Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2013

Robert Zildjian, Sabian founder, passes away at age 89

(Strange New Examiner) The drum world is mourning today at the loss of Robert (RZ) Zildjian, founder of Sabian cymbals and former heir to the Zildjian cymbal empire.

On March 28, 2013 Sabian announced the loss of their founder on Facebook as well as their blog. It reads:

It is with deep, deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Robert “RZ” Zildjian, our beloved founder and leader. A tireless and dynamic force, he inspired each one of us in the Sabian family to work harder, to reach farther, to make a difference – and he led us by example. We mourn his passing, and we will miss him for a long time to come. But we are better people for having known RZ, and we are richer for having worked alongside him. We draw comfort from the knowledge that his spirit will live on in the music made by artists the world over.

photo bigdrumthump.com

photo bigdrumthump.com

Zildjian was the son of an Armenian immigrant and a 10th generation cymbal maker. His father, Avedis, came to the United States in the early 1900’s, bringing the cymbal to the land of opportunity where the A. Zildjian cymbal began its journey onto the American music scene.

Unfortunately, in 1979 Avedis passed away and left the family business to his son’s Bob and Armand who were embroiled in legal proceedings, forcing the brothers to split the family business.

In 1980, Bob founded Sabian and successfully competed against his family’s 350-year-old business, holding the number two spot on the cymbal market.

“I’d like to be the best cymbal company in the world,” said Bob Zildjian in an early SABIAN interview. “I’m not that worried about being the biggest. But if we are the biggest, that’s good too. But being the best is primary…that’s my motivation.”

Read more here


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- Brian Attenberg, The Cavalier Expert in All Things Weird, Strange and Otherwise Odd

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