If you want to talk about musical instrument construction in Europe, you have to start in the 16th century. Today, musical instruments are built everywhere in the world, deploying a wide range of techniques, resulting in massively different qualities and processing methods.
Germany enjoys a good reputation for musical instrument construction, and towns like Mittenwald and Bubenreuth are famous as the origin of quality instruments.
The work carried out by the violin making family Semmlinger is an art as well as a craft. A glance into the workshop is sufficient to realise this. Gouges, planes, files and woodcarving knives dominate the view on the workbenches where nowadays the sons Stefan and Christian also work. They are the heirs of a family tradition and will be passing on something that is much more than just a craft.
The result is top-notch craftsmanship valued by soloists everywhere. Even learners benefit from the unique beginners' instruments.
D I E W E R K S T A T T
L O T H A R S E M M L I N G E R
master violin maker
In 1967, Lothar Semmlinger started his violin maker apprenticeship at Höfner supervised by the master violin maker Albert Lang. The broad product range made at this company allowed him to experience all forms of bowed instrument manufacture.
He added to his knowledge and his technical skills during further years of employment both at the company where he did his initial apprenticeship and with the cello maker Roderich Paesold from Bubenreuth.
In 1975 he graduated as a master violin maker, following years of apprenticeship training and employment, at the chamber of trade and commerce in Nuremberg.
After having reached master standard he continued employment at Dilk in Möhrendorf for a further four years and then founded in 1980 his own company in Baiersdorf in close proximity to the famous centre of violin making in Bubenreuth and began constructing his own instruments.
Together with his two sons Stefan, who graduated as a master violin maker in 2004, and Christian, Lothar Semmlinger specialised in the manufacture of high quality instruments for the best soloists and concert musicians.
The instruments made by this master craftsman are distinguished by a deep acoustic colour and a large resonant body. His instruments resemble those made by the famous master craftsmen of old, both with regard to their sound and to their craftsmanship.
He has experienced major recognition by professionals working in this area on account of his artful recreation of "La Dama de Miwa" (a famous baroque cello made by Tomaso Castelli in 1623).
master violin maker
Stefan, born in 1981 in Nuremberg as son of the master violin maker Lothar Semmlinger, spend much of his childhood in his workshop of his father's company.
He started learning to play the cello at the Erlangen Music Institute at only 6 years old. After completing school he started a violin maker apprenticeship in his father's company and passed his trade test in 2001 in Bubenreuth. The large product range made at this company allowed him to experience all form of bowed instrument manufacture. It included everything from the violin to the double bass. He built on his knowledge and skill both in the company where is trained initially but also while working for a range of master craftsmen in Germany and other countries.
In 2004, Stefan Semmlinger enrolled in the master violin maker course by the chamber of trade and commerce and graduated as a master within the same year. Also in 2004 he was elected into the examination committee for the trade exam.