Kerstin Hoffmann was born in Magdeburg (Germany) in 1966. Her training and apprenticeship years were spent in Markneukirchen, Berlin and Soest. From 1995 to 1999, she continued her training under the master luthiers Eckart Richter and Reinhard Bönsch. In the workshops of Willem Bouman (The Hague, NL) and master bowmaker Thomas M. Gerbeth (Vienna), she gained additional international experience. In 1999 she passed her examination for the German master craftsman’s diploma in violin making at the Chemnitz Chamber of Crafts and opened her first violin-making workshop in partnership with Claudia Rook. Kerstin specialises in the making of violins, violas and cellos in both modern and baroque style, as well as the repair and restoration of stringed instruments and the repair of bows.
Claudia Rook was born in 1972 in the German city of Crivitz, near Schwerin. After completing her luthier training in Markneukirchen, she studied cello at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin (Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin). In 1995, after earning her diploma for cello performance, she decided to continue her luthier training under Eckart Richter and Reinhard Bönsch in Markneukirchen. She gained extensive experience in the restoration of high-quality stringed instruments while apprenticing in the workshops of Williams Gengakki Violins (Atlanta, USA) and Willem Bouman (The Hague, NL). In 1999 she passed her examination for the German master craftsman’s diploma in violin making in Chemnitz and founded an independent workshop in partnership with Kerstin Hoffmann. Since then, she has devoted her time to making and repairing stringed instruments. Her experience as a professional cellist has proved highly valuable in her work as a luthier, particularly when it comes to sound adjustments and making concert instruments.
3rd prize at the 13th International Competition of the Violin Society of America (VSA) in 1998 in Salt Lake City (USA) in the Violin Bow category
1st prize for a viola at the Jacobus Stainer International Violin-Making Competition, Freiburg 2001