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About David Van Zandt

More Information about David Van Zandt


I made my first violin in 1980 while attending the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, where I graduated from in 1983. I spent the following 4 years with William L. Monical and Son in New York City, developing skills in repair and restoration, and helping maintain a large number of fine historical instruments. I maintain that I learned as much or more about violin making while working on and studying the works of master craftsmen as I did during my initial training in Salt Lake City.

In 1987 I returned to my home town of Seattle to set up my workshop, where I now make violins and violas for both the modern and baroque musical communities. I continue to study fine instruments and violin making techniques on my own initiative, collaboratively with colleagues, and through opportunities presented to me at forums such as the Oberlin Violin Makers Workshop and The Violin Society of America.

I build all of my instruments myself, without apprentices, adhering to traditional methods, materials and forms of the classical masters. I draw from a large stock of fine aged wood and I make my own varnish using natural resins and drying oils. Each instrument has its own voice and unique character, but all are built to a high professional standard. My instruments are often available for audition through one or more fine violin dealers or directly from me. I also work on a commission basis with clients seeking specific requests. While the majority of my instruments are built and set up for modern performance practice, I have a special fondness for constructing baroque and classical violins and violas for members of the early music community.

After nearly 40 years of violin making I continue to practice and improve my understanding of the craft. I have a love and passion for my work and when many others consider retirement, the “r” word isn’t in my vocabulary. I have high expectations to continue building fine violins and violas for another 20 – 30 years.

I welcome your interest in the work I love so dearly. Please be in touch if you want to know more.

David Van Zandt — (206) 478-9603