Violins

Dr. Susanne Schnitzer shares her memories growing up in the Kirschnek family. Grandfather Franz Krischnek, founder of Kirschnek String Instruments, was a businessman with worldwide connections (many of them to the United States) while his daughter Ilse Fischer managed the rest. She took the...
Roland Schuster is a bridge maker in the town of Bubenreuth, which has been the center of production for string instruments in Germany since 1945. He started his craft in the workshop of Ernst Heinrich Roth and later worked for Josef Teller specializing in bridges. When violin makers asked him to...
Ekhard Seidl’s steady hand and concentration, so evident when watching him, can be traced back to his grandfather and the tradition of violin making in the town of Markneukirchen Germany. In a small shop on the second floor of his home, Ekhard works on the craft that has defined his family’s role...
Jack Shallat was a professional violin player who landed several gigs with traveling bands in the 1930s and 40s.  During that time he met Buddy Rogers and both men opened separate music stores in and around Cincinnati in the early 1950s.  In 1967 they decided to merge their businesses and work...
Paula Simmons wanted to create a shop where good quality instruments could be accessible to all those who came in the store.  As a teacher, Paula was very interested in providing lessons for students of all ages.  She tied both needs together when she and her partner, Kevin Smith,opened The Violin...
Al Simpkins spent his career selling musical products. One of his former dealers was convinced Al could sell a block of ice to residents of the North Pole. His knowledge of the products and his attention to customer service were key elements in his success. He became an important part of his...
Kevin Smith opened the Violin Shop in San Diego after extensive training as a violin luthier and appraiser. His knowledge of the craftsmanship of violin making was on display during his NAMM interview as he assisted the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music’s 2008 violin display. Kevin gave...
Buddy Spicher started playing the fiddle for $10 a night at local square dances, but also played some rhythm guitar to accompany his brother at performances. During his NAMM Oral History interview, Buddy tells of how he acquired his first violin, by trading his brother a Coca Cola for his brother’s...
Ned Steinberger is known around the world for his innovative instrument designs. His guitars and basses created without the traditional headstock gained wide popularity in the 1980s rock era and have come to be known simply as Steinbergers. When he formed NS Designs in 1990, Ned focused on electric...
Norbert Stumpf was elected the mayor of Bubenreuth in 2014 and actively promotes the legacy of his town as an important center for stringed instrument production. At the end of World War II, hundreds of families involved in the production of stringed instruments settled in Bubenreuth. Even though...

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