Glaesel

Musicians worldwide recognize the Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, products of 17th and 18th century Italian artisans. While the Italian schools have long since faded, the German tradition for craftsmanship continues in the Glaesel orchestral instruments.

The German tradition traces its origins to Jacob Stainer. Until the early 19th century, when power and brilliance became the fashion in violin performance, Stainer’s instruments were more highly praised than Stradivari’s. One of his pupils, Matthias Klotz, became the first in a long line of luthiers. For the next 200 years members of the Klotz family refined and perfected their craft, contributing to the famous Mittenwald school.

The Glaesel family story begins in 1720 during the lifetime of Stradivari and Matthias Klotz. Since that time no fewer than 48 descendants have followed the calling, including three currently active members of the family. This span of over 250 years exceeds the entire Italian Cremona tradition that produced Stradivari. While the family seat has always been in Markneukirchen, a center for instrument craftsmanship, generations of Glaesels have studied at the famous Mittenwald school. In addition to creating fine instruments, other members of the Glaesel family have received distinction for specializing in bows and instrument restoration.

Kurt G. Glaesel (born 1926) studied at Mittenwald under the direction of Matthias Klotz (a direct descendant of the original). After working in a number of prominent shops in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany, he came to the United States in 1953. Here he established “shop adjusting,” the process by which imported instruments are assembled, finished, and tested for consistency and strict adherence to quality standards.

Visit the official Glaesel website for more information.