The Secrets Behind the Maker: Kyle SchultzBack to Blog
“I would say my violins are individual beings in themselves; when I start a new instrument from the raw wood, l get a sense of excitement, knowing that as the wood is shaped, bent, and carved, my creation is slowly coming to life.” Kyle Schultz
Kyle Schultz began studying violins at a very young age, and he soon fell in love with the instruments’ history and anatomy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in violin making and repair from the internationally renowned Newark Violin Making School. Kyle’s violins are made in the traditional method but with a modern twist.
The British violin maker is a Skilful Young Maker, working with violins for 5 years now. Currently living in Newbury, England, Kyle handcrafts beautiful instruments based on Cremonese Traditional Handcraftsmanship, and his story with violins started a long time ago.
How did he end up being a luthier?
Born in South Africa in 1997, Kyle Schultz fell in love with violins when he was just a kid. The instrument fascinated him. All his childhood, he wanted to play the violin.
He started playing at a young age, and through the years, he further developed his fondness for the mechanics and history of the violin.
As a child and fascinated by playing the violin, his teacher once told him about the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari, which awakened in him the curiosity and desire to look for the rich history of violin making in Cremona. Subsequently, this sparked a passion for wanting to learn how to make a violin, which he initially, learnt from self-study until he had the chance to undergo formal education.
This all directed him on the path of understanding the technical anatomy and design of these instruments and has given him a new medium for his art to develop from.
Then, Kyle decided to learn the craft of violin making and repair through an introduction to numerous books and articles, all written by our most talented craftspeople. This led him to build his first two violins. ln the same period, he was given the opportunity to do minor repairs on student violins at his music school, this was an experience that he cherish as the roots of his craft.
In 2018 he applied to the internationally renowned Newark School of Violin Making and Repair, which received a First-Class Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours. During his three years of studying at the Newark School, he attended lectures with world-renowned makers and restorers as well as receiving funding for courses and the furthering of his degree all generously awarded by the RAB (Rowan Armour-Brown) Memorial Trust for all the years of his degree. What gave him later the opportunity to learn new skills and further his understanding of fine violin making and restoration.
Kyle’s instruments have a touch of individuality
He gets inspiration from the great master, responsible for making the tradition of violin-making in Cremona, Niccolo Amati. Kyle admire Amati’s delicacy with the corners of his instruments and the geometry of the arching. That’s exactly where the makers wishes to move in.
Studying the old master makers of the Cremonese style is what motivates him! Niccolo Amati and the early Stradivari’s work are his favorites. And in his makings he enjoys studying the technical side of each of his instruments and how to improve them tonally and aesthetically. To him, this is the key to progressing to a higher standard each time.
When starting a new project for a new model, he uses photographs, scans, drawings, and his own ideas to develop the functional construction area, like in the arching and bass bar geometry.
This all gives his instruments a special appeal of being completely unique and handmade with a high standard.
Kyle’s violins are very unique and with a touch of individuality, clearly shown on the scroll and soundholes. In some cases, he likes to use darker handmade purfling as it gives an increased emphasis on the outline of the instruments.