To this day, Wilhelm Heckel GmbH is a family owned company. The wealth of experience of Almenräder and the Heckel family – combined with the latest acoustic and technical knowledge – still forms the basis of our musical instrument production. Our passionate and experienced staff are largely responsible for the quality of Heckel instruments. They manufacture our instruments with great attention to detail and the greatest commitment which is true to the motto of Wilhelm Heckel: “In art, the best is good enough”.
Heckel is one of the oldest wooden instrument making workshops. The company founder, Johann Adam Heckel, was born in Adorf in Vogtland in 1812 and learned the craft of instrument making from an early age. Around 1830 he met Carl Almenräder, who was a musician at the Duke of Nassau Court in Biebrich. In 1831, they founded the J. A. Heckel and Carl Almenräder bassoon factory.
After the retirement of Almenräder, Johann Adam Heckel continued to lead the company alone, until he was later joined by his son, Wilhelm, under the name Wilhelm Heckel Biebrich. In addition to bassoons and contrabassoons, Heckel produced many other woodwind instruments such as clarinets, clarinas, oboes, flutes, basset horns (alto clarinet) and English horns. The active contact with the composer Richard Wagner gave Wilhelm Heckel the inspiration for the construction of the heckelphone, one of his most successful developments, which is still produced. Since then, innumerable further inventions in the field of woodwind instruments characterise our company history.