Violin Making Today

Thirty to forty years ago the profession of violin maker had virtually died out.  Violin making at the present time, however, is very much alive and diversified. Experts in the field consider this era as a new Golden Age of violin making; a Renaissance of this craft.


More and more violin and bow makers are specialising in restoration, authentication or new making. This trend towards specialisation has stimulated violin making enormously over the last decades, and standards have risen significantly. Leading soloists no longer hesitate to buy contemporary instruments. They play them in concerts, do recordings on them, and grant them a permanent place alongside their older loves.


The tradition of high-quality instruments was lost in the course of the 19th century and the making of new instruments amounted to no more than an endless flow of commercially-produced instruments made by and for no one in particular. The increase in authentic performance practices in the sixties led to a sudden renewed demand for new instruments. In addition to the need to convert instruments back to their original state there was also the call for copies of baroque instruments. Authentic early instruments became increasingly expensive. It was often their rarity and historical value for which one paid, and not so much their remaining tonal potential. But in any case, this fact also meant an increase in demand for new instruments. Due to the globalisation of classical music the manufacturing of high-quality instruments received an extra boost. The standard of violin making schools improved and knowledge of instruments from the past was exchanged. Violin making once again aroused international interest: competitions, associations, colloquia, exhibitions and publications were born. Nowadays a new generation of violin makers is appearing. They are characterised by a high degree of specialisation, with their own tradition and mark of quality in the making of new instruments. Musicians are returning to contemporary instrument makers. Alongside historical instruments, new making has now created a place for itself in the music world.