The 28th of March 2013 marked the passing of Robert Zildjian, a cymbal entrepreneur, age 89.
Sabian Cymbals Ltd. dispatched a press release March 28, stating that the Canadian cymbal designer and manufacturer Robert Zildjian, founder of Sabian Cymbals, died at age 89.
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 within the drum industry, 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.
His professional story is well known. Having been dealt a major career setback at an age where 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.
We mourn his passing, and he will be forever in our hearts. 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 drummers the world over.
In 1981 with a legal split from Avedis, Zildjian founded the new cymbal company. When Zildjian left he agreed to use a different name and branding, essentially building two successful cymbal empires in his lifetime. Sabian ranks as the second largest manufacturer of cymbals in the world.