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Breitkopf & Härtel is the world's oldest music publishing house. The firm was founded in 1719 in Leipzigmarker by Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf (1695-1777). The catalogue currently contains over 1000 composers, 8000 works and 15,000 music editions or books on music. The "Härtel" was added to the name when Gottfried Christoph Härtel took over the company in 1795. In 1807 G. Chr. Härtel began to manufacture pianos, an endeavor which lasted until 1870. The Breitkopf pianos were highly esteemed in the 19th century by pianists like Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann.

In the 19th century the company was for many years the publisher of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, an influential music journal.

The company has consistently supported contemporary composers and had close editorial collaboration with Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Wagner and Brahms.

This tradition continues today, and composers such as Nicolaus A. Huber, Helmut Lachenmann, Udo Zimmermann grace the Breitkopf catalogue.

They also published the first complete works edition of Mozart, the so-called Alte Mozart-Ausgabe.

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