Kloz family violin labeled "Aegidius Kloz", Mittenwald circa 1740
The Kloz family has a long, distinguished history of violin making that began in the mid-1600s. They helped establish the town of Mittenwald as a prominent location for studying and crafting violins, assisted in part by the abundance of high quality of locally-produced tone wood.
Mathias Kloz I (1656â1743) purportedly learned violin making in Italy in the 1670s under Jacob Stainer and NicolÃ² Amati, and he was known to be an accomplished lute maker. Although Mathias used the Cremonese construction technique for his violins and violas, he and his family mainly adhered to the Stainer model.
Together with his father and sons, Sebastian I and Georg, they were among the pioneers of the violin making industry in Mittenwald. Matthiasâ grandson, Aegidius, was widely regarded as one of the best luthiers of his time. The Kloz family furthered the trade by teaching numerous luthiers and helped to establish the Mittenwald school of violin making, which is still one of the leading training programs for luthiers today.
At present, the village serves as a pilgrimage destination to musicians and luthiers alike. Many well-known artisans such as Hans and Nancy Benning, Charles Beare, and Hans Weisshaar attended the Mittenwald school. It also has its own violin-making museum, which houses exhibits that celebrate its rich heritage, including the identification of authentic Mittenwald violins.