J. K. Mertz – Johann or Joseph? – research by Masami Kimura

On the question of the actual name of Mertz, around the turn of the 20th century guitar writers made assumptions about the initials “J. K.” While in the 1980’s Astrid Stempnik discovered the birth name of Mertz to be “Caspar Joseph,” the earlier writers used either “Joseph Kaspar” or “Johann Kaspar.” Somehow “Johann” became the definitive reading of his initial “J.” and has been repeated over the past 100 years. Repetition does not always make information correct. Mertz never used his full first or second name in promoting himself either in concerts or publications. In fact, even after he died his widow posted advertisements to sell his instruments by using his performing name “J. K. Mertz.”


Luigi Castellacci works

Below is the current state of my research on the works for guitar by Luigi Castellacci (1797-1845). It is still very rough with a number of duplicated opus numbers. Any rows without a library location have been found via printed references either in journals, newspapers or publishers’ lists. Any rows with only opus numbers have not been found or perhaps might be music for harp which I have not researched yet.


Julie Fondard

Julie Fondard, possibly 1819-1864, was a student of Sor in Paris perhaps earlier than 1830. Sor dedicated his opus 62 to her in 1838. She published in Cheltenham, England from around 1834 through 1836 where she first announced herself as a pupil of Sor. By the end of 1836 she was back in Paris.

A Theodore Fondard appeared in Paris newspapers in 1826-27 as a professor of guitar, but the relationship with Julie is unknown.