John Challis Harpsichord Maker
Posted by ppna on December 19, 2007
There is a lot of information on John Challis on the internet but I’m only going to give a brief summary of a Time Magazine article from Jan 24, 1944.
John Challis was considered the maker of the finest U.S. harpsichords. He was born and raised in Ypsilanti and as of 1944 he built his harpsichords in a two-floor studio above an Ypsilanti dress shop where he produced 8 a year. The Challis harpsichords were designed differently than the traditional harpsichords Challis used bakelite, aluminum and nylon along with traditional materials to create a harpsichord powerful enough to be heard in large U.S. concert halls.
There are Challis harpsichords available on the internet for around $2000. I suggest we pick one of these up for the new PPN community center. Does anyone know what happened to John Challis? Is there anyone playing a Challis harpsichord here in Ypsilanti?