Dayton’s historic Lorenz Corp. files for bankruptcy protection

Music publisher claims liabilities up to $10 million

Longtime Dayton-based producer and distributor of sheet music, the Lorenz Corp., filed in federal court Wednesday for bankruptcy protection from creditors.

The Dayton sheet music business dates back to 1890.

According to filings in the federal Southern District of Ohio court, the company has 100 to 199 creditors, with estimated liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10 million.

The company has more than 20,000 different musical works as products and employs about 70 employees in Dayton and 15 in Nashville, the company has told the Dayton Daily News in the past.

The filing is dated Wednesday.

All composers and authors who typically receive royalty distributions in late summer have already been paid, and Lorenz is committed to making December payments, as well, Lorenz Chief Executive Reiff Lorenz said in a message to the company obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

“You have entrusted us with your creative work and we won’t let your earnings get caught up in our COVID-induced administrative actions,” Lorenz said in the message.

“Music isn’t just a business to us. It’s a mission,” he said. “Despite the difficult conditions, reduced staff, and cut budgets we are working hard to promote your products and generate future royalties.”

The company works with composers, edits, records demos, prints sheet music, designs cover art, warehouses, and distributes to churches, schools and retailers. Lorenz also distributes for third parties.

Reiff Lorenz signed the court filing as representative of the debtor.

Tami Hart Kirby, the Dayton attorney representing Lorenz in the matter, declined to comment Thursday, but took a message for a representative of the company. An email with questions was sent to Reiff Lorenz Friday.

ExploreFifth-generation sheet music business thrives in Dayton

Among the unsecured claims listed in the court filing was one for nearly $1.6 million, listed as due to Music Services Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn.

Since around 1940, Lorenz has been at its current home along East Third Street, across from The Cannery and next to St. John’s United Church of Christ, the Dayton Daily News reported in a story on the company last year.

On a tour of the five-story building, the journey of their product was on display as Lorenz showed a small recording studio for certain demos, creatively decorated offices where the designers sit, and a humming press spitting out eight pages a second, surrounded by giant spools of printer paper as well as digital printing equipment.

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