3 Outstanding Contemporary Bow Makers - Violin, Viola & Cello

Find Out More About The Best Modern Bow Makers. Emilio Slaviero and Walter Barbiero at MyLuthier in Central London. Try Our Bows Today!

Along with contemporary instruments, most musicians are realizing the benefits of a choosing a bow made by a living maker.

This list comprises 3 outstanding contemporary violin, viola & cello bow makers, all of which we believe produce extremely fine bows. They all focus on 2 key elements that any bow should have.

  1. Sound
  2. Playability

With these aspects in mind, we believe these makers are consistently producing fine quality bows. This is emphasized by the fact that their bows are played by a host of wonderful musicians including renowned soloists.

Walter Barbiero

bow maker

One of the best known bow makers in Italy, Walter Barbiero enjoys a vast reputation as one of the leading archetiers of his generation. He makes bows for all string instruments and all periods. His bows are played by top musicians such as Isabelle Faust, Mario Brunello and more.

He received a diploma from the Conservatoire “A. Steffani” of Castelfranco Veneto with Luca Volpato, and a diploma at the “Ecole Nationale de Musique et de Dance” in France with H. Suignard.

He has a particular passion for baroque and classical bows. As such, he has made bows for Giuliano Carmignola, who used one to record Vivaldi concertos for Deutsche Grammophon. Another recording featuring one of his bows is Viktoria Mullova’s Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Onux.

His bows differ from the others for their soft and elegant sound but above all for their good technical characteristics. He always prioritises the player as he feels that musicians can best express their thoughts, emotions and music through his bows.

Here's an example of Walter's work

baroque violin bow
Baroque Violin Bow by Walter Barbiero
classical violin bow
Classical Violin Bow by Walter Barbiero

Visit Walter's Website

Emilio & Luca Slaviero

now makers italy

Emilio and Luca have a family run business in the heart of Cremona making some of the best modern bows we have tried.

“From the craftsmanship to the sound, everything about their bows is absolutely top quality.”

Emilio studied  J. F. Raffin in one of the world’s bow making capitals, Paris. However, he always made it his mission to return to Cremona and bring that level of bow making back home.

Along with his son, his bows have some very strong characteristics. They are well balanced and have a crisp and clear sound. This helps bring out the best out of string instruments. Their playability allows the player far more freedom to dig into the string, explore contact points and achieve depth of sound all while maintaining the control required from an exceptional bow.

Although their reputation is already very cemented, it is definitely worth watching these bow makers as they are certain to keep on making at a very high level.

Here's an example of the Slaviero family's work

gold cello bow
Gold-mounted "Tourte" Model Cello Bow by Emilio Slaviero
silver violin bow
Silver-mounted Violin Bow by Emilio Slaviero

Visit Emilio’s Website

Final thoughts

Many musicians are opting for contemporary bows nowadays not only for their cost but also for opportunity to own a fine bow.

For this reason, bows by these archetiers are gaining recognition worldwide but particularly in the UK.

Played on by young soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral players, it’s this versatility that is making them universally liked among musicians.

About MyLuthier

MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

The idea was to provide musicians with the best instruments at a price they can afford.

We travelled Europe in search for exceptional violin makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.
This means that all of our instruments are rigorously tested and we approach them from a musician’s perspective.

Without a doubt, contemporary instruments are one of the best options for today’s musicians.

About the Author

Ariel Lang is a Violinist and one of the Co-Founders of MyLuthier.co. He studied with Jack Liebeck at the Royal Academy of Music. As a freelance musician, he focuses on performing with small chamber ensembles such as the United Strings of Europe and O/Modernt.

Ariel Lang
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