The world of luthierie, or the art of making stringed instruments, has traditionally been dominated by men. However, the winds of change are blowing, and women are now making their mark in this intricate craft.
Today, we spotlight four exceptional women who have carved a niche for themselves in the world of violin making: Anna Arietti, Fiorella Anelli, Elina Kaljunen, and Mina Mazzolari.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1991, Ayoung An, popularly known as Anna Arietti, has always been enchanted by the world of music and violin making. Her journey took her across the United States before she settled in Cremona, Italy, to study at the prestigious Antonio Stradivari School of Violin Making. Under the tutelage of Pier Luigi Aromatico Fantoni, Anna honed her skills, leading her to win numerous accolades in international competitions. Her collaboration with Edgar Russ further refined her craftsmanship. Today, from her workshop in Cremona, Anna crafts violins, violas, and cellos, each echoing her unique voice and passion.
Born in Milan in 1981, Fiorella Anelli's life has always been intertwined with music. Her initial foray into the world of music was through the piano, but a visit to the "School of Violin Making of Milan" changed her trajectory. Enchanted by the blend of art, craft, and music, Fiorella embarked on her journey into luthierie, and today, she stands as one of the prominent figures in the field.
Elina Kaljunen's approach to violin making is rooted deeply in the classical Italian tradition. While A. Stradivari's designs are popular among contemporary makers, Elina believes in drawing inspiration from a plethora of master craftsmen. For her, the relationship between the musician and the maker is paramount. She emphasizes the importance of a comfortable setup, ensuring that playing the violin remains an inspiring and effortless experience for the musician.
Born in Korea in 1980, Mina Mazzolari's musical journey began with the piano. However, her growing interest in stringed instruments led her to the International Violinmaking School in Cremona. Her dedication and skill were evident when she secured an honorary mention at the International Competition for Strings Instruments in 2009. Today, Mina continues to craft instruments that resonate with her passion and expertise.
The world of luthierie is richer and more diverse thanks to the contributions of these talented women. They not only challenge the status quo but also bring fresh perspectives and innovations to the craft. As they carve, mold, and string their instruments, they also weave their unique stories, ensuring that the legacy of women in luthierie continues to grow and inspire future generations.
We have been following Anna's work for a few years now, and the quality of her craft seem to improve with each new instrument, both in terms of sound and craftsmanship. The sound of this beautiful violin, modelled after the "Heifetz" Guarneri, certainly does justice to its craftsmanship. It produces a rich and powerful tone while striking a good balance between dark and bright. It is characterised by a full and vibrant resonance on every note and every double stop.
Ayoung An, known as Anna Arietti, was born in 1991 in Seoul, South Korea. She has been fascinated by music and violin making since her childhood. To experience the world, in 2008, she began journeying across the United States. In 2011, she attended the world-renowned Antonio Stradivari School of Violin Making in Cremona and studied under the guidance of Pier Luigi Aromatico Fantoni. Upon graduating in 2015, she participated in a number of competitions and has garnered many achievements and awards:
The “Award Personality” medal at the 2015 International Violin Making Competition in Pisogne
Silver medal at the 2016 International Violin Making Competition in Rome
Bronze medal at the 2016 International Violin Making Competition in Rome.
In 2017, she started work with Edgar Russ to improve her skills, an experience which has influenced her career and style.
In 2020, she opened her own workshop in Cremona, Italy. Ayoung An makes violins, violas, and cellos that each have their own beauty and sound. Through these one-of-a-kind instruments, Ayoung An expresses herself through her works of art.
A wonderful violin, made by Luthier Fiorella Anelli in her workshop in Cremona. Her exquisite craftsmanship and use of varnish make this a particularly unique violin. The purfling and edge work is extremely precise and detailed. This is a very powerful and bright sounding violin. It projects with ease and will have no trouble in a large concert hall. Ideally suited to a leader, chamber musician or soloist. This violin comes certified from the Luthier.
I was born in Milan in 1981. Having always been fascinated by music, I soon became immersed in his magic by studying piano.
Thanks to a precious suggestion, I visited the "School of Violin Making of Milan" and its enchanting timeless atmosphere fascinated me immediately.
Here, where art, craft and music blend in harmony, my adventure in the world of violin making started.
We are very excited to have this stunning 1757 Guadagnini model violin by Elina Kaljunen. She is one of the most talented craftspeople of her generation and the violin is an aesthetic masterpiece. Her instruments are played by reputed musicians all over the world including by some members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. We are the first dealer in the UK to have one of her instruments. This violin shares many of its characteristics with original Guadagninis such as a bright and focused E string as well as power and richness of sound in the other registers. One of the best antiqued violins we have had, it's definitely one to try in person!
In the making of new instruments I follow the classical Italian violin making tradition (cremonese, venetian, brescian, ...).A. Stradivari's designs are the most commonly copied among contemporary makers. However there are plenty of other wonderful makers and models to study and to be used as an inspiration. I am constantly looking for better sounding examples to recreate.
Mina Mazzolari is an award-winning maker working in the wonderful city of Cremona in the workshop of Edgar Russ. She is known for making soloist level instruments that always deliver on sound, and this one is no exception. We tried this violin in Cremona and we were immediately impressed by the sound. It has a laser-like focus and the response feels extremely pleasing to the player. If you are looking for an instrument with depth and projection, this is certainly one to try!
Mina Mazzolari was born in Korea in 1980. Passionate for music she studies piano for many years, later getting more interested in stringed instruments and after finishing high school she takes the decision to attend the International Violinmaking School in Cremona. She participates in 2003 and 2009 at International Competition for Strings Instruments winning in 2009 with a viola an honorary mention for her 4th position.
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 exceptional instruments at a price they can afford. We travelled Europe in search for the best contemporary makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.