01 August 2022
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

I already knew that you can't build a violin in five minutes. But I would never have thought that it would take around two hundred hours to finish it. Which wood is best for making the instrument sound, what is a violin bow made of, and how does one become a violin maker? We learned all this and much more at the workshop "How is a violin made?" in the workshop of master instrument maker Claudia Unterkofler.

Baroque Sounds in the Alpine Metropolis

The workshop is part of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, which will take place between July 12 and August 28, 2022. With over 50 events, the leitmotif "encounter" will be highlighted. The program ranges from three staged operas to festival concerts, performances of sacred music, free open-air events and workshops for children and adults. The Innsbruck Early Music Festival is one of the most renowned festivals of baroque music in Europe. Since 1976, they have been a magnet for visitors from all over the world.

Old Music for young audience

Claudia Unterkofler 's workshop is located in a beautiful courtyard in the Dreiheiligen district. One immediately feels at home. It is quite idyllic, so green, with a view of the Nordkette and the black and white kitten that guards Claudia's workshop, but then prefers to take flight when there are too many children

Claudia makes a very open and friendly impression on me. You can feel her love for the instruments she builds right from the start. My boys don't play an instrument (yet) and have had little to no contact with classical music. I am not sure if they have even consciously seen a violin before. But that doesn't matter at all. With her relaxed and uncomplicated manner, Claudia manages to inspire all the children and pick them up where they are

After she explained to us how the individual wooden parts are put together, what fingerboards, top saddles, scrolls and pegboxes are, what strings and bows are made of and what the difference is between baroque and modern violins, the children were allowed to lend a hand themselves. But not only that, after they put the plane aside, they even get to play themselves an instrument I've never heard of before: the viola da gamba.

From love of baroque sounds to master violin maker

Claudia not only makes violins, she also repairs them, strings bows or even makes other historical stringed instruments, such as the viola da gamba. "This is especially fun, because I can let off steam here," she explains, pointing to the beautiful inlay work and the intricately carved head. Why she chose baroque instruments is quickly explained: "It's simply the music," Claudia Unterkofler says. "Even at 16, I knew that I didn't like playing every piece, so it was clear that I would rather make violins than just play them. Plan B didn't exist." So after graduating from high school, she set off for Italy - to Parma, to be precise, where she completed her training as a violin maker. She then passed the master's examination in Innsbruck. Today she makes about two to three violins a year. She is asked how musicians become aware of her: "By word of mouth!" Claudia Unterkofler has customers* from all over the German-speaking countries and Italy. She builds and maintains the instruments of students, professional and amateur musicians.

If you also want to take part in a violin making workshop, you have on 11. August the chance to do so. At 19. August you can learn - also in the context of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music - how to build a trumpet. If you're looking for more events, check here or read this blog post.


Innsbruck Early Music Festival 2022
When: July 12 to August 28, 2022
Ticket hotline: +43 512 52074-504

How is a violin made?
Participation fee: 5 euros
Date: Thu, Aug. 11, 2022
Start: 3 p.m.
Location: Violin-making workshop Claudia Unterkofler
Age: Recommended for children between 5 and 15 years
Registration: esther.mair@altemusik.at
Where: Violin-making workshop Claudia Unterkofler, Grillparzerstraße 6a
Further information

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