List of Violin Makers - Luthiers
Makers of wooden instruments are commonly called luthiers since they long ago started out as lute makers, when violins did not yet exist. It's not exactly rocket science - it's a lot tougher. A team of ten thousand scientists and engineers help construct a rocket, but one man alone (women, too) constructs a violin. Do modern violins compare favorably to an old Strad or Guarneri or Guadagnini? Of course they do!!! However, as with most things artistic, the public (and musicians as well), have been taught that older is better, though such is not the case. Because precious old instruments are treated like priceless antiques, collectors and auction houses drive prices up, thereby creating a vicious circle of escalating values. Such is the case with Van Goghs and Picassos and a host of other art which is actually not all that good. Nonetheless, art critics and violin experts would have you believe otherwise.
I copied the following quote from some obscure website - I forgot which: "Jaime Laredo is quoted in a 1991 New York Times article as saying, "I've been shocked when students have asked my opinion of old Italian or French fiddles that cost $50,000 to $60,000. Often, they're just pieces of junk." Isaac Stern, in the same article states, "If musicians can't spend at least $250,000 on a stringed instrument, they'd do better with a fine new one, provided they take the time to test it under battle conditions in a good concert hall." Comparisons have been going on for years and the results are usually the same, with the modern instruments comparing very favorably with the old ones. An example is the comparison which was organized at the Fourth American Cello Congress. An audience of about 140 musicians judged the sound of 12 cellos, six new and six old. The new cellos were the work of contemporary cello makers, one of them a Burgess. The old cellos represented quite an impressive selection: A Gagliano; two Goffrillers; a Montagnana; a Stradivari; and a Tecchler. To keep the comparison as objective as possible, the player was blindfolded, and a large linen screen was placed between the player and the audience. When the audience of cellists handed in their ballots, the top scoring cello was old; the second, third, fourth and fifth highest scores were by new cellos; sixth and seventh were old; 8th-new; 9th-old; 10th-new; 11th-old; 12th-old. An old instrument got the highest score, but famous old instruments also got the two lowest scores. As a group, the modern cellos scored much higher than this collection of famous old cellos. A survey by Strings Magazine found that 58 percent of their readers find the sound quality of modern instruments to be superior or equal to vintage instruments, and that 71 percent find the craftsmanship of modern instruments to be superior or equal to old instruments."
I predict that twenty years from now (11,11,2008), perspectives and judgments on art and violins (and their value) will be very different. Nowadays, modern violins are being purchased for a fraction of what they are really worth and violinists are truly fortunate in that respect. (As of October, 2010, a few violinists are already beginning to appreciate the true potential of modern violins.) The market is so skewered and biased that a modern violin that sounds as good as a Strad can be purchased for about 2% of the cost of the older instrument. In any case, I think the sound any violinist produces is 60% bow arm and 40% instrument. A list of violin makers (more than 500 of them) follows - it really only scratches the surface and probably only covers about ten percent of the actual number of professional violin makers around the world. (Holland alone, has given the world over 300 violin makers. China, as might be expected, now has a large number of violin makers, some of them very good.) It is an irony that Russia has produced very, very few violin makers - an irony because that country has given the world dozens of superlative, world-class violinists. There are other lists of violin makers on the web but this - other than Baxter's Database - is definitely the most comprehensive. The links page will take you to places where very detailed information on many violin makers can be obtained. It is anticipated that you, if at all interested in any of these makers, will conduct your own research; in addition, please also be advised that a few of these people may already be dead: (under construction)
A modern mystery
Strads are not the only violins that have gone mysteriously missing. General John T. Honeycutt constructed over sixty violins, having taken up the luthier's craft after his retirement from the military. Almost fifty of them are now missing and there are precious few examples of this master craftman's art, even through photographs. One of the few that I found (#13) is shown in the Gallery, as is a magnificent example of one of his rare violas. I could not locate a sample of his label. Should you come across one of his instruments, his website directs you how to proceed.
