about me

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In the workshopMy passion for the violin was ignited at the age of eight, when I started playing the instrument as one of Annemarie Swanepoel's pupils in Pretoria. During 1990, while studying engineering, I toured Europe with a friend and a chance visit to Mittenwald inspired me to attempt building my first violin.

Since then, I have completed and restored many instruments of the violin family. I have also spent some time in shops in London and Paris. In 2008 I attended two courses in violin building and restoration in Italy. 

I draw my inspiration from the classical Cremonese violins of Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati. My most recent violins are inspired by the famous 1702 Antonio Stradivari violin, the 'Conte di Fontana', as played by David Oistrach. This violin is from Stradivari's so-called "golden period" and pays homage to the style of his teacher, Nicolo Amati. It seems as though at the height of his career, Stradivari wanted to recapture something from his formative years.

For my own instruments I only use wood from the best suppliers in Europe. The flamed maple comes from the forests of Eastern Europe and spruce from the slopes of the Val di Fiemme in northern Italy. During my recent trip to Italy I had the opportunity to visit the best tonewood suppliers and hand-picked a few stunning sets of wood.  I use traditional oil-based varnish, which is applied in extremely delicate coats, leaving a rich golden brown colour that enhances the beauty of the wood. Playing

Both my sons play on my instruments and as a member of a symphony orchestra, I like to play my finished instruments in real performance settings and adjust them until I am positively pleased with the playability and tone. Hopefully the result is an instrument that will meet the stringent standards set by the professional musician, yet is easy enough for an amateur to play.

Being a violin builder in Africa has its challenges — mainly related to a limited client base and exposure. On the pro side, a lot of my costs are in a weak currency so I can offer premium instruments at very competitive prices to customers paying with strong currencies.

If you want to know more, or just want to chat, feel free to contact me or you can use the forum by following the links on this page.

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Contact details

76 seventh street
linden, johannesburg
2195
south africa

tel: 0829035832
fax: (011) 2948849

e-mail: albertus@bekkerviolins.com