Oral History -

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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.

Roland Wilfer is a fourth generation master luthier of the Emanuel Wilfer Double Bass Master Workshop. The workshop was founded 1905 and is specialized in crafting fine double basses for classical music, jazz, rockabilly and blues.

Rudolf Neudörfer, bow maker, grew up in the Czech Republic after 1945 and went to the Violin Making School in Luby, learning the craft of violin making from his teacher Bohumil Pechar and Hans Schmirler. He then worked at the Cremona cooperation for string instruments in town until he escaped socialist Czechia by posing as a ski coach at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck 1964.

Bastian Teller is a bridge maker in the 5th generation. Since he was a child, Bastian wanted to step into his father Manfred’s footsteps. After receiving his state certified diploma for mechanical engineering he started in the family’s workshop. Over many years he learned from his dad how to choose the right maple wood.

Hagen Weise was born in Dresden. He shares his experience of his apprenticeship at Musima in a state run production in East Germany before 1989. Per day, four-hundred classical guitars were built until the material allotted for the day was used up.

Norman Treitl’s grandfather was Otto Josef Klier, who established the Klira company to be the third largest music instrument production during Bubenreuth’s boom years. Norman Treitl can tell how Klira started out producing violins, soon thereafter adding guitars and electric guitars to their portfolio. When the grandfather died in 1961 his wife Rosa took over.

Jerry Fuller recorded a Rockabilly version of “Tennessee Waltz” which was a favorite of Elvis Presley and gave Jerry extra status among Elvis and Rockabilly fans alike. Yet it was his skills as a songwriter that resulted in big hit records for Ricky Nelson, Gary Puckett and Al Wilson!

Honoring Bob Wilson for his invaluable service in assisting the NAMM Resource Center in obtaining fantastic interview contributions to the NAMM Oral History Program. This video contains some of the highlight interviews that Bob helped us with gather.

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 make customized bridges, he realized that this was his calling.

Günter Lobe is a violin maker who is known for his faithful copies of Stradivari and other famous violins. He was an apprentice from 1977 to 1980 in the Ernst Heinrich Roth workshop in Bubenreuth, Germany and in 2008 Günter became master of the guild of string instrument makers with about 50 members in the area.