I come from a family of enthusiastic amateur musicians. My father played the flute; my mother the piano. One of my uncles was an avid player of string quartets, another conducted a choral group and played the harpsichord and the viola da gamba. As a teenager I had the opportunity to hear many of the world’s top-ranking performers in symphony and chamber concerts, as there was an annual music festival in my home town. That is where I started to appreciate the beauty of sound and the richness of tonal possibilities in the instruments of the violin family.
After graduating from the violin making school in Mittenwald I came to New York City where I was employed in the workshop of Jacques Francais Rare Violins, where I did repairs and restorations under the tutelage of Rene Morel. While there I had the opportunity to see and study many precious old instruments both from the outside and the inside while they were being worked on. Later I also worked with Carlos Arcieri. These were valuable experiences which profoundly affected my approach to the making of new instruments. Another eye-opening experience was attending workshop seminars in Riva del Garda, Italy, where I learned the theories and methods of noted violin maker J. v. Stietencron, one of the finest contemporary Luthiers.