Michael Klein
Violin maker

Bowed instruments drive the rhythm and sing the melody for much of the world's classical music, and the best of these instruments are made one at a time, by hand.

Michael Klein, a "maker" in the Rogue Valley and his wife Janice, live in the mountains near Grants Pass, Oregon. There he built his house by hand, much the same way he makes violins, violas, and cellos. Janice works with silver wire, leather and horsehair, restoring fine bows and rehairing them.

It was Michael's good fortune to study the craft with Vittore E. Giardinieri, Master violin maker, who completed his 405th instrument in 1995. He taught Michael to begin with the tree, and that the Pacific Northwest offers the great forests in which to find the best tonewoods; there, when the right tree has been found, the work begins. Cut the tree, split it, wax the ends, and store it to dry and temper for a minimum of five years.
Only then can the wood be selected for making fine instruments. Klein uses scores of handheld tools to craft five kinds of wood into several different models and sizes of instruments. Maple for the back and neck, spruce for the top, willow blocks, ebony trim and mountain mahogany pegs and fittings. The ground and varnish are both cooked and refined in the workshop and are developed after several years of experimenting and modifying old recipes. All but a few metal parts and the strings are made in the violin shop.

"It is important that the Italian tradition and look be upheld and that excellence in sound and playability result, but most of all, that violin making begins every day from the heart." -MK

Instrument orders are taken for both professional and serious students. Klein works from a list of orders and carves out the violin family of instruments, one at a time.

Inquiries can be directed to:

Michael and Janice Klein
P.O Box 325
Murphy, OR,
97533-0325 U.S.A.


Please contact Michael Klein directly.

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