• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss tape recorder pioneer Kudelski dies

Malcolm Curtis · 28 Jan 2013, 21:35

Published: 28 Jan 2013 21:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kudelski, credited with inventing the first portable tape recorder, died on Saturday, the company said in a statement.

An audio engineer, the Polish immigrant founded the Kudelski company in 1951, when he built his first Nagra tape recorder, which he went on to perfect with various models.

The machines were used widely in the radio, film, television and security industries.

Kudelski received four Oscars between 1965 and 1990 and two Emmy Awards for his contributions to film and television.

Born in Poland, he fled the country with his family in 1939 before the Nazi invasion, moving to Hungary and France before settling in Switzerland.

Kudelski studied at Lausanne’s Federal Institute of technology (EPFL) where he built his first tape recorder.

The company he founded has diversified into the area of digital security for pay TV and “interactive applications” across broadcast, broadband and mobile networks.

The group’s annual sales are close to 900 million francs and it employs around 2,900 people.

Kudelski led the company, headquartered in Cheseaux, near Lausanne, until 1991 when his son André succeeded him as chairman and CEO.

In 1983, Kudelski entered the hall of fame of motion pictures and television, receiving the John Grierson International Gold Medal for his contribution to the recording arts.

“Stefan Kudelski was one of those personalities who contributed to the international reputation of Switzerland,” Claude Smadja, vice-chairman of Kudelski’s board of directors, said in a statement published on the company's website.

“Anyone who knew him could only be impressed by his sharpness, his incredible culture, his curiosity and his permanent sense of humor,” Smadja said.

In a further statement, his son, André Kudelski, praised his father’s values, which “form the foundation of our company and its reputation today across the five continents.”

Among those values, said Kudelski, was “the determination to demonstrate that technological challenges described as impossible are always successfully achieved by teams that know no boundaries.”

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Burst pipe causes major flood in Lausanne
The water flooded Place de la Riponne in Lausanne. File photo: Swiss Tourism/Christof Schuerpf

Water rushed down the streets after a pipe burst in the city centre.

Outcry after ‘neo-Nazi’ music festival held on Swiss soil
The village of Unterwasser was the tranquil location for the festival. Photo: Swiss Tourism

Should police have intervened?

Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Switzerland: what's not to miss? Photo: Christian Perret/Swiss Tourim

Former expats in Switzerland tell The Local what they miss about living here.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available