Exhibiting Bow Makers
Canadian bow maker Emmanuel Bégin began his training at the age of 14 with his father, Louis Bégin, in Montréal. He moved to Lille, France to work with Yannick Le Canu for several years, before returning to Montréal to open his own workshop.
He has won several recognitions from the Violin Society of America competitions, including a Gold Medal for a cello bow and Certificates of Merit for his violin and viola bows in 2012. In the 2014 VSA competition, he won Certificates of Merit for a viola bow and cello bow, a Gold Medal for a violin bow, as well as an additional Gold Medal for a bass bow made in collaboration with Eric Fournier.
American bow maker Eben Bodach-Turner crafts violin, viola, cello, and bass bows from his workshop in East Montpelier, Vermont.
Bodach-Turner began making bows in 2000 at the University of New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute under Lynn Armour Hannings. Through the Violin Society of America Bow Making workshops at Oberlin College, he has worked with some of the finest bow makers in the world today.
Bodach-Turner holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Recording from Ithaca College and performs regularly with several area orchestras and chamber groups on the double bass.
American bow maker Jon Crumrine studied bow making with numerous distinguished bow makers in the United States and Europe, including Jerry Pasewicz, Lynn Hannings, George Rubino, Markus Wörz, and Jean Grunberger. Also a professional violist, Jon holds a degree in viola performance from the University of Michigan.
Jon has held positions at some of the top violin shops in the U. S., and currently rehairs, repairs, and restores bows for Carriage House Violins, while maintaining his career as a bow maker.
Working in Boston’s music community since 1982, Thomas Dignan has studied and restored bows made by the most influential makers of the 19th and 20th centuries, and built his own award-winning models. He has received the highest honors for his bows with 17 awards from international competitions, most notably gold medals from the Violin Society of America in 1986 and 1992, as well as the International Society of Bassists in 2003. His bows are owned by professional string players worldwide.
French bow maker Eric Fournier discovered bow making at an early age. In 1998, he began making bows under the tutelage of Stéphane Müller in Toulouse. He has trained with many other prestigious makers, including Edwin Clément, Gilles Duhaut, Eric Grandchamp, Yannick Le Canu, and Georges Tepho, with whom he currently shares a workshop in Quimper, France. Fournier has won numerous awards for his bows, including two Gold Medals in the Violin Society of America competition of 2014 for a viola bow and a cello bow.
Swiss bow maker Pierre-Yves Fuchs is one of the most celebrated bow makers working today. He studied with Stéphane Thomachot, Gilles Duhaut, Pierre Guillaume, and Benoit Rolland, and established his own workshop in 1997.
His bows are in high demand among professional players worldwide and have won numerous awards at international competitions. In the Violin Society of America competition of 2004, Fuchs received the unprecedented honor of winning four Gold Medals: one for each of his violin, viola, cello, and bass bows, earning him the title of “Hors Concours.”
His bow making style is inspired by Peccatte, Maire, and Pajeot.
Éric Gagné worked for several years at Blaise Emmelin, first as an apprentice and then as an assistant. He then worked at Maison Bernard for Pierre Guillaume in Brussels, where he also trained in the art of bow restoration. He now has a workshop in Montreal where he makes his bows; he also works with the Wilder and Davis workshop where he restores and sells bows throughout Canada.
German bow maker and restorer Klaus Grünke is among the most esteemed bow authorities in the world today. Grünke began studying in 1975 with his father, Richard Grünke (b. 1930), who had studied in H. R. Pfretzschner’s famous Markneukirchen workshop from 1946 to 1948. After working with Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles from 1980 to 1982, Klaus returned to Bubenreuth to work with his father and brother, Thomas Grünke, also a bow maker. In 1996, the Grünkes founded the company Richard Grünke & Söhne, where they currently restore and build bows for clients all over the world.
Klaus Grünke developed his own bow models based on Dominique Peccatte, François Nicolas Voirin, and more recently, Nikolai Kittel. His bows have won the highest honors in international competitions, and he has served on the jury of numerous competitions. He is a member of Verband Deutscher Geigenbauer und Bogenmacher, Entente Internationale de Luthiers et Archetiers, and is a founding member of the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative (IPCI).
In the year 2000, Grünke collaborated with bow making colleagues C. Hans Karl Schmidt and Wolfgang Zunterer to write and publish the encyclopedia “German Bow Makers.” Grünke also co-authored the book “The Bows of Nikolai Kittel,” published in 2011 with colleagues Josef Gabriel and Yung Chin.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in double bass performance and music theory, Eric began studying bow making with Jon Crumrine in Atlanta and Reid Hudson in British Columbia. He furthered his studies with Jerry Pasewicz, Rodney Mohr, and David Orlin at the Oberlin College Bow Makers Workshops in Ohio, paying significant attention to advanced restoration.
