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August Grenser (1720-1807)

Karl August Grenser founded a woodwind making workshop in Dresden in 1744 that, under his leadership and that of his nephew Johann Henrich Grenser (1764-1813), became one of Europe's most famous. Grenser learned his trade in Leipzig, and then moved to Saxony's capital city of Dresden to set up his shop, which obtained a royal appointment in 1753. By his retirement over 40 years later his workshop employed four men.

Grenser's flutes were smaller-toned and slimmer than true baroque models, and tuned to favor sharp keys rather than the flat tonalities the earlier baroque flutes had preferred. The model varied little over the course of his life, though by the late 1780s Grenser was making flutes with additional keys.

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