The list: (Bold denotes a photo in the gallery)
A-D: Mathias Albani, Paolo Albani, John Albert, Gregg Alf, Pierre Allain, Michael Altshuler, Gaetano Alvani, Andrea Amati, Girolamo Amati, Nicolo Amati, Dane Anderson, Andrian Andreev, Franz Angerer, Romeo Antoniazzi, Georges Apparut, Job Arden, Claudio Arezio, Rowan Armour-Brown, Haldun Arslancan, William Atkinson, Victor Audinot, Gina Aung, Dmitry Badiarov, Von Bailey, Charles Bailly, Jenny Bailly, Paul Bailly, Joe Baker, Istvan Balazs, Dante Baldoni, James Banks, Emile Baran, Francisco Barba, Bruno Barbieri, Linda M. Bardutz, Geronimo Barnabetti, Dorian Barnes, Armin Barnett, John Barrett, Marco Barrios, George Barton, William Bartruff, Ray Bastien, Julian Batey, Giovanni Battista, Jacques Bauer, Arthur Bay, Christian Bayon, Gregory Bearden, Charles Beare, Eva Maria Beck, Carl Becker, Michael Becker, Wayne Beckman, Andrzet Bednarski, Volker Beilharz, Lorenzo Bellafontana, Conrado Belli, Robert Benedetto, Karl Berger, Carlo Bergonzi, Michele Bergonzi, Nicola Bergonzi, Ricarrdo Bergonzi, Auguste Bernardel, Gustave Bernardel, Leon Bernardel, Thomas Bertrand, Matthieu Besseling, John Betts, Paul Beuscher, Nicolo Bianchi, Francois Bignon, J. Peter Bingen, Luciano Bini, Henry Bischofberger, Bradley Bischoff, Brian Bishop, Carlo Bisiach, Giacomo Bisiach, Leandro Bisiach, Claudie Biteur, Paul Blanchard, George Blum, Greg Bobak, Frant Bocek, Philippe Bodart, John Bodor, Francesco Bogetti, Jaap Bolink, Matthew Bolliger, Emile Bonnel, William Booth, Jacques Boquay, Gaspar, Borchardt, Antonio Borelli, Pietro Borghi, Terry Michael Borman, Emile Boulangeot, Sharon R. Bowen, Paul Bowers, Arthur Bowler, Orrin E. Boyce, Serge Boyer, Andrea Bozzini, Dennis Braun, Celia Bridges, James Briggs, Daniel Bristol, Eduardo Brito, Chris Broadwell, James Brown, Kenneth Brown, Lawrence K. Brown, Nicholas Bruet, Simon Bruneau, Wilhelm Bruckner, Aldo Brugnini, Alceste Bulfari, Simon Bruneau, Carlo Bruno, George Bryant, Mariano Bucci, George Buckman, David Burgess, Phillip Burgess, Jan Hus Bursik, Charles Buthod, Ava Butler, Andrea Cabrini, Giuseppe Calace, Joseph Calvaleri, Camillo Camilli, Luisa Vania Campagnolo, Cesare Candi, Oreste Candi, Scott Cao, Antonio Capela, Virgilio Capellini, Giofreddo Cappa, Aldo Cappelli, Lorenzo Carcassi, Tomaso Carcassi, Vincenzo Carcassi, Kevin Cardiff, Albert Caressa, Salvatore Caristo, Carlo Carletti, Terry Carlin, James Carlisle, Laird Carlson, David Caron, Rafael Carrabba, Lapo Casini, Andrea Castagneri, Robert Cauer, Aristide Cavalli, Giovanni Cavani, Frederick Cayford, Constantinus Celanius, Joseph Cermak, Enrico Ceruti, Jean-Pierre Champeval, Georges Chanot, Nicholas Chappuy, Joseph Chardon, Pierre Charette, Patrick Charton, Daniel Chen, Louis Cherpitel, Andre Chevrier, Carlo Chiesa, Gaetano Chiocchi, Jean Chipot, Karsten Brejnbjerg Christensen, Henning Christiansen, Chris Christoff, Bruce D. Clark, Homer Clark, Augustin Claudot, Robert Clemens, Jean Clement, Russell L. Coe, Alan Coggins, Anne Cole, James Cole, Jean Colin, Roberto Collini, John O. Collins, Malcolm Collins, Sam Compton, Georges Cone, Stefano Conia, Joseph F. Conrad, Ivano Conti, Alfredo Contino, Amy Contrada, Hugh Cooper, Jonathan Cooper, Robert Copelan, Giovanni Costa, Fabio Dalla Costa, Pietro Antonio Dalla Costa, Douglas C. Cox, James Cox, George Craske, Rowell Creadick, Lee Cronenwalt, Steve Cundall, Joseph Curtin, Johannes Cuypers, Gaspar Da Salo, Sebastian Dalinger, Friederike Sophie Dangel, Jan Danielsson, Bartlomiej Dankiewicz, Guastalla Dante, George Darbey, Michael Darnton, David Dastous, Jerome David, Alfred Davis, Cynthia Davis, Ted Davis, Stephen Davy, Peter Dawson, John Day, Ernesto De Angelis, Henri Decoin, Michele Deconet, Mark Dearlove, Albert Deblaye, Eugenio Degani, Christopher De Groot, Michiel De Hoog, Daniel Delfour, Thomas DeLuca, Julia De Lucca, Guy Derat, Honore Derazey, Philippe Devanneaux, Manuel Diaz, John Dilworth, Justin Diter, Filip Dobritchcov, William Dodd, Giuseppe Dollenz, Carlo Doria, Rachel Douglas, Gaspard Duiffoprugcar, Richard Duke, Barry Dudley (profile on MySpace), Nicole Dumond, David Dunn, Henry Dusek, Jan Dvorak, George Dyker.
