Violin and Bow Making 2018


Featuring Violin makers: Youenn Bothorel, Michiel de Hoog, Bertrand Galen (Ireland), Francis Kuttner (USA/Italy), Jérémie Legrand, Patrick Robin (France) and Conor Russell (Ireland)

Bow makers:  Florian Bailly (France / UK), Doriane Bodart (France), Noel Burke, Niall Flemming (Ireland), Rüdiger Pfau (Germany), Robert Pierce (Ireland), Joséphine Thomachot (France)

Our exhibition of fine contemporary violin and bow making displays instruments and bows from some of the leading makers working in the field today. The exhibition is comprised of makers from both Ireland and abroad and presents a rare opportunity to try the instruments and bows of makers whose work is recognised and appreciated internationally. Most of the instrumenst and bows are available for sale. So come early!

The makers will be present, some will be working at their benches, and all will be available to meet and to discuss their work. 

During the exhibition, the violin makers will work together to make a new violin. Their workshop will be in the old Cinema, and they invite visitors to come throughout the week, and enjoy watching the instrument take shape from the raw wood to the finished article, ready for varnishing.

An instrument and bow maintenance and repair service will also be available.

This year internationally renowned makers Robert Pierce and Patrick Robinwill each be giving a talk during the festival.

Monday 2 July  15.15  Old Cinema
A Question of Sonority - a talk about the challenges and myths in violin and bow making by bow maker Robert Pierce

Thursday 5th July  15.15  Old Cinema
Wood and tools, hands and sound - a violin maker’s agenda by violin maker Patrick Robin


Florian Bailly – bow maker 
Originally from Paris, Florian Bailly studied at the Newark Violin Making School from which he graduated in 2012. Interested in bows, Florian then spent two years learning bow making in the French tradition with the master Noel Burke in Ireland. Coming back to France after his training, he improved his skills in the Breton countryside before returning to the UK in 2016 working as a freelance bow maker and Restorer based in London. He now shares his time making new bows in the Ruschil & Bailly workshop and provide his services as a restorer at Stringers of London and Edinburgh.

Doriane Bodart – bow maker 
Born into a family of artists in 1972, Doriane Bodart is the granddaughter of the great sculptor Marcel Bodart and her parents were both violin makers. Doriane learned her craft from world-renowned master bow-makers acquiring during her years of apprenticeship the century-old techniques used in the tradition of French bow-making. She has worked together with great masters such as Stephane Thomachot, Noel Burke, Charles Espey, Pierre Guillaume. She attended  master classes at Oberlin (Ohio) and has participated in numerous exhibitions - in 2014 in the "Great Hall of the Villette" and for the past 3 years at the  Bellevilloise exhibition in Paris, a grouping which brings together the greatest contemporary bow-makers. In competition in 2016, she participated at “Viola’s” at the CRN Paris and in the contemporary bow competition in Amsterdam in April.  She has contributed to diverse projects, for example, at the behest of Andy Lim, for the manufacture of a viola bow mounted with silver and ivory, a special project for Darling publications.
Doriane chooses with great care the best Pernambuco wood known for its excellence for bows. The name of Bodart is now renowned for its reliability and high-quality workmanship.  Doriane works from her beautiful Parisian studio in the famous Montparnasse district.  Many gifted musicians use her bows which are widely distributed abroad, in Vienna, the United States and Japan. She is also connected to great soloists.

Noel Burke – bow maker 
Noel Burke began his bow making career in 1989 as apprentice to Charles Espey in Seattle, Washington, USA and a year later, to Stephane Thomachot in Paris where he lived and worked for five years.
His work has received numerous awards at international competitions including Gold Medals for violin, viola and cello bows at two competitions of the Violin Society of America in 1994 and 1996, the Gold Medal for cello bow at the RNCM Strad Cello Festival in Manchester, England in 1998 and the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris for violin bow in 1999. He now serves as jury member at international bow making competitions. Clients include Frans Helmerson, Alina Ibragimova, Leonidas Kavakos, Anthony Marwood and Lawrence Power. He lives and works in Carlow.

Niall Flemming – bow maker 
Born in Australia in 1987 into an Irish family, Niall started to be interested in making violins at the age of 16. He then went on to complete the violin-making course in Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK in 2010. Whilst in his final year, Niall worked part time in Stringers violin shop in London and it was here that he started working on bows. After finishing at Newark, Niall joined Maison Bernard in Brussels serving an apprenticeship with Pierre Guillaume. Recently he worked with renowned maker Noel Burke in Carlow and has o pened a workshop in Kilkenny city, Ireland. He specializes in new making in the French style and the repair and restoration of bows for the quartet.

Rudiger Pfau – bow maker 
I love to make modern, classical and baroque bows and some musicians love my bows.
I have always been fascinated by the great influence a bow is capable of exerting on the sound of an instruments. The choice of materials for me is as important as the construction. To share a workbench in Bantry with some of the greatest contemporary bow makers will be a nice experience and especially a big pleasure.

Robert Pierce - bow maker 
For more than 30 years Robert Pierce has been making bows focused on playing quality where choice of wood is the essential factor for richness of sound, timbres, colours and overtones. His bows are used on four continents and on some of the world's most famous instruments. Robert Pierce is Irish and was a cellist in his native National Symphony Orchestra for 12 years. He is a member of the Groupe des Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art de France.

