Mittenwald, Germany: The Center of German Violinmaking

Mittenwald, Germany: The Center of German Violinmaking
Mittenwald, Germany: The Center of German Violinmaking

It is a tiny city with a giant declare in effective stringed devices. The Klotz household began it a very long time in the past and at this time’s luthiers nonetheless study their craft there.

When vacationers journey to Germany, must-visit cities are Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. Except, that’s, the vacationers are musicians of the string selection, principally violinists, violists and cellists. If not musicians, then definitely pupil luthiers – violin makers – who’ve flocked to the small village of Mittenwald the place Klotz-crafted devices have been made for the reason that mid seventeenth century.

The Klotz household is traditionally on the coronary heart of the violinmaking historical past of Mittenwald municipality in Bavaria (Garmisch-Partenkirchen district). Starting with Matthias I (1656-1743), and later his sons Sebastian and Georg, the violinmaking craft that in the end turned the precept trade of Mittenwald was born. Matthias himself had studied to be a Geigenmacher (luthier or violin maker) in Padua, Italy within the 1670s as a pupil of Jacob Stainer, whose fame on the time was he made effective violins that rivaled the work of Stradivari. By 1856, the Bavarian authorities established a faculty of violinmaking in Mittenwald, the rolls of which listed greater than 25 artisans with the Klotz surname.

The Klotz household’s rise is due partially to their craftsmanship, but in addition to the place the city is located. Excessive within the Karwendel mountains, the maple and spruce timber there yielded superb tone wooden, the type suited to violins, cellos, and violas, simply because the violins from Stradivari got here from the Fiemme Valley within the Italian Alps.

Mittendwald was additionally on a commerce route (stretching from Augsburg to Bolzano and Venice), which allows distribution to different factors north and south. The city was the violin store to the world at that time. However to be clear, Matthias Klotz realized his craft from the northern Italians in Padua.

As we speak, Mittenwald stays a tiny city (inhabitants 7,410) with a giant fame due in no small half to the college established in 1858 and nonetheless instructing Geigenmachers at this time. The Staatliche Berufsfachschule für Musikinstrumentenbau Mittenwald, a fulltime vocational faculty, gives coaching in violin, plucked instrument, woodwind instrument, and brass instrument making.

The village additionally celebrates its heritage, particularly in violins, on the Geigenbaumuseum in Mittendwald. The museum contains displays that designate how violin specialists, sellers, and auctioneers distinguish the valued Mittenwald violins from cheaper, inferior knockoffs, as there have been many even 150 years in the past. These distinctions are present in building of the instrument, exact sizing, the flare of the scroll, the width of the f-holes, the tightness of the wooden grain, and the hue of the varnish.

Labels in Klotz and different Mittenwald violins have been unusual (however not unheard of), so these different particulars must be the distinguishing traits – in addition to the wealthy tonal high quality of that Karwendel mountain wooden.

As we speak, the violin-making faculty in Mittenwald attracts pupil luthiers from everywhere in the world. Many well-known fashionable masters of the craft acquired their training there together with Hans and Nancy Benning, Charles Beare and Hans Weisshaar.