E-H: Eugene Eberle, Tomaso Eberle, Tunali Ecevit, Gregory J. Eckes, Donald Eckland, George B. Edwards, Michel Eggimann, Ward Elliott, Adrian G. Elschek, Simon Enke, Malaguti Erminia, Neil Ertz, Charles Ervin, Charles Espey, Alan Esty, Karl Euschen, Dominic Excell, Michel Faber, Luigi Fabris, Annibale Fagnola, Giuseppe Failla, August Falisse, Domenico Fantin, Frederic Fantova, Erminio Farina, Charles Farley, Celeste Faroti, Filippo Fasser, Roland Feller, Bernard Fendt, Francois Fent, John D. Ferwerda, Charles Fetique, Wincenty Filipiak, Stanley Filipowicz, Charles Fils, Johannes S. Finkel, Michael Fischer, David Fix, Michael Fleming, Ryszard Florek, Lorenzo Florence, Paulo Fiorini, Ricardo Flores (profile on Facebook), David Folland, Rojas Dario Forero, Arturo Fracassi, Simeoni Franco, Jonathan S. Franke, Sebastian Freymadl, John Friedrich, David Frieman, Lorenzo Frignani, Zdenek Frodl, Mary Fuchs, Henry Furber, Mario Gadda, Andre Gadoury, Antonio Gagliano, Joseph Gagliano, Nicolas Gagliano, Richard Gagliardi, Michel Gagnon, Giovanni Gaida, Anton Galla, Luca Maria Gallo, Luigi Gamba, Charles Gand, Marco Gandolfi, Ferdinando Garimberti, Rene Garmy, Christian Garonnaire, Wladyslaw Gasienica, Robert Gasser, Anais Gassin, Giorgio Gatti, Leon Gauche, Laurent Gayraud, George Gemnder, August Gemunder, Riccardo Genovese, Bernard Germain, Christopher Germain, Andreose Gianni, Fabrizio Giannini, Salvador Giardina, Nicolas Gilles, Alberto Giordano, Julio Giorgio, Philippe Girardin, Claire Givens, Johann Glass, Francesco Gobetti, Matteo Goffriller, David Golber, Francisco Gonzalez, David Goodrich, Eduard Gorr, Walter Goss, Anselmo Gotti, Al Gough, Jean Christophe Graff, Antonio Gragnani, Fabien Gram, Francesco Grancino, Giovanni Grancino, Ian Greig, David William Griebel, Robert Grieshofer, Barry Griffiths, Novene Grilliet, Marcel Grimsley, Giorgio Grisales, Gerriet Groth, Joseph Grubaugh, Pietro Grulli, Antonio Guadagnini, Giovanni Guadagnini, Lorenzo Guado, Andrea Guarneri, Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri, Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, Alberto Guerra, Emilio Guerra, Giuseppe Guerrini, Gian Carlo Guicciardi, Pierre Guillaume, David Gusset, Eero Haahti, Leif Haakedal, Josef Haff, Jay Haide, Thomas Haile, Roscoe Hall, Roger Hansell, Henner Harders, Matthew Hardie, Burton Hardin, Raymond Hardy, Amos Hargrave, Roger Hargrave, Charles E. Harman, Arwed Harms, Paul Harrild, John Harrison, George Hart, Paul Hart, Ghaleb Hassan, Mosa Havivi, Harold Hayslett, William Heaton, Albert Heberlein, Heinrich Heberlein, Rudolf Heckel, Lloyd Heikes, George Heinl, Joseph Hel, Johann Hellmer, Romuald Henglewski, Mary E. Henning, Andras Hepke, Lionel Hepplewhite, David Herman, Karl Herrmann, Javier Hernandez, Ricardo Herrera, Scott Hershey, Francisco Hervas, Adrian Heyligers, George