Joséphine Thomachot – bow maker 
After an academic career in geology Josephine Thomachot began training as a bow maker with her father Stephane Thomachot in 2013. Stephane taught her the French method of bow making just as he had learned it from his teacher Bernard Ouchard in the bow making school of Mirecourt.
To further her knowledge of baroque bows Josephine secured a position in the workshop of bow maker David Hawthorne in Boston, Mass., USA and followed this with a period spent working in l’Atelier d’Arthur with Arthur Dubroca et Alexandre Aumont  in Paris.
Since 2015 Josephine has had several opportunities to develop her skills in the workshop of both Noel Burke in Ireland and Emmanuel Carlier in Paris.
In September 2015 Josephine made a bow that was included in «Great Bow Makers of the 21st Century», the exhibition of contemporary ivory mounted bows organized by Andy Lim in Cremona, Italy. Her bow was also photographed and included in Andy Lim’s groundbreaking book of actual size photographs of bows published in 2015.
In 2016 Josephine participated at the Violin Society of America and won a certificate of merit for workmanship for a viola bow.
She presently lives and works in Paris where she specialized in making modern bows.


Youenn Bothorel – violin maker 
His sensitivity to music and its instruments led him at 19 years old to Newark School of Violin Making, England, from which he graduated in 2001.
After experiencing life and working in different workshops across the world, he established himself in Dublin in 2008 and devotes his time to the creation of violins, violas and cellos.
While Youenn draws his inspiration primarily from the great masters of classical violin making, he is also stimulated by the evolution in contemporary making. He enjoys sharing knowledge with fellow violin makers and has participated in various workshops and events.
He is committed to understanding the unique requirements of individual musicians and is keen to meet their expectations.

Michiel (Mick) de Hoog – violin maker 
Michiel de Hoog has been making violins for over forty years.
Born in Holland into an artistic family, he started violin lessons at age nine in the Muziekschool in Utrecht and went on to play in various youth orchestras. After school he moved to London to train as a violinmaker and worked for some years in violin restoration and adjustment. It allowed him to study the beautiful violins of the past and learn the trade the old English way.
He then set up his own workshop near Paris, immersing himself in that great French tradition of violin and bow making and spending fifteen years making instruments with both modern and baroque set-up.
In 1996 he moved to Ireland, creating a workshop in the old sugarmill in Dublin Docklands (The Tower). There he has continued to work with a great variety of fine musicians in the classical and traditional music scene. 

Bertrand Galen – violin maker 
Bertrand Galen learnt his craft at the French national school of violin making in Mirecourt, the Ecole Nationale de Lutherie, which he entered at the age of fifteen. He worked as assistant to Michel Gladieux in Paris for five years before coming to Ireland in 1999, opening his Cork City workshop in 2000.
Bertrand was co-commissioned by CIT Cork School of Music to create two quartets of string instruments which are each year played by the school’s top musicians. His instruments are played in numerous countries and by musicians such as Rebecca Jones, Aiveen Gallagher, David Kenny and Sinéad O’Halloran. In addition to making and repairing instruments, Bertrand is an active cellist.

Francis Kuttner – violin maker 
Francis Kuttner was born in Washington D.C. to German Jewish refugees who fled Berlin in the '30s via Rome and Lisbon.
Fast forward to 1974-78 and he was in Cremona study violinmaking with Francesco Bissolotti, an influential proponent of traditional Cremonese violinmaking.
A winner of numerous Gold and Silver medals in international competitions in New York, Paris, Manchester, Cremona and Ottawa, he subsequently serves as a jury member at these same competitions.
Francis Kuttner splits his time between workshops in San Francisco and Cremona. A quartet of his instruments can be heard on the complete set of Beethoven quartets as well as the Bartok/Kodaly recordings
by the Alexander Quartet on the Foghorn label.

Jérémie Legrand – violin maker 
Jérémie Legrand began studying violin making in Mirecourt aged 15 . He had been a master violin maker in Cork (Ireland) from 1995 to 2013 and is now set up in northern France, specializing in the making of fine modern instruments in the classical Italian tradition. His instruments are played in leading orchestras all around the world. He is also a keen violinist and still performs.

Patrick Robin – violin maker 
Patrick Robin, born in a wine growers family of the Loire Valley is established as a violin maker in Angers in France since 1988. He has received international awards including two Gold Medals for violin and cello in Paris, in 1991, the Gold Medal for a viola in Mittenwald, in 1989, and the Gold Medal for a cello in Manchester, in 1994. Since, he has served on the juries of a number of international violin-making competitions.
He devotes himself to the making of violins, violas and cellos. He has made instruments for musicians such as Thomas Zehetmair, Renaud Capuçon, Bernard Greenhouse, Raphael and Elisabeth Wallfisch, Pauline Sachse, to only name a few.
The in-depth studies of some of the finest Italian instruments, shared with his violin maker colleagues, and the exchanges he has with musicians, are constant inspirations for his work.
Having for many years copied classical instruments he now interprets the principles and enjoys the freedom of style of this ancient art.

In November 2000, Catherine Tasca, French Minister of Culture, has promoted Patrick Robin “Maître d’art”. 

Conor Russell - violin maker 
Dublin-born Conor Russell studied violin making at Cork School of Music from 1985 to 1988 and has won various national awards for his work. Later, he worked in Dublin, and then with J & A Beare (London), studying restoration. From 1991 to 1997 he shared a workshop with William Hofmann in Wicklow, restoring instruments. He now works from his Kilbride home. He is a member of the Entente Internationale des Maitre Luthier et Archetiers d’Art.