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Zildjian Passes at 81

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  • Zildjian Passes at 81

    I don't usually post over here, but thought you guys might want to see this.

    New York Times, December 31, 2002
    Armand Zildjian, 81, Head of Family of Cymbal Makers, Is Dead

    Armand Zildjian, who ran a family-owned company that has been making cymbals for almost 400 years, died on Thursday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81 and also had a home in Quechee, Vt.

    The cause was cancer, the family said.

    The company, Avedis Zildjian, now based in Norwell, Mass., was founded in 1623 by a man of that name, an ancestor of Armand Zildjian, in what was then Constantinople and is now Istanbul. The company's founder is credited with formulating an alloy of copper, tin and silver that made particularly fine cymbals, now prized by rock musicians and symphonic percussionists alike. The company says it still uses that alloy and has kept its original formula, which remains a secret. A family member moved to the United States in 1929.

    Armand Zildjian had been president of the company since 1977 and chairman since 1979. He began running the company after his father died in 1979, at the same time that a rift developed with his brother, Robert, who left the company and founded a rival, Sabian, in Canada. In 1999 Mr. Zildjian designated his daughter, Craigie Zildjian, as his successor, the first woman to hold the post in the company's long history.

    Mr. Zildjian was born in Quincy, Mass., grew up there and attended Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass., and Colgate University. He was in the Coast Guard in the Philippines during World War II.

    In addition to his daughter Craigie of Cohasset, Mass., and his brother, he is survived by his wife, the former Andra Potter; two other daughters, Wendy Mets of Virginia and Debbie Zildjian of Hingham, Mass., who is the company's vice president for human resources; a son, Robert, of England; a stepdaughter, Kristy Thompson of Vermont; two stepsons, Mark Field of Rhode Island and Peter Field of the state of Washington; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

  • #2
    That's sad, but jeez it really makes me realze how long that company has been around! It sounds wierd to have a 400 year old company now, but just imagine in a few centuries hearing "Wal-Mart, which was founded 450 years ago has declared bankruptcy" or something. I'm babbling.

    Rest In Peace Zildjian!
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><i>Woo!</i></font></div>


    • VanHalen
      VanHalen commented
      Editing a comment

      RIP Robert 'Bob' Zildjian who died yesterday. "A family feud with his brother Armand resulted in Robert Zildjian leaving Zildjian Cymbals to form the rival Sabian Cymbals company in 1981 soon after his father appointed Armand as president of Zildjian Cymbals."