Hicks, Jose Del Hierro, John A. Hill, Joseph Hill, Ross Hill, William N. Hockenberry, Andrea Hoffmann, Anton Hoffman, Mark Hollinger, Emanuel Homolka, (Major General) John T. Honeycutt, Loeiz Honore, Basil Hooker, Charles Horner, Joseph Hornsteiner, Pascal F. Hornung, Randy Hoshaw, Daniel Houck (profile on Facebook and MySpace), Lambert Houniet, Clark Howard, William Howard, Dayton Howes, Bill Huckaby, Andreas Hudelmayer, George Hudson, John Hull, Alexander Hume, Mathias Hummel, Carleen M. Hutchins, Andre Huwyler,
I-M: Jay Ifshin, Hiroshi Iisuka, John Importuno, Phillip Injeian, Masa Inokuchi, Takashi Ishii, Robert Isley, Peter Ivan, Kevin Jackson, Fernand Jacquot, Hendrik Jacobs, Johannes Jais, Otto Jansen, Timothy Jansma, Antoni Jassogne, Wilhelm Jaura, Bob Jiggins, Radovan Jira, Hans Johannsson, John Johnson, Roger Johnson, Timothy G. Johnson, Louis Joly, Paul Jombar, Kurt Jones, Robert T. Jones, John C. Jordan, Vicenzo Jorio, Patrick Jowett, Louis Joy, John Juzek, Peder Kallman, Richard Kaltenbrunner, Hideo Kamimoto, Wilhelm Kapfhammer, Laurent Kappler, Martin Karinkanta, Peter Karoly, John Karwandy, Kerry Keane, Helmuth Keller, Edward Keenan, Johann Keffer, Thomas Kennedy, Beate Kienitz, Stanley Kiernoziak, Norbert Kijanka, John Kim, Franz Kinberg, Gordon Kingman, Andrew Kirk, John Kirk, Walter Kirschfink, Oded Kishoni, Vladimir Kitov, Michael Klein, Otto Klier, Claes Klockar, Ulf Kloo, Georg Klotz, Joseph Klotz, Matthias Klotz, Joan Carol Kloz, Sebastian Kloz, Tadeusz Kmiecik, Thomas Knatt, Thurmond Knight, Johann Knilling, Henry Knopf, Albert Knorr, Yasu Kobayashi, Johann Koberling, Sam Kolstein, Adolf Konig, Lajos Konya, Michael Kosman, Petro Kostyuk, Shu Kot, Jon Kouwenhoven, Emil Kovacs, Ira Kraemer, Judy Kraft, Jurgen Krause, Albert Krell, Patrick Kreit, Udo Kretzschmann, Stanislaw Krol, Anton Krutz (profile on MySpace), Jan Kuda, Klaus Kuhn, Joseph Kun, John Kusske, Francis Kuttner, Vilem Kuzel, Jussi Laasanen, Leonard Labram, Serge Lagarrigue, Tokusho Lai, Jean Lambert, Arael Landa, Carlo Landolfi, Pietro Landolfi, Christoff Landon, Anthony Lane, Eugene Langonet, Vicente Larrain, John D. Larrimore, Daniel Larson, David Lashof, Jamie Marie Lazzara, Nicola Lazzari, Giovanni Lazzaro, Francois Lebeau, Don Leister, Wade Leitner, Carole Lende, Richard LePage, Silvio Leraggi, Andre Levi, Fred Lindeman, Brian Lisus, Trevor Liversidge, Ivo Loerakker, Vincent Loerakker, John Logan, Stephen Lohmann, Abel Lopez, Robert Loska, Eric Lourme, Mick Loveland, Jose Maria Lozano, Arban Luis, Francois Lupot, Nicolas Lupot, Leif Luscombe, Ernst Luthi, Peter Mach, Jack Mackin, Edward Maday, Giovanni Maggini, Cesare Magiali, Cesare Magrini, Philippe Mahu, Geoffrey Maingart, Pietro Mantegazza, Jeff Manthos, Enrico Marchetti, Joannes Marchi, Rodolfo Marchini, Antonio Mariani, Ignatius Markert, John Marshall, Paul