How I became a distinguished violinmaking Master

Hello, I’m Edgar Russ, born in 1966 in Austria. I’m the youngest of five children in a big family and it’s not so easy since you have to be noisy to attract the attention of the rest of the family. Probably this unconscious desire from the very beginning of my life compelled me to be intentsly attracted by everything that generates a powerful sound.

At the age of 11, I began making my own instruments. Bongos, drums, flutes out of bamboo and finally at 13 I discovered stringed instruments. I was attracted by their complexity of construction.

Certainly my mother’s encouragement for her children to try their hand at something handcrafted, gave me the first step towards this type of activity. This is the reason I know of the satisfaction that comes from creating with your own hands. I couldn’t exist without it. The construction of an intricate musical instrument like the violin, viola, the violoncello and the double bass captivated me then as it continues to do so today.

In the spring of 1984, at the age of 17, I made the choice to leave my family in Austria and move to Cremona. In autumn of that year I began attending the world renown international violin making school Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria ‘Antionio Stradivari’. Thanks to inspiring teachers, I succeeded very well in building instruments and graduated in 1989.

After working with several masters here in Cremona, I went to America to continue adding to my knowledge of the art of violin making, away from the European tradition. This helped me to become a master luthier at a very early age.

My first workshop

I returned to Cremona in 1990 and opened my first workshop on Via Plasio. Five years later I moved my shop to a much more visible location very close to the cathedral on Via Sicardo together with a friend of mine, Giorgio Grisales. After ten years of collaboration with him, I made the decision to open a new independent workshop that would better represent my own personality and my creative soul. This workshop is located in the heart of the historic center of Cremona, on Via Mauro Macchi 2a. A very quiet place which seems to have stepped back in time. Exactly how I wanted it to be. You have to search for it a bit because it’s not immediately noticeable.

When you ring our door bell, you’ll next be entering the reception room where you can see a collection of my own instruments. You will be welcomed by my team and I. We look forward to showing you the workshop facilities as well as the varnishing room and the musicians room. Besides our competence and efficiency, we can offer a wide range of bowed instruments of the highest caliber of quality with powerful, rich sound.

I create violin, viola, cello and double bass available directly from my workshop in three different lines: Scala Perfetta, Linea Macchi, and Master Instruments.

My work is my passion. From the beginning I’ve searched for professional musicians and I’d like to call attention to the satisfaction that they give to me. 30 years ago it was not that easy because musicians (most at that time were from Vienna, Austria) were demanding since they were playing in famous orchestras. They were looking for a sound which would be able to project its beauty and power into the very last row of the massive theaters and concert halls where they were performing. This kind of sound is obtained by a sensible construction and improved by an accurate setup of the instrument. The right position of the soundpost, the fingerboard, upper and lower nuts as well as a perfect bridge. The quality of sound is the result of all above mentioned details and much more. Things you can’t see but can feel with your ears! Many times I’ve driven from Cremona to Vienna with my car loaded with instruments and tools in order to adjust the sound according to my customer’s needs.

I work diligently and hard. As a matter of fact, five musicians of the Vienna Philamonics (Wiener Philharmoniker) play on my instruments. My violin, viola, cello and double bass are well known around the world. Their value increases over time and that makes me a proud and distinguished Master Violinmaker.

My customer’s satisfaction is the power that moves me. The fact that they appreciate my violin, viola, cello and double bass gives me the desire to raise the bar and to do better and better.


How to find the Workshop:

The workshop is located in the very center of the heart of Cremona. Via Mauro Macchi in a tiny road which connects Via Aselli and Corso Mazzini and is between Piazza Roma and Piazza Lodi.
Nevertheless a quiet place, which seems a little bit out of time far away from hectic city stress and perfect to take your time to choose your instrument here in Cremona.

Just ring the bell at the entrance and we will open the door.