- About Us
Roger Hargrave - Bremen, Germany
Roger Hargrave made harpsichords and spinets in the 1970s before studying violin making from the Newark School in England. Roger joined W. E. Hill & Sons of London, where he restored fine Italian instruments. He moved to Bremen, Germany in 1981 to manage Geigenbau Machold’s workshop. Although Roger’s reputation was built on creating instruments with exceptional tonal qualities, his restoration work on fine instruments has given him a singular insight into the secrets of their aesthetics. He established his own business focusing on detailed reproductions and modern instruments inspired by the Old Italian tradition. Roger has been recognized for many years as one of the world’s leading copyists and has won many awards, including a Gold Medal at the International Triennale in Cremona, Italy. He has been in high demand since the mid 1980s as a judge and lecturer at international violin competitions. Roger has contributed regularly to The Strad for over 25 years and was instigator of the “Strad Posters” series; he continues to be involved in their production. He has published a number of books and articles focusing on the history and working methods of the classical Italian violin makers. Roger is a member of Entante Internationale Des Maitres Luithiers Et Archetiers D’Art, British Violin Makers Association, Violin Society of America, and Verband Deutscher Geigen und Bogenbaumeister. His instruments are played by some of the world’s top professional players, including a number of concert masters and several world-renowned soloists.
René Zaal – Bemmel, Netherlands
As a passionate woodworker and amateur guitarist, René Zaal studied violin making at the Newark School of Violinmaking in England. After graduating from the school he worked for a short time with violin maker Loerakker in Haarlem, The Netherlands. There, he developed the necessary experience in repairs and restoration of stringed instruments. In 1983 Rene opened his own shop where he has focused exclusively on making, restoring and selling fine double-basses. Over the years René has contributed many articles he has written about historical double-basses which were published in The Double-Bassist Magazine between 1996 and 2005. His basses are being played in symphony orchestras throughout Europe.
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