Martin, Plamen Maslev, Walter Mason, Tetsuo Matsuda, Junji Matsuoka, Toshiyuki Matsushita, Walter Mayson, Claudio Mazzolari, Charles McCalip, James N. McKean, Robert Meadow, Eugen Meinel, Christian Meisel, Johann Meisel, Henry Meissner, Raymond Melanson, Enrico Melegari, Stefan Melnik, Fanny Menard, Annamaria Menta, Richard Menzel, Gustave Menzinger, Joseph Mercer, Delfi Merlo, Thomas Meuwissen, Barbara Meyer, Joerg Meyer, Alessandro Mezzadri, Alfred Michels, Helen Michetschlager, David Michie, Luigi Migazzi, Juan Pablo Mijares, George Miles, Mariano Militella, Richard Hoyt Miller, Rodney Miller, Luigi Mingazzi, Marco Minnozzi, Mario Miralles, Philippe Miteran, William Moennig, Peter Moes, Rodney Mohr, Alain Moinier, Piet Molenaar, Max Moller, August Molzer, Richard Molzer, Valerio Mongillo, William Monical, Fritz Monnig, Domenico Montagnana, Dalton Montgomery, John Montgomery, Madison Moran, Paolo Morara, Giovanni Morassi, Rene Morel, Jesse Morgan, Yoshio Morino, John Moroz, David Morse, Salvatore Moschella, Hidalgo Moya, Krzysztof Mroz, Leonard Mueller, Albert Muller, Stephane Muller, Tilman Muthesius,
N-R: Emery J. Nagy, Vlademir Naidenov, Howard Needham, Massimo Negroni, Jesse Newcomer, Steffen Nowak, David Newton, Colin G. Nicholls, Vahakn Nigogosian, Frederic Noharet, Charlie Ogle, Henryk Olczyk, Peadar O'Loughlin, Alex Oosten, Gilles Orin, John Osnes, Geoffrey Ovington, Koen Padding, Giovanni Pallaver, Rosalba Panebianco, Min Suh Park, Won Soon Park, Daniel Parker, June Parra, Gaetano Pasta, William Patterson, Ernest Pattillo, George Peacock, Leon Pederson, Alessandra Pedota, Samuel Peguiron, Sergio Peresson, Philip Perret, Patrick Perrichon, Rodger Perrin, Eugene Peters, Falk Peters, Larry Peterson, Victor Petrucelly, Jeff Phillips, Timothy Phillips, Michael Phoenix, James Pickett, Claude Pierray, Martti Piiponen, William Piper, Primo Pistoni, Gaetano Pollastri, Biljana Popovich, Jovan Popovich, Vincenzo Postiglione, Giovanni Pressenda, Sabino Preti, Peter Prier, John Pringle, Peter Psarianos, Christopher Pu, Edson Puozzo, Vincent Purcell, Zheng Quan, Desiderio Quercetani, Pascal Quinson, Ralph Rabin, Guy Rabut, Ernesto Ramirez, Waltraud Ramirez, Hans Peter Rast, Mieczyslaw Rataj, Robert Ray, Phillipe Raynaud, David Reeve, Roberto Regazzi, Joseph Regh, Randell Reid, Knute Reindahl, E. Reade Rettig, Fritz Reuter, Aldor Reuterfors, Manuel Reyes, Erika Ricciardi, Robert Richards, Charles Richstone, Henry Riedstra, Robert Rife, Martin Rijsemus, David Rivinus, Antonio Rizzo, Clifford Roberts, Bruce M. Robertson, Patrick Robin, Arthur Robinson, Giovanni Battista Rogeri, Pietro Rogeri, William Rohde, Angelica Rosales, Marc Rosenstiel, Heinrich Roth, Thomas Roth, Nick Roubas, Eric Roy, David Rubio, Matteo Rufini, Charles Rufino, Vincenzo Ruggieri, Fridolin Rusch, Edgar Russ, Mark Russell, Benjamin Ruth, Ilya Rutman,
