popularity in the young, growing Federal Republic of Germany. The demand was strengthened by the fact that due to the partition of Germany the highly productive instrument workshops in the Vogtland were unable to contribute to the West German economy.
Several instrument makers fleeing from East Germany were taken in by Thomas Mollenhauer. Right from the start they developed manufacturing techniques that combined manual and industrial production methods in the newly re-established instrument industry.
Early on in his career Thomas also co-operated with the Bärenreiter publishing company in the large scale production of recorders. At the same time Mollenhauer’s own models Student and Solist were also becoming very popular.
Thus the decision to restart the production of recorders unwittingly made a link with the early beginnings of the company. As mentioned above, the founder Johann Andreas Mollenhauer had come into contact with the csakan and the flageolet at Franz Schöllnast’s workshop in Bratislava and later produced several such recorders in his own workshop in Fulda.
The name Mollenhauer and its long family tradition thus represents the longest history by far of any workshop devoted to recorder making.
Unfortunately Thomas Mollenhauer died at the age of only 45 in 1953. However, his foresight enabled his wife Rosel Mollenhauer nee Plappert (1911–2002) and her staff to establish the name of Mollenhauer as a trade mark.
By the time I, Bernhard Mollenhauer (b.1944), joined the company in 1961 there were 60 staff, a remarkable number considering that the production methods used were not solely traditional crafts but also employed modern technology that has been continually improved.
Regrettably, interest in the further development of Boehm flutes, clarinets and oboes has decreased over the years despite having been established as an important part of the business under my predecessors.

Up until 1997 we quite successfully made new models of Boehm flutes in silver and gold but the production has focused on recorders. Their quality has been continually improved both by incorporating details of famous recorder makers of the Renaissance and Baroque eras such as Kynseker and Denner, as well as by developing innovative new designs.
This includes the development of instruments with additional keys to ease problems of finger and hand tension as well as the development of one-handed recorders for disabled people.
In addition we have been developing and running courses on all aspects of teaching, playing and recorder making since the nineteen-seventies. The Recorder Network – a social challenge of our time
Meanwhile the direction for the continuation of the business has been set for the next generation: my concern for continuing the co-operation and exchange of ideas with professional people of diverse interests and abilities both within the company and further afield has to a large extent been realised. My family and I, together with our staff, have developed into a wide ranging and responsible community working for a common cause.
Reviewing the development of Mollenhauer as recorder maker during the last decades the following events are significant in the company’s history:

1956 World Exhibition in Brussels: the emerging Federal Republic of Germany is interested in presenting high quality products from post war Germany. We present our products in the German pavilion.

1965 Devastating Fire: arsonists are responsible for the fire that destroys large parts of the workshop and stocks of invaluable woods as well as finished and semi-finished products.

1967 Removal to purpose built premises: extensive modern premises on the outskirts of Fulda offer new opportunities for further development.

1984 “Stiftung Warentest” – German consumer award:
we are presented with a medal of distinction for our school model Student 1003 against a range of comparable German fingered recorders.

1991 Blockflötensprache und Klanggeschichten (“Recorder-speak and sound stories”):
the innovative recorder tutor by Gisela Rothe and Christa Rahlf is published in our own edition, setting a new direction in innovative teaching material.

1997 the tutor book has been expanded into five volumes under the same title. It is now published by Bärenreiter, Kassel.

1995 Mollenhauer Logo: The trade mark of Mollenhauer is embellished with a logo consisting of two interlocking crescents opening towards each other.

It is designed to illustrate the ideal that we aim to fulfill with our partners and within our company: “Our woodwind instruments and our services centred around recorder making should contribute to the enjoyment of individual music making. We are working, in active dialogue, towards this aim.”

1995 iF award for good design:
This year sees the combination of unusual materials in recorder making: The International Design Forum is impressed with the modern look and outstanding sound quality of our model “Prima” made from a combination of plastic and wood, designed by Topel and Pauser Industrial Design.

