Horst L. Kloss, Mittenwald-trained Master Violin Maker, has worked with fine stringed instruments and bows for over four decades. In 1970, he established Kloss Violins, the oldest professional violin shop in New England, where he specializes in violin making (using the golden proportions to design instruments. He also specializes in acoustic adjustment, custom instrument set-up, and the repair, restoration, and appraisal of historic instruments and bows. His formal training was at the State Bavarian School of Violin Making in Germany, where he earned his Journeyman’s diploma in 1964 and his Master’s Degree in 1972. He also had the privilege of training under the tutelage of Bruno Paulus from 1964 until 1965 while he was in Germany, and then under the guidance of Carl Becker (Sr. and Jr.) when he came to the U.S. to work at William Lewis & Sons in Chicago. He is one of fewer than 100 violin makers whose training and skills qualify him for full membership status in the Amer. Fed. of Violin and Bow Makers. And he was selected from a handful of Federation members to take part in an intensive training at the Smithsonian on varnish restoration and conservation. He has cared for collections of note, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ historic stringed instruments. Mr. Kloss has taught violin repair and restoration and violin building at UNH’s Violin Institute since 1996.
Paul Wiessmeyer graduated from the world-renowned violinmaking school in Mittenwald, Germany in 1981. Subsequently he worked at the shops of Hans Weisshaar and Robert Cauer in Los Angeles before opening his own shop in LA in 1986. Since 1991 he has owned and operated Paul Wiessmeyer Violins in Boston, Massachusetts, a full-service shop specializing in repair, service, sound adjustments, and sales of violins, violas, and celli. He has won several gold medals for his instruments at the H. Wienawski competition and the violin making competition of the Violin Society of America. His clients include symphony players, professional musicians, conservatory students, and schools. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin & Bowmakers and the Violin Society of America.
Francis Morris is a 1974 graduate of the world-renowned violinmaking school in Mittenwald, Germany. Subsequently he worked with Fritz Baumgartner in Basel, Switzerland, and at the shops of Hans Weisshaar and Robert Cauer in Los Angeles. Since opening his own shop in 1984, he has provided his customers with high quality instrument restoration, fine sound adjustments, and the sale and service of instruments and bows. He won an award for tone at the prestigious Violin Society of America’s 2002 competition. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America. He currently lives and has a shop in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, nestled in the Berkshires near the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival.
Photo by Gregory Cherin
Lynn Armour Hannings, has been teaching at the Violin Craftsmanship Institute since 1986. She is a former teaching assistant of William Salchow. She received her degree of Journeyman from the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers in 1984 and was elected to membership in 1985. In 1989, Ms. Hannings was granted both a Fulbright Scholarship and the Annette Kadé Fellowship for the Advanced Study of the French School of Bowmaking in Paris, France, with Bernard Millant, the world renowned authority of French Bow Making. In 2011, she received a Special Recognition Award for her bowmaking efforts from the International Society of Bassists. She is a member of the Entente Internationale des Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art. As a conservatory trained musician and performer who has studied musicians’ injuries, she has worked individually with musicians, for over 40 years, to meet their unique playing requirements. Ms. Hannings sells bows to professionals in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to bowmaking, she has extensive experience in the area of bow repair and restoration.
George Rubino has been on the forefront of American bow making for over 40 years. His bows, as well as bows made by his students, are used by many of the finest string players worldwide. George’s faithfulness to the French bowing making tradition and his quest for knowledge has helped him craft bows known for their fine aesthetic quality and ability to produce everything the music demands. George studied with William Salchow and served as his teaching assistant at the UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute for many years before being appointed as a bow making and bow repair instructor in 1988. Along with his work for the Institute, he lectures and teaches workshops on making and restoring bows, frogs, and buttons, as well as tool making and machine operations in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Andy Bennett has been a professional woodworker for over 30 years and currently maintains the string instruments for the Nantucket community music center. He is returning to the Institute for his seventh season.
Michael Brough began his studies in bow rehair, repair and making at the UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute under Lynn Armour Hannings and George Rubino. In addition to bows, Michael manages and performs with the Afro-Latin Polka band Crazy Voda, freelances as an electric and double bassist, and is a youth orchestra string coach based in Elmhedge Ontario.
Kevin Curry operates an independent shop emphasizing bow making, bow repair and restoration as well as instrument repair.
Michael Daddona is currently the Shop Foreman at Francis Morris Violins, where he divides his time between restoration work and the making of new instruments. Michael continues to practice and refine his training begun at UNH several years ago under the expert tutelage of both Francis Morris and Paul Wiessmeyer. He also has had the privilege to study with Hans J. Nebel, one time foreman of the world class Wurlitzer shop of NYC, and disciple of Maestro Simone Fernando Sacconi; the godfather of modern restoration technique. He lives happily in Salisbury, Connecticut with his wife Rebecca, their two dogs, a cat and fifty horses.
Albert Genduso attended the UNH Violin Institute beginning in 2000 for a period of 10 years and studied violin repair under Horst Kloss. His woodworking skills from his full-time profession at a marina are put to use in his violin repair shop in the evenings. Albertis Violins is located in Wellington, Florida.
Amanda Kapousouz is a professional fiddler and violinist from Athens, Georgia. A former busker (street performer) in the NYC subways, she has since toured in the traditional Irish festival circuit, performed her original music (as Tin Cup Prophette), opening for Aimee Mann, Jeff Tweedy, and Robyn Hitchcock, and has appeared on the acclaimed NPR program, "Mountain Stage." Since having children, she has become interested in bow rehair, repair, and restoration and is in her fourth year studying with Lynn Hannings at UNH.
Randy Kellogg has many years' experience repairing and restoring violins and currently works at Welker Guitar Company building handcrafted archtop guitars. He has made his own planes and other tools such as scrapers, knives, and clamps.