S-Z: Frank Saam, Jules Saint-Michel, Marco Salerno, Arthur Samuels, Peter Sargent, William Satterthwaite, Sylvie Sauret, Nicolaus Sawicki, Robert Schar, Otto Schenk, Martin Schleske, David Schlub, John Schmidt, Stan Schmidt, Reinhold Schnabl, Johann Scholtz, Raymond Schryer, Paul Schuback, Pavel Schudtz, Edouard Schuster, Josef Schuster, Erich Schweiger, Kelvin Scott, William R. Scott, Robert Scoville, David Segal, Geoffrey Seitz, Peter Seman, Tibor Semmelweis, Jeremia Senner, Sanctus Seraphin, Diego Serrano, Jean Seyral, Pietro Sgarabotto, Carla Shapreau, Peter Shaw, Michael Sheibley, Margaret Shipman, Malcolm Sidall, Anton Sie, Sal Signorelli, Bernard Simond, John Sipe, Auro Sissa, Daniel Sivalia, Scott Sleider, Nathan Slobodkin, Jaroslav Skora, Charles Smith, Kevin Smith, Paul Smith, Wieslaw Sokolowski, Sandro Soldi, Davide Sora, Robert Spear, Frantisek Spidlen, Jacob Stainer, Anders Stake, Serge Stam, Matt Stamell, Wayne Stanton, Tim Stauffer, Rodger Stearns, Randy Steenburgen, Bernhard Steenman, Bruno Stefanini, Annelies Steinhauer, Jens Stenz, Dale Stevens, Robert Stoltenberg, David Stone, Walter Stopka, George Stoppani, Lorenzo Storioni, Bruce Stough, Antonio Stradivari, Omobono Stradivari, Adrian Studer, Kenneth Sullivan, George Surasky, Peter Svatek, Boris Sverdlik, Noel Sweetman, Tibor Szemmelveiss, Maurizio Tadioli, Hashimoto Taketoshi, Amador Tamayo, Yves Tanguy, Francesco Tarantino, Pascal Tassin, Peter Temesvari, Peter Teufelsdorfer, Graeme Thatcher, Barbara Theobald, Fred Thompson, Kaspar Tieffenbrucker, Kim Tipper, Ted Toenniges, Arthur Toman, Carlo Tononi, Alessandro Tossani, Samuel Travers, Pierre Triffaux, Guido Trotta, Alexander Tulchinsky, Yoshio Ueda, Christian Urbita, Alessandro Urso, Ernesto Vaia, Tapio Vainisto, David Van Zandt, Etienne Vatelot, Marcel Vatelot, Karel Vavra, Victor Velazquez, Gary Vessel, Carlo Vettori, Paolo Vettori, Laura Vigato, Gary Visocki, Carlos Vitanza, Alessandro Voltini, Charles Vortriede, Duane Voskuil, Jean Vuillaume, John Waddle, Sandra Wagstaff, H. S. Wake, Marilyn Wallin, Michael Wallmo, David Waltersdorff, Wilbur Wamsley, Alan Ward, Peter Waters, Robert Weddle, Amnon Weinstein, Michael Weisshaar, John Welch, William West, Joseph Wetzel, Rebecca Wetzel, Christopher White, Robert White, Kurt Widenhouse, Isabelle Wilbaux, David Wiebe, Gwyneth Wilbur, Tom Wilder, Lawrence Wilke, Kevin Williams, James Wimmer, Jerrold Witkowski, Mark Womack, Philip Wolan, Andreas Woywod, Anthony Wrona, Xiao Wu, Peter Yang, Roderick Yip, John Young, Abel Ystilart, Alexander Yurovitsky, Michael Zack, Giacomo Zanoli, Torbjorn Zethelius, Ivan Zgradic, Robert Zuger, Rolf Zurbuchen, Sam Zygmuntowicz.
This list, as I said, is purely arbitrary. If you wish to have one of your friends (or yourself) included, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org