Our exhibition of fine contemporary violin and bow making displays instruments and bows from some of the leading makers working in the field today. The exhibition is comprised of makers from both Ireland and abroad and presents a rare opportunity to try the instruments and bows of makers whose work is recognized and appreciated internationally.
The makers will be present, some will be working at their benches, and all will be available to meet and to discuss their work.
An instrument and bow maintenance and repair service was available for the duration of the festival.
This year makers Michiel de Hoog and Conor Russell will each be giving a talk during the festival:
Tuesday 4th July 15.10 Old Cinema
How The Violin Is Made by Michiel de Hoog
Wednesday 6th July 15.10 Old Cinema
A History Of Violin Making In Ireland by Conor Russell
Victor Bernard [bow maker]
Victor Bernard was born in 1985 in Compiegne, near Paris. He studied at the Newark School of Violin Making in England, he graduated in 2008. Passionate about bow making, he worked five years in Brussels next to Pierre Guillaume learning bow making, restoration and expertise. He furthered his work experience in the workshops of renowned bowmakers. In 2014, he joined the Atelier Flagey in Brussels and became an active member of Ekho, an association created for the promotion of contemporary violin and bow making. In 2014, his work was recognized by the Marcel Vatelot Foundation and he received a grant to prepare international competitions during which he received several awards. www.victorbernard.fr
Doriane Bodart [bow maker]
Born into a family of artists in 1972, Doriane Bodart is the granddaughter of the great sculptor Marcel Bodart, and her parents were both violin makers (luthiers). She learned her craft from world-renowned master bow-makers, acquiring during her years of apprenticeship the century-old techniques in the tradition of French bow-making. She has worked together with great masters such as Stephane Thomachot, Noel Burke, Charles Espey, Pierre Guillaume. She chooses with great care the best Pernambuco wood known for its excellence for bows. The name of Bodart is now renowned for its reliability, and high-quality workmanship. Doriane works from her beautiful Parisian studio in the famous Montparnasse district.
Youenn Bothorel [violin maker]
His sensitivity to music and its instruments led him at 19 years old to Newark School of Violin Making, England, from which he graduated in 2001.
After experiencing life and working in different workshops across the world, he established himself in Dublin in 2008 and devotes his time to the creation of violins, violas and cellos.
While Youenn draws his inspiration primarily from the great masters of classical violin making, he is also stimulated by the evolution in contemporary making. He enjoys sharing knowledge with fellow violin makers and has participated in various workshops and events. He is committed to understanding the unique requirements of individual musicians and is keen to meet their expectations.
Noel Burke [bow maker]
Noel Burke began his bow making career in 1989 as apprentice to Charles Espey in Seattle and a year later, to Stephane Thomachot in Paris where he lived and worked for five years.
His work has received numerous awards at international competitions including six gold medals at two competitions of the Violin Society of America in 1994 and 1996 and the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris for violin bow in 1999. He now serves as jury member at international competitions. Clients include Frans Helmerson, Alina Ibragimova, Leonidas Kavakos, Anthony Marwood and Lawrence Power. He lives and works in Carlow.
Mick (Michiel) De Hoog [violin maker]
Michiel de Hoog has been making violins for over forty years.
Born in Holland into an artistic family, he started violin lessons at age nine in the Muziekschool in Utrecht and went on to play in various youth orchestras. After school he moved to London to train as a violinmaker and worked for some years in violin restoration and adjustment. It allowed him to study the beautiful violins of the past and learn the trade the old English way. He then set up his own workshop near Paris, immersing himself in that great French tradition of violin and bow making and spending fifteen years making instruments with both modern and baroque set-up. In 1996 he moved to Ireland, creating a workshop in the old sugarmill in Dublin Docklands (The Tower). There he has continued to work with a great variety of fine musicians in the classical and traditional music scene.
Niall Flemming [bow maker]
Born in Australia in 1987 into an Irish family, Niall started to be interested in making violins at the age of 16. He then went on to complete the violin-making course in Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK in 2010. Whilst in his final year, Niall worked part time in Stringers violin shop in London and it was here that he started working on bows. After finishing at Newark, Niall joined Maison Bernard in Brussels serving an apprenticeship with Pierre Guillaume. Recently he worked with renowned maker Noel Burke in Carlow and has opened a workshop in Kilkenny city, Ireland. He specializes in new making in the French style and the repair and restoration of bows for the quartet.
Bertrand Galen [violin maker]
Bertrand Galen learnt his craft at the French national school of violin making in Mirecourt, the Ecole Nationale de Lutherie, which he entered at the age of fifteen. He worked as assistant to Michel Gladieux in Paris for five years before coming to Ireland in 1999, opening his Cork City workshop in 2000. Bertrand was co-commissioned by CIT Cork School of Music to create two quartets of string instruments which are each year played by the school’s top musicians. His instruments are played in numerous countries and by musicians such as Rebecca Jones, Aiveen Gallagher, David Kenny and Sinéad O’Halloran. In addition to making and repairing instruments, Bertrand is an active cellist.
