In The News

Robert Zildjian of cymbals fame passes away

Robert Zildjian of cymbals fame passes away

THE death has taken place of Robert Zildjian whose family has been involved in making cymbals since the 17th. century.

Mr. Zildjian, who was 89, had originally been involved in the family’s Boston-based business. His ancestors had established a cymbal-making business in Constantinople in 1623, with his father emigrating to the United States in the late 1920s. 

But in 1981, when he was in his late 50s, Robert Zildjian broke away from the family firm and set up his own company in Canada which he called Sabian — an acronym based on the names of his three children.

By the time of his death, the Sabian operation had grown into a company which supplies cymbals to drummers, including many top rockers, in more than 120 countries. 

The Sabian factory still uses a mix of metals, first developed by Mr. Zildjian’s ancestors several hundred years ago, to produce their sought-after products (see below).

In a statement, the Sabian company paid tribute to their founder: “Robert ‘RZ’ Zildjian was a tireless and dynamic force within the drum industry. He inspired each of us in the Sabian family to work harder, to reach farther, to make a difference — and he led us by example.”

The statement continued: “Having been dealt a major career setback at an age when most men would have opted for retirement, RZ instead chose to re-invent the cymbal business with his own hand-crafted brand. A brand that would forever change the face and sound of popular music. With his bare hands he shaped the Sabian cymbal brand into his life’s story — and by extension we became his family.”

Mr. Zildjian is survived by his wife Willi and children, Sally, Bill and Andy.

To see a drumming demonstration which features some of the Sabian range, click here.

To see how Sabian cymbals are made, click here.

View previous In the News items: Tributes are paid to great Irish actor, Jane Henson of Muppets fame passes away, Musician and critic Solly Lipsitz passes away, Record producer Phil Ramone passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Richard Griffiths, Former Elvis backing singer Gordon Stoker passes away, Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards passes away, Tributes are paid to trumpet player Derek Watkins, Jazz musician Bebo Valdes passes away, Horror writer James Herbert passes away, Bobby Smith from the Detroit Spinners passes away, Comedy actor Frank Thornton passes away, Jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot passes away, Comedian Norman Collier passes away, Black Death burial ground unearthed in London, Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passes away, Last of the plotters against Hitler passes away, Tributes are paid to former sports presenter Tony Gubba, Welsh born Princess Lilian of Sweden passes away, Canadian country legend Tom Connors passes away, Tributes are paid to jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball, Rock guitarist Alvin Lee passes away, Bobby Rogers of The Miracles passes away, Tributes are paid to former businessman Sir George Quigley, Remains are returned to Donegal after 180 years, Classical pianist Van Cliburn passes away, Former Temptations singer Richard Street passes away, Former aircraft company chief Sir Philip Foreman passes away, Tributes are paid to the designer of the Daleks, Award winning animator Bob Godfrey passes away, Kevin Ayers of sixties band Soft Machine passes away, Beatles pay tribute to early collaborator Tony Sheridan, Gameshow host Derek Batey passes away, Tributes are paid to the actor Richard Briers, American country singer Mindy McCready is dead at 37, Tributes are paid to screenwriter Alan Sharp, Film special effects expert Petro Vlahos passes away, Government agency updates service for bereaved relatives, Dave Clark Five member Rick Huxley passes away, Tributes are paid to table tennis player who helped make history, Tributes are paid to movie makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, Onedin Line star Peter Gilmore passes away, Actor Robin Sachs passes away, Remains found beneath carpark are those of King Richard III, Funeral of veteran sports journalist Malcolm Brodie takes place, Tributes are paid to former New York mayor Ed Koch, Artist and writer Ceija Stojka passes away, Wildlife filmmaker Eamon de Buitlear passes away, Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passes away, Funeral takes place of Una Finnegan, Funeral takes place of veteran campaigner Inez McCormack, Film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner passes away

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.