Bernard Ouchard cello bow for Vidoudez, Geneva circa 1950
Among the most important and influential bow makers of the 20th century, Bernard Ouchard (1925-1979) was born in Mirecourt, France into the prominent Ouchard family's third generation of outstanding bow makers. He was the the grandson of Émile François ("Ouchard père," 1872-1951) and the son of Émile Auguste ("Ouchard fils," 1900-1969). Other bow makers in his family include his younger brother, Jean Claude, who studied with Louis Bazin, and his uncle, the esteemed maker François Lotte (1889-1970).
Bernard Ouchard apprenticed in Mirecourt under his father, with whom he moved to Paris in 1941 to establish a new workshop. After serving in the military during World War II, he returned to Paris, taking over the Ouchard business after his father departed for the United States to work in New York and Chicago. In 1949, Bernard moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he worked for Vidoudez until 1971, when he was appointed a professor at the newly-formed École Nationale de Lutherie in Mirecourt. It was here where he made important contributions to the revival of classical French bow making in the tradition of Dominique Peccatte and François Xavier Tourte. Distinguished students of Bernard Ouchard include Benoît Rolland, Jean-François Raffin, and Stéphane Thomachot.
Sold with a certificate of authenticity from Paul Childs.