It's with a heavy & grieved heart I announce the passing of our most beloved Founder, harp-maker, harpist, inventor & mentor, Maestro John G. Kovac (July 2022).
"John G. Kovac, beloved husband, brother, Harpist, and friend, 76, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at his home..."
Reprinted from the opening of John's obituary. The whole can be found below:
What can be said? Those of the world who knew him or, at least knew of him had great admiration & respect for John Kovac & what he brought to the World at large. I had the privilege of a somewhat closer relationship with the Maestro himself.
What he freely taught me I endeavor to pass on to the world: John's Legacy as an avid Harpist & Do-it-Yourself Harp-Making Treasure. What my mentor gave of himself to this often cold world, his talent, intelligence, his passion & kindness, and great humility I pledge to continue on with his Legacy, as much as I can so that John G. Kovac will not be lost to the world.
I write this only a few scores of minutes before the Maestro is finally laid to rest. Who can know what to write at moments like this? Above all, I am thankful he came into my life when he did. Amen.
If you have comments about John Kovac, please, consider sharing them with us. You can leave a comment here on this blog and I will add all appropriate comments to our John Kovac Tribute Page. I plan to keep the Tribute Page open for your comments, on what Maestro Kovac meant to you, until July 6, 2023.
With heart broken, first, we pause, then, moving forward, John's Legacy will continue onward...
Have just learned via this website of John’s sadly passing. I will miss my regular checking of the latest Youtube videos and wisdom from John. As an amateur harpmaker myself I learned a lot from John’s peculiar genius for producing simple yet lovely harps and also his profound work and findings on the harp soundboard. His work will live on and is of great value to the harpmaking community. I am busy restoring an 1840’s Sebastian Erard harp with a collapsed soundboard. John’s pioneering research has already proved to be of great value.
I know that John was a very kind, considerate and christian man and I am sure he is in a special place in heaven eaching the angels to play harp better. God bless you brother John. we will meet again
With Grief I pen this message. Iam from India. John was my mentor who introduced me to Harp making. The Harp I.made from his kit is still strong today. Ever since I left USA for India in 2015 we stayed in touch and I would Pen him a Christmas Card Yearly. I was to Pen this Card today when AI decided to check this site to recheck his address. And to my Grief. I saw this sad news.
John. You were a Blessing. I will never forget You anymore particularly when I strum the Harp. I remeber the Music You send me for my wedding. Julie Please accept my Heartfelt condolences as I’m taken aback to Pen More. I have one last kit which I peomise to make a Harp in Johns Memory.I’m sure John is in Heaven Playing the Harp with King David and the Angels.
Thank you Mr. Kovac for your beautiful arts and sharing your work with us.
May your memory be eternal!
From Nairobi, Kenya
I recall how John sent me videos on email and tutorials willingly to help me learn about this amazing instrument. He really shared lots of insight and welcomed me into the world of harp players. I will forever cherish this and with his name engraved on my Harp, I will remember his generosity and will strive to keep his legacy. May he rest in peace.
Years ago, at “Clifftop” (The Appalachian Stringband Festival), I stopped by John’s camp with my hammered dulcimer, listened to him play some. John welcomed me to sit down and share some tunes for a lovely hour and a half. It occurred to me that this was a particularly unusual jam to have at an old-time festival! But also a really memorable one. The piece that stuck with me was Mi Despedida, which I continue to play. In fact, this past year, I taught the piece at a workshop (The Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat) to 50 hammered dulcimer players. I told the story of my brief encounter and then listened to John’s playing of the piece from a YouTube recording. I will always remember and be thankful for that jam and our short time together. I am so sorry for your loss.