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Michael Stuerzenhofecker

Luthier working in Cully, Switzerland.

I began my apprenticeship as a violinmaker at the age of 19 in Mittenwald, a place where tradition and technical skills of craftsmanship are revered, and your master addresses you as “artist” whenever your efforts do not meet expectations. I then spent two years in Hieronymus Köstler’s workshop, which gave me insight into repair and restoration and allowed me the opportunity to make my first copies of Italian instruments. From Stuttgart my interest in bows led me to Cremona, where I obtained a degree in the bowmaking classes of Emilio Slaviero and Giovanni Lucchi. After some seven years in Tuscany I settled in Cully, overlooking Lake Geneva. For the last 20 years I have dedicated myself to instrument making. Most of the violins, violas and cellos that are made in my workshop can be regarded as copies of classical Italian models. I use a broad approach but nevertheless pursue a clear purpose: to give each instrument a distinct character, with sound and aesthetics that evoke the masterpieces which inspired them. Similar to chess, traditional violinmaking is governed by a few basic rules and elements which, when combined, give rise to endless possibilities. The resulting variety presents an obvious challenge for violinmakers. This has been true for hundreds of years and it is clearly evident in the work of Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. The look of his instruments is like handwriting - never printing - and so enhances the impression of variations over an underlying theme, intriguing and fascinating, always human, never technocratic. This appeals very much to me and nourishes my own work: the daily prayer at the bench goes to del Gesù.

Contact Information

Address: Route de Vevey 11
Telephone: 0041 79 373 5529
Email: lauter.in.cully@bluewin.ch
Website: http://www.stuerzenhofecker.ch