Photo of David Van Zandt with violin

One of the most valuable things I learned in my early adulthood was that life's too short not to enjoy your work. I'm very fortunate to be a violin maker and to love the work I do.

My luthier's degree was obtained after four years at the Violin Making School of America. I spent the following four years in New York City employed in the workshop of William L. Monical, where I learned and practiced repair and restoration. During my stay in New York I was able to study many fine bowed stringed instruments both inside and out.

Since 1987 I've worked in Seattle as a full-time professional violin maker. I continue to develop my craft by seeking out opportunities to examine and listen to fine instruments. Familiarizing myself with exceptional instruments and their tonal characteristics is invaluable toward developing insights into classical construction techniques. I'm indebted to the Oberlin Violin Makers Workshop, The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, The Violin Society of America, but above all my many colleagues for their on-going generosity towards raising the craft of violin making to higher and higher levels.

In addition to making violins and violas for musicians specializing in modern performance practices I also build instruments constructed and set-up for those specializing in period performance.

Throughout my career I have obtained, and continue to acquire, fine tone wood to build my instruments with. I have a good supply of aged and beautiful maple and spruce to draw upon, as well as fine fittings for set-up. I manufacture my own varnish from raw materials and continue to refine my varnish application techniques. Having an open mind during the on-going study of historical varnish making and application methodologies is very important towards the continual improvement of my work.

Inquiries about my instruments are welcomed. I can be contacted via e-mail or reached in my Seattle workshop at (206) 478-9603. If I am engaged and you reach my answering machine, please leave your name, number and the best time to reach you, and I will return your call promptly.