About us

Picture captions Group photograph (about 1936)
From left Franz Willi Neugebauer, solo trumpet player WDR, Josef Monke (seated), Liselotte Monke
Professor Richard Stegamnn, Würzburg College, forner member of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.


in the development of "Josef Monke" brass instruments
Josef Monke, born on 18th February 1882 in Elberfeld, near Wuppertal in Germany.
In 1896 Josef Monke takes up an apprenticeship as a brass instrument maker with Leopold Mitsching in Elberfeld.

At this time it was always normal for an apprenticeship to be followed by a period as a journeyman, with the objective of getting to how other businesses worked and for the journeyman to increase his professional skills both in terms of breadth and depth.

1900 Kurnoth (Knoth) brass instrument makers in Danzig, at this time the capital of West Prussia (Gdansk).

1901 - 1902 C.W. Moritz, a well-known Berlin family of instrument makers (It traded from 1808 - 1955).

1902 - 1904 Max Enders, Mainz, successor to C.A. Müller (Maker of one of the first high F trumpets for the 2nd Brandenburg concert, J.S. Bach).

1904 - 1911 Leopold August Schmidt, son of Friedrich Adolf Schmidt (1827 - 1893) Cologne, (trumpets and horns with a rotating valve of the "Cologne type").

1911 - 1912 Instrument maker Fritz Werner, Wiesbaden (presumably where he met for the first time Vincent Schrottenbach, a trumpet virtuoso at that time, founder in 1918 of the famous Vincent Bach Corporation in New York, USA
(Editor's note from the ITG Journal Vol. 19 No 2).

1912 - 1921 Leopold August Schmidt, Cologne, (Josef Monke's last employer before he set up his own brass instrument making company in 1922).

28th February 1922 "Josef Monke" brass instrument makers takes up production at Zülpicher Glacis 58 in Cologne (the present university campus between Bachemerstrasse and Zülpicherstrasse.
At that time Josef Monke was 40 years old with a wife and two children (Wilhelm and Liselotte Monke). As a result of various circumstances he was forced to relocate with his workshop several times.


1922 - 1926 Cologne, Zülpicher Glacis 58

1926 - 1938 Cologne, Maastrichter Strasse 19

1938 - 1958 Cologne, Subbelrather Strasse 186
from 1958 onwards, Cologne,
Körner Strasse 48 - 50

Josef Monke passed away at the age of 83 on the 22nd November 1965. His daughter Liselotte Monke took over the business, formed a limited company, and went on managing this with a few highly qualified craftsmen up until November 1997.



Josef Monke (1937)making a bell



Brass instrument master craftsmen and managing
director Stephan Krahforst



1st November 1997 "Josef Monke GmbH" was taken over by Stephan Krahforst (master brass instrument maker) born in 1963 in Cologne.

1980 - 1983 Training as a brass instrument maker

1983 Examination leading to qualification as Journeyman (regionalwinner)

1989 Examination leading to qualification as Master (best result of theyear)

1997 Takes over "Josef Monke GmbH" as managing director

2010 He celebrates 30 years service with the company