1995 Partnership with recorder maker Maarten Helder: The “Harmonic Tenor recorder” is developed in co-operation with Maarten Helder to the point of serial production. It has a range of three octaves and opens a new range of dynamic and sound opportunities particularly for modern repertoire, jazz and romantic music. A comparable treble follows in 1997.

1996 Cooperation with R. Strathmann:
We take on his patent for an adjustable block, a technical innovation that we introduce into an alto recorder for the more demanding player.

1996 Mollenhauer in partnership with Joachim Paetzold and Nikolaj Tarasov: This partnership results in an additional model of harmonic recorder: the Modern Alto; a comparable Soprano follows in 2001.

1997 Company Jubilee: Mollenhauer not only celebrates 175 years but also the opening to the public of the company museum Erlebniswelt Blockflöte (Recorder-World Museum). The same year also sees the first edition of the specialist journal Windkanal – das Forum für die Blockflöte – forum for the recorder.

„Produkt des Jahres 1997“: Eine Auszeichnung für unsere Vollkunststoff-Sopranblockflöte Swing, verliehen vom Fachverband Kunststoff-Konsumwaren (FvKK, Sparte Freizeit).

“1997 Product of the Year”:
We win an award for our plastic model Swing presented by the Association for Plastic Consumer Goods (Hobby Section).

1997 DA-Award: The model Prima also receives an award from Design Austria.

1999 German Instrument Prize: Our Denner soprano recorder in pearwood is awarded the German Instrument Prize by the German Ministry of Economics. Our instrument is regarded as “far superior to all competing instruments” (quote from the jury).

2000 Mollenhauer in partnership with Adriana Breukink: Mollenhauer presents Adri’s Dream Recorder, a distinctive new model – a full sounding school recorder based on renaissance instrument design.

2001 Workshop for company development – more than just controlling:
As the basis for lasting internal co-operation across all of the company’s divisions we decide to introduce a structural and developmental model throughout the company that covers all vital areas of our business.

2002 Mollenhauer in partnership with Morgan:
Mollenhauer concludes a deal to co-operate with the Morgan workshops in Australia and takes on the evaluation, maintenance and development of Fred Morgan’s legacy, the most famous recorder maker of modern times. The Denner Alto designed according to his models and drawings demonstrates the character and outstanding qualities of Jacob Denner’s original recorder particularly well.

2002 A new slogan: Mollenhauer changes its longstanding slogan. “Innovation since 1822” is replaced by “Enjoy the recorder”. This sums up what our workshop has in common with the recorder players we are making the instruments for: enthusiasm for the recorder and its music.

2002 Winner of the Internet Prize of German Craftsmanship: Conrad Mollenhauer’s company website is awarded first prize worth € 25,000, amongst 320 competing entries, in the website competition of the Deutsche Handwerk (German Trade Association), organised jointly by the Ministry of Economics, German Telecom and the economic journal Impulse.

2007 Cooperation with the von Huene Workshop, Boston: Following a design by Friedrich von Huene we co-operate to develop a great bass in C that we add as knick bass to our Canta Series in 2008 and with a crook to our Denner Series in 2009. At the same time we arrange to carry out servicing and repairs to von Huene recorders in Europe.



Fred Morgan Book Cover2007 ”Recorders Based on Historical Models. Fred Morgan – writings and memories“:
Published by Mollenhauer and edited by Gisela Rothe, the book contains essays and memoirs of well-known recorder players, makers and artists to celebrate Fred Morgan’s work, supplemented with photos of Frans Brüggen’s instrument collection.


The important events noted above demonstrate that today – almost 200 years after the formation of the company – we are still as enthusiastic and receptive as ever to the people of modern times and their needs.




Johann Andreas Mollenhauer 1798–1871

(company´s founder)

Thomas Mollenhauer

Joseph Nicolaus Mollenhauer

Conrad Adalbert Mollenhauer

Thomas Mollenhauer

Rosel Mollenhauer

Bernhard Mollenhauer *1944

The comfort tenors

All infos about the Comfort-Tenors you will find here.

Mollenhauer Adress

Weichselstr. 27
36043 Fulda (Germany)
Phone.: +49 661 94 67 0
Fax: +49 661 94 67 36

Dealer Service

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