Francis Kuttner [violin maker]
Francis Kuttner was born in Washington D.C. to German Jewish refugees who fled Berlin in the '30s via Rome and Lisbon. Fast forward to 1974-78 and he was in Cremona study violinmaking with Francesco Bissolotti, an influential proponent of traditional Cremonese violinmaking. A winner of numerous Gold and Silver medals in international competitions in New York, Paris, Manchester, Cremona and Ottawa, he subsequently serves as a jury member at these same competitions. Francis Kuttner splits his time between workshops in San Francisco and Cremona. A quartet of his instruments can be heard on the complete set of Beethoven quartets as well as the Bartok/Kodaly recordings by the Alexander Quartet on the Foghorn label. www.kuttnerviolins.com
Jeremie Legrand [violin maker]
Jérémie studied at the National School of Mirecourt, France. He has been a master violin maker in Cork (Ireland) since 1995. He is now based in his workshop in France to answer his demand on the continent. In 2010 he was commissioned to make violins for the CSM collection. His violins and cellos are played by musicians internationally and in major orchestras like the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic.
Robert Morrow [bow maker]
Robert Morrow apprenticed with Charles Espey from 2001-2002. He currently operates his own bow shop in Port Townsend, Washington.
His bows have received five gold medals and four certificates of merit from The Violin Society of America. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious honor of Hors Concours by the V.S.A. In 2016 Robert was asked to judge in two international bow making competitions, The Violin Society of America and Darling Publications first international competition.
Robert Morrow’s work has been documented in The Smithsonian, National Geographic, The Strad, and Strings magazines, and most recently in “The Great Contemporary Bowmakers from the 21st Century, Vol II”, Darling publications.
His bows are played by the dedicated the world over!
Rudiger Pfau [Bow Maker]
Rudiger Pfau makes bows in modern, classical and baroque styles. He considers that neither classical nor baroque bows evolved into the modern bow in any transitional way but that each type meets the requirements in sound and playing qualities for the music of its period. He has made classical bows for entire orchestras in Germany and for the Leipzig String Quartet. He studied bow making in Markneukirchen and Brussels before setting up his workshop in Plauen in 1998.
Robert Pierce [bow maker]
For more than thirty years Robert Pierce has been making bows focused on playing quality where choice of wood is the essential factor for richness of sound, timbres, colours and overtones. His bows are used on four continents and on some of the world’s most famous instruments.Robert Pierce is Irish and was a cellist in his native National Symphony Orchestra for twelve years. He is a member of the Groupe des Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art de France.
Conor Russell [violin maker]
Dublin-born Conor Russell studied violin making at Cork School of Music from 1985 to 1988 and has won various national awards for his work. Later, he worked in Dublin, and then with J & A Beare (London), studying restoration. From 1991 to 1997 he shared a workshop with William Hofmann in Wicklow, restoring instruments. He now works from his Kilbride home. He is a member of the Entente Internationale des Maitre Luthier et Archetiers d’Art.
Haiko Seifert – violin maker
My first contact with violin making took place in Markneukirchen when I was 16. Since them I am addicted to this craft. After an apprenticeship and my journeyman years in different workshops where I focused on new making and copying classical instruments, I opened my own workshop in Plauen, together with bow maker Rüdiger Pfau in1998. International awards for my work include 3 gold medals for viola, cello and quartet at VSA and a first prize for violin in Mittenwald. Over the years I enjoy the freedom of expression of this craft more and more when I create new instruments in collaboration with musicians.
Josephine Thomachot [Bow Maker]
After an academic career in geology Josephine Thomachot began training as a bow maker with her father Stephane Thomachot in 2013. Stephane taught her the French method of bow making just as he had learned it from his teacher Bernard Ouchard in the bow making school of Mirecourt.
To further her knowledge of baroque bows Josephine secured a position in the workshop of bow maker David Hawthorne in Boston, Mass., USA and followed this with a period spent working in l’Atelier d’Arthur with Arthur Dubroca et Alexandre Aumont in Paris. Since 2015 Josephine has had several opportunities to develop her skills in the workshop of both Noel Burke in Ireland and Emmanuel Carlier in Paris. In September 2015 Josephine made a bow that was included in «Great Bow Makers of the 21st Century», the exhibition of contemporary ivory mounted bows organized by Andy Lim in Cremona, Italy. In 2016 Josephine participated at the Violin Society of America and won a certificate of merit for workmanship for a viola bow. She presently lives and works in Paris where she specialized in making modern bows.
Stéphane Thomachot [bow maker]
Stephane Thomachot studied bow making in Mirecourt. In 1981 he opened his own workshop in Paris where he primarily did repairs. After winning a gold medal for viola bow at the 1982 VSA Competition, he gradually turned his attention from repairs to bow making. He received a Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1989 and the honorary title of Maître d’Art from the French Minister of Culture in 1994. He is also the former president of IPCI-Comurnat.