At the Oberlin workshops, Eric learned traditional French techniques from Stéphane Thomachot and Eric Grandchamp, as well as English and German techniques from Tim Baker and Klaus Grunke, respectively.
Eric joined the staff of Reuning & Son Violins in 2002 to lead the bow repair and restoration department. His own bows are inspired by Pajeot, Simon, and Maline. Eric is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America. He has won several Certificates of Merit for Workmanship at various VSA and International Society of Bassists competitions.
Chinese bow maker JianFeng Li studied with celebrated American bow maker John Norwood Lee. He currently works from his studio in the port city of Ningbo in northeast China, and is a member of both the Violin Society of America and the Violin Society of China.
Li’s bows (stamped “Lee”) have won numerous prizes in international bow making competitions, including Silver Medals for his violin and viola bows entered into the China International Violin Making and Bow Making Competition held in Beijing in 2013. Based on 19th century French models, Li’s bows are praised for their elegance and tone production, and are owned by professional players across the globe.
Rodney Mohr is one of today’s most prolific and celebrated bow makers. He has won numerous Gold Medals at the Violin Society of America’s bow making competitions, earning the title “Hors Concours,” and has served as president of both the VSA and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers.
In high demand as a maker and a teacher, Mohr is currently co-director of the VSA Oberlin Bow Restoration summer workshops, and hosts his own series of workshops from his studio in Ashland, Ohio, where he continues to build and restore bows.
American bow maker Robert Morrow resides in Port Townsend, Washington, a town renowned for its bow making. Before working with bows, he was part of a community of Northwest Coast Native American artists, where he was known for his wood carving on traditional art—such as totem poles and masks—and credits this experience for training his eye in the details of fine wood working.
He studied bow making with Charles Espey, and currently builds his bows based on models by the classic French makers, including Tourte, Pajeot, and Lupot.
He has won numerous awards for his bows in international competitions, including five Gold Medals between 2004 and 2008 at the Violin Society of America, which has earned him the top honor of “Hors Concours” status.
His bows are owned by professional players throughout the world.
Contemporary British bow maker Paul Sadka (b. 1966) trained as a cellist and photographer before becoming interested in bow making. After studying with bow maker Noel Burke in Ireland, he continued training in Cremona, Italy, then worked in the south of France and Budapest. Sadka opened his own workshop in Budapest in 2000, before moving to Paris in 2004 to partner with violin maker Jan Bartos in Paris for several years. In 2009, Sadka returned to England to set up his workshop in his hometown of Cornwall, where he currently works. Sadka’s bows have won numerous awards in international competitions, including the 2001 Bow Making Competition of the International Cello Festival in Manchester, England, and the 2010 Violin Society of America’s competition, in which he won three gold medals: one for each of his violin, viola, and cello bows.
Contemporary British bow maker and restorer Keith Howard Sleeman (b. 1955) has over 40 years of experience building and restoring bows. He began making bows at age 16, copying 19th century French models, and later trained with acclaimed bow maker Malcolm Taylor (1934–2012), who had worked for the famous Hill & Sons workshop.
From his vast research and experimentation, Sleeman has developed his own unique bow making methods for building modern bows influenced by François Tourte, Étienne Pajeot, François Nicolas Voirin, and Dominique Peccatte as well as replicas of historical models from the Baroque and Classical periods. His bows are owned by top string players throughout the world, including Mischa Maisky, Sergiu Luca, Pieter Schoeman of the London Philharmonic, and Liz Green of the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra. He currently works from Salon des Archets, his studio in Barcelona, Spain, where he performs restoration work, builds bows on commission, and oversees the production of a line of bows offered at more affordable prices.
French bow maker Jean-Luc Tauziede (b. 1962) is a native of Anglet in Basque country in France. He studied cello before beginning his training in bow making under Jean-Francois Raffin in Paris in 1992, and continued his studies with Stéphane Thomachot.
In 2001, Tauziede was featured in The Strad for an extraordinary bow he made named “Le Souverain,” an elaborately decorated bow mounted with 66 diamonds and a button fashioned into a crown of white and rose gold, valued at over $100,000.
Tauziede currently builds bows based on classical French models, as well as transition period and baroque model bows. His bows can be found in the hands of players across the globe.
David Russell Young
Formerly one of the world’s most highly regarded guitar luthiers with star clients including Eric Clapton, Carly Simon, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, and Keith Richards, David Russell Young turned to bow making in the 1980s.
Young’s violin and cello bows have won numerous awards in international competitions, including the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers competitions of 1984 and 1986, the Mittenwald International Violin and Bow Making competitions of 1993 and 1997, and multiple competitions held by the Violin Society of America between 1984 and 1996, where he took the Gold Medal for Viola Bow in 1988.
Young is also the author of The Steel String Guitar: Construction and Repair, one of the first and most important books on how to build a steel string guitar.
He currently builds, repairs, and restores bows from his studio in Longmont, Colorado.