Patrick Robin – Violin Maker
Patrick Robin, violin maker, devotes himself to the making of violins, violas and cellos and to sound adjustments for an international clientele of professional musicians. He established himself in Angers in 1988, sharing his workshop at that time with Andrea Frandsen. In 2006, he moved his studio to a villa facing the Loire River, a bright and inspiring site where he enjoys making his instruments and welcoming musicians.
Graduating from the Newark School of Violin Making in 1984, he received the Royal Oakden Cup for outstanding achievements. He then moved to Bremen to join an international team of restorers led by Roger Hargrave, where he repaired, adjusted and studied in depth some of the most outstanding Italian instruments of the classical schools.
In 1991 the 1st International Violin Making Competition of Paris awarded him two Gold Medals for violin and cello together with le Prix de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts and le Prix de la Fondation Marcel Vatelot. He has also received Gold Medals for a viola at the Mittenwald Competition in 1989 and for a cello at the Manchester Strad Cello Making Competition in 1994.
He has served since on the juries of a number of international violin-making competitions.
In November 2000, Patrick Robin was promoted to the rank of Maître d’Art by the French Ministry of Culture.
Patrick Robin’s approach to violin-making is inspired by his in-depth study of the most beautiful instruments of the Italian makers from the 16th through the 18th centuries. While creating copies of these instruments was for many years his principle approach to that study, current scientific research and the rediscovery of the principles underlying this art have allowed him to incorporate and interpret his acquired knowledge to create individual instruments of character with sound qualities and a freedom of style that flow from the very spirit of the masters he admires.
Sound production and musicality are, of course, at the very center of his work as a luthier. He cherishes the frequent exchanges he has with musicians, and it is through these contacts with them that his work takes on its full meaning and that his experience enriches. Musicians, in the same vein, find in Patrick a willing and attentive ear and a partner steeped in years of practical experience.
As a member of EILA (International Group of Luthiers and Bow makers) and ALADFI (Association of Luthiers and Bow makers for the Development of Instrument making), he is an active participant in fruitful discussions with fellow string makers, scientists and musicians about various topics currently being researched about the ancient art of quartet instrument making.
He has given lectures and taught courses at the British Violin Making Association at Dartington, at the Oberlin Violin-Making Workshop, at Oberlin College in the United States, at ALADFI conferences, at the Santiago de Queretaro School of instrument making in Mexico, at the Australasian Violin Making Conference in Australia, at the Chinese Luthiers Congress in Shanghai, etc.
Patrick Robin was nominated Maître d’Art in November 2000 by Catherine Tasca, Minister of Culture and Communication.
“A Maître d’Art is a professional who has mastered the techniques and know-how of his craft to an exceptional level of excellence. He (she) is recognized by his peers for his experience, his expertise and his teaching competency. He must be able to transmit his knowledge and his skills to students so that those skills can be perpetuated. The creation of the official title Maître d’Art was inspired by the Living National Treasures award in Japan. Based on this model the Maîtres d’Art transmit their exceptional know-how. They are concerned with the growth of their crafts, and they demonstrate their ability to innovate. Currently 107 Maîtres d’Art have been named by the Ministry of Culture and Communication”.
*(Definition provided by the Ministry of Culture and Communication)