Miron Melzer en Jan Hooghwerff sept 2023 Tel Aviv

What happened to the Melzer family? (49/50)

The excellent personal relationship between the Melzer and Von Meier families was one of the reasons Abraham and Ruzia kept in touch for such a long time with the company they had sold in 1972. Jan Hooghwerff was lucky enough to hear how the story continued from their son, Miron. A week before Hamas invaded Israel on 7 October, they exchanged stories over dinner in Tel Aviv.

A new house under construction in Tel Aviv
The early 1970s were busy for Ruzia, who combined her two jobs while continuing to study. In 1973, when the company had been sold, she obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam. In the meantime, construction was underway on their new home 10 km north of Tel Aviv in Herzlyia where Melzer had the foresight to buy a piece of land in the mid-1960s. They monitored the construction in Israel closely, but they spent a lot of time in the Netherlands until the house was ready.

Ruzia promoveert aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam 1973

Melzer & Partners in Israel
In 1974, and once they had settled in Herzlyia, Abraham started looking for new projects in his familiar field of room acoustics. He worked under the new name of the company he had sold in the Netherlands, although we cannot find any official records of the name Melzer & Partners in Israel anywhere. You could say that Melzer & Partners bv had an unofficial brother in Israel.
Once again, Ruzia started a child psychology practice at home while also continuing to play an important role in her husband’s company. In 1975, son Miron was born, fulfilling a long-cherished wish of Ruzia. Abraham was increasingly going his own way enjoying his work on major international projects in concert hall acoustics, and his name became well known.


A new chapter

In 1981, Ruzia and Abraham got separated. Two years later, Ruzia formally founded a new agency with young engineer Shimon Gruenbaum under the name Mem & Gimel – the letters M and G from the Hebrew alphabet. Shimon had been employed by the Israeli Melzer & Partners firm since 1978. Abraham worked with them when required, but he preferred to work alone. The newly established agency, which later changed its official name to M.G. Acoustical Consultants Ltd., still exists; Today, this new ‘brother’ of M+P is the largest and leading acoustics company in Israel.

The new collaboration between Ruzia and Shimon had only been up and running for 4 years when Ruzia unexpectedly died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 48. Miron was 12 years old, so he went to live with his father. Both their lives changed drastically. Father took Miron on his travels around the world where they would sit around the table with famous musicians and architects. It was all very exciting at first, but after a while it became boring for the teenager who got the feeling that he was spending more time on the Paris and London metro than at home with his friends. As soon as he came of age, Miron did his obligatory military service and then went to live on his own. His choice to study Economics was hard for his father to understand. For Abraham there is only one valuable study path, and that’s physics. But Miron took his own path, eventually leading him to 2 major fields: the stock exchange and real estate and project development.

Wohl Centre, project van A.M. in Tel Aviv in 2005

A special legacy
Up to a very old age, Melzer continued to be involved as an acoustics consultant for the world’s largest concert halls, theatres and synagogues, such as Salle Pleyel in Paris, Hollywood Bowl in California and Carnegie Hall in New York. After reaching 80, travel became more difficult for him, but his work remained a very important part of his life. Miron describes his father as gifted, enterprising and verbally very strong, but despite this, daily communication with him was not always easy. It was mainly his mother, herself a strong business leader, who ensured their business success.

After the death of Abraham Melzer in 2019, Miron was left with a special legacy consisting of a large collection of books, art and all kinds of specialist acoustic measuring equipment from B&K. A legacy from a world completely different from his own, which tells the life of a multi-coloured man who could not be pigeon-holed, who did not conform with standard corporate culture and yet, despite this, gained respect and a good name in the relatively specific international world of concert hall acoustics. The man who in 1962, together with his wife, laid the foundation for M+P as we know it today.