As son of a music school founder and a physicist, my life has always been influenced by music and curiosity. After graduating from a music school, I completed studies at the Welch School of Musical Instrument Making in Great Britain.
My career path took me first as an apprentice to various workshops, among others, in Darmstadt and Banenreuth, where I gained the requisite routine leading to efficient work habits, and where I gained valuable experiences. After passing the Masters Examination in 1999, I set up shop in Weikersheim, later moving my workshop to Aub in Lower Franconia, where I currently work. You are cordially invited to visit me there.
The charm of the old instruments enchants us today just as it did three hundred years ago as the classical age of violin making was getting underway.
The interplay of many factors, the mixture of professional knowledge, intuition and the courage to be true to one’s own personality, continues to fascinate me. Thus, my primary activity is the construction of new violins, violas and cellos, or rather achieving their characteristic sound.
To always create new things without throwing old, time-tested things overboard is indeedthe secret of all creative processes, which brings about works which touch the heart.
To realize this dream is the true (professed) goal of my work.
In the process I try to imitate the old masters in their joy of experimentation, craftsman’s
mastery and general knowledge, and to gain a feeling for their manner of working.
My special intention (particular interest) is, of course, to find the proper wood to use.
If possible I acquire it as an entire trunk, so that the same material, the characteristics of which I am familiar, can be used for several instruments.
I look forward to your enquiries or to a visit to my workshop.
Phone. 09335 – 99 70 97
The possibilities for sound adjustments on a completed instrument are generally underestimated. Good sounding old instruments have in this respect often gone through a long process, have passed through many capable hands in order to develop all its nuances and qualities.
Also, my work is in no way completed once I have finished building an instrument. The effort put toward achieving musical nuances always produces worthwhile results.
For my bridges and sound posts, I use wood which has been stored a long time. Combined with my long years of experience, this practice ytields noticeable improvements in sound.
Furthermore, I work with the best equipment to be found on the market. This equipment not only optimizes the superior optical and musical results achieved on my instruments. The sound quality of old instruments can also be improved.
For the testing of my instruments I can offer access to large concert halls which reveal the possibilities of the instruments. I would also be pleased to play violins and violas for you, so that you can make your determinations of the sound from a distance.
„A violin with which one wants to grow old.“
Assistant Solo Violist with the North German Radio Orchestra in Hamburg.
„I would not give up my Rittwagen viola for an original Amati!“
„… it was love at first sight, and so it remains today. I find my violin from Frank Rittwagen simply fantastic.”
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