16 3/8" Stensland and Girard viola, Montréal 2018
Violin maker Jean-Benoît Stensland began his apprenticeship in Montréal under Antoine Robichaud. Awarded a Canada Art Council grant in 1980, Stensland went to Italy to study at the International School of Violin Making in Cremona.
Luthier Thérèse Girard obtained the same grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study at the International School of Violin Making in Cremona where she received her diploma in 1984 under Wanna Zembelli. While in Cremona, Thérèse also worked with master bow maker Giovanni Lucchi, and in addition to her work building and restoring string instruments, she is also skilled in the engraving of the fittings of fine bows.
The makers returned to Canada in 1984 to open a workshop in downtown Montréal. Their instruments can be found in the collection of the renowned Canadian Museum of Civilization in Québec as well as McGill University, and they are owned by professional players worldwide. Jean-Benoît and Thérèse maintained their shop in Montréal for over twenty years before relocating to the nearby city of Laval where they continue to serve the greater string-playing community.