Museum für Orgel-Spieler
Pietro Marco Giulio Berra (1784-1853) is the father of Czech music publishing. After working for Artaria in Vienna, he founded his own business in Prague in 1811. It was no accident that this coincided with the opening of a music conservatory there. The firm engaged in music publishing, and also trading in musical instruments, artistic prints and oil paintings. From 1835 it also had a sheet music hire business.
The catalogue included, in addition to internationally known composers of the day, Czech composers such as Václav Jan Tomášek, Jan Bedrich Kittl, František Max Kníže, Joseph Labitzky, František Matěj Hilmar, Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda, Antonín Emil Tittl, František Škroup, Jan August Vitásek, Robert Führer, Jan Pavel Martinovský, and Johann Josef Rösler. There was a wide range of publications, from several series of light music, such as Prager Lieblings-Galloppen and Prager Lieblings-Polkas, to the Museum für Orgelspieler series of organ works. Berra also had the distinction of publishing some of Bedřich Smetana’s earliest works in 1855.
Because his son-in-law Jan Hoffmann had started a competing business in Prague in 1841 (some sources say 1838), Berra decided that his own firm should be sold after his death, and thus it passed into the hands of Christoph & Kuhé in the 1850s. Finally in the 1880s it was again sold to Jaromír Hoffmann (Jan Hoffmann's son).
Imprints, Addresses, Agencies
- Berra's plates are in the format of M: B: ###. Dates in italics are estimated.