I made and sold my first violin in 1980 while attending the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. Upon graduating from that school in 1983 I moved to New York City to work with William L. Monical and Son, developing skills in repair and restoration. By working with and studying the fine historical instruments that passed through the Monical workshop I learned as much or more about violin making as I had during my initial training in Salt Lake City.
In 1987 I returned to my home town of Seattle to establish my workshop, where I now make violins and violas for both modern and baroque musical communities. I continue to study fine instruments and violin making techniques on my own initiative, collaboratively with colleagues, and through the Oberlin Violin Makers Workshop and The Violin Society of America.
I build all of my instruments myself, adhering closely 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 directly with musicians seeking specific requests, through commission. 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 expect to continue building fine violins and violas for many more years.
I welcome your interest in the work I love so dearly. Please be in touch.
David Van Zandt — (206) 478-9603