33 years ago the hurdy-gurdy entered my life. From this moment, it has changed completely, gave sense to it and influenced it deeply. During this period I have built more than 1100 instruments: Dulcimers, psalterys, medieval fiddles, cittern, lutes, guitars and gurdies, gurdies, gurdies. Most of them are played – worldwide.
A fact, which fills me with pride and joy.
But health problems (their shadows rose long ago) forced me to make new arrangements. A process of letting go has started, which now finds its end in passing my life’s work on to other skillfull and assiduous hands. Alexandra Betz has been my assistant for many years. She will take over the workshop from August 2010. She will continue my work and build hurdy-gurdies. I could not have found a better successor. She worked with me for more than 12 years, she knows all about the instruments and did most of the work on her own during the last years. I am sure, that she will continue my work in my sense and for the satisfaction of all clients. And I will stay at her side whenever she should need my help.
In the future I will apply myself to literature. Besides some ideas for novels, a script about the proper set-up and maintainance of hurdy-gurdies is waiting in the drawer and urges to be published. Also an autobiography about my life as a luthier will follow. Stories of failure and success, exhibitions and concerts, accompanied by many musicians.
At this point I would like to say thank you to all my clients and all the friends who granted me their confidence all over the time of more than three decades. I also want to say thank you for all the wonderful moments which happened and the encounters with persons, who made my life rich and filled it with happiness.
I wish that this confidence will be shown to Alexanda Betz in the same way.
She really deserves it.
Helmut Gotschy, July 2010