Musicians

I am incredibly appreciative of the reports I receive back from musicians about their experiences with my instruments. Read on to hear what different players have said about the sound and craftsmanship of my violins, violas and celli.

"I feel like your Opus 131 is gaining new tonal colors every day. It is exciting to keep making new discoveries on this instrument. It is hard to put down. At the same time, I find it difficult to find words to sufficiently praise it."

I'm finding it hard to find words to sufficiently praise your Opus 70. I was already familiar with some of your instruments and was well aware that each of them has a unique character as well as a sound that, in my opinion, ranks in the highest echelon. I’m not afraid to say that since I served as a jury member for the instrument-making competition in Cremona some years ago and had the opportunity to judge the sound of more than 200 violins. In addition, I am well acquainted with the tonal properties of violins by the old masters. I had the pleasure to play the J. B. Guadagnini violin known as "ex Busch" (1783) over several years and am very familiar with the sound of various violins by Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri “del Gesu”.

Jehi Bahk mit seiner Op.70 von Martin Schleske

He has won multiple prizes in international competitions and is the founder and first violinist of the Hugo Wolf Quartet (1993-2004). In 2005, he became associate concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and was recently appointed to a professorship at the German School of Music Weimar. Jehi Bahk was a member of the sound jury for the Triennale international violinmaking competition in Cremona.

Ingolf Turban and his Schleske violin: Mendelssohn violin concerto in E minor (op. 64) | Radio and television recording session on July 15, 2008.


“I feel like I receive the best possible care in all areas at the Martin Schleske Master Studio for Violinmaking. This includes restoring old masterworks with the necessary instinctive touch, or making the perfect tonal adjustment, or creating new instruments that set new standards and fill the player with immediate inspiration.”

Prof. Ingolf Turban, Munich, December 2007

 

Since October 2011 Ingolf Turban plays most of his solo concertos on our Violin Opus 130, which has a very projective tone. Still in some concerts he plays a fine Stradivarius (anno 1721), which for many years used to be one of our highly admired “teachers”.

 

Ingolf Turban after playing our Opus 130 in the Berlin Philharmonie with Paganini Concerto Nr. 2: “I have never been playing any violin with such a singing E string. You can quote me on that. It is no longer like playing violin but like singing […]. With this violin, you can easily be heard over any orchestra […]. I am so happy as you have given me my voice!"

Ingolf Turban:

With solo performances in greatest concert halls of the world including the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic; the Kennedy Center,  Washington; Avery Fisher Hall, New York; Tonhalle, Zurich; Goldenen Saal, Vienna or the Scala, Milan; working with directors like Sergiu Celibidache, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Jun Märkl and Marcello Viotti, Ingolf Turban commands  a repertoire of works, some of which have rarely been performed on stage.

His virtuosic skill for Niccolò Paganinis works gained critical acclaim for his March 2006 performance with the New York Philharmonic, additionally his complete recording of the six violin concertos (Telos Records) and in the TV documentary „Paganinis Geheimnis“ (merkur.tv 2006).

His extensive repertoire in all branches has produced over 30 albums. His much celebrated premiere performances have gained world wide acclaim and are now recognized as standard concert works.

In 2005 he founded the Chamber Orchestra „I Virtuosi di Paganini“.  In the 11 previous years, he was professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Stuttgart, Germany, then was called to the University for Music and Theater in Munich, Germany.  Since 2007, he has been engaged as the Artistic Director for the summer festival „Holzhauser Musiktage“ near Starnberg, Germany.

Seit dem Jahr 2008 spielt der Geiger Tomo Keller eine Violine unserer „Solistenklasse“. Bereits nach wenigen Tagen stand er mit diesem Instrument mit Beethovens Violinkonzert in Schloss Morsbroich (Spiegelsaal) auf der Bühne und schwärmte anschließend von der „ungeheuren Tragfähigkeit“ und dem „wunderbaren Farbenreichtum“ seiner neuen Geige, die es ihm erlaube, mühelos auch in den feinsten Solopassagen über das Orchester zu strahlen.

Die Rheinische Post schreibt dazu: "Tomo Keller hat im Herbst 2008 mit Beethovens Violinkonzert als einer der interessantesten Geiger der jungen Generation nachhaltig auf sich aufmerksam gemacht („so einen Glücksfall hört man selten“, Rheinische Post). 1974 in Stuttgart geboren, studierte er u.a. an der Juilliard School of Music in New York. Weitere Anregungen erhielt er von Geigern und Pädagogen wie Igor Oistrach und Igor Ozim."

Tomo Keller errang zahlreiche nationale und internationale Preise (u.a. 1998 den Großen Preis des deutschen Musikwettbewerbs Berlin), war u.a. Co-Leader des Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Konzertmeister der Westdeutschen Sinfonia Leverkusen und ist seit September 2009 stellvertretender Konzertmeister des London Symphony Orchestra.

Wir sind glücklich darüber, dass ihn in all dem ein klassisches Modell (nach Stradivarius) aus unserm Atelier begleitet.

Tomo Keller, as. Concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra

"I am full of gratitude to be able to play this unbelievable violin. Every tone coming from this instrument is like a gift. I wouldn’t have thought that instruments of such a quality do exist. Also in my Orchestra the violin finds great admiration and enthusiasm."

György Fejer, principal 2nd violin, Philharmonic Orchestra Suedwestfalen, about his Schleske-Violin Opus 193 (anno 2013).

Violin Opus 193

“I feel like I receive the best possible care in all areas at the Martin Schleske Master Studio for Violinmaking. This includes restoring old masterworks with the necessary instinctive touch, or making the perfect tonal adjustment, or creating new instruments that set new standards and fill the player with immediate inspiration.”

Mathias A. Freund, 1.Violine (as. concertmaster) Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mathias Freund, 1st Violin Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

“When I was getting ready to record a new CD for ARTE NOVA, I decided to have some tonal adjustment work done on my violin by Domenico Montagnana. Master luthier Martin Schleske did an amazing job of optimizing the sound. I never imagined he could achieve such results. No other violinmaker has come close to Schleske's level of sensitivity and artistry in working on my instrument [...] If you were rating the instrument based solely on the sound, I would say that my Montagnana is worth at least 30% more after his tonal adjustment…"

Alban Beikircher, extensive solo career and first violin in the Korngold Quartet

Alban Beikircher, Solist und Geiger des Korngold Quartett. Künstlerischer Leiter des Festivals „Tonkunst Bad Saulgau“.

 

 

 

"I feel like your Opus 70 is gaining new tonal colors every day. It is exciting to keep making new discoveries on this instrument. It is hard to put down. At the same time, I find it difficult to find words to sufficiently praise it."

I'm finding it hard to find words to sufficiently praise your Opus 70. I was already familiar with some of your instruments and was well aware that each of them has a unique character as well as a sound that, in my opinion, ranks in the highest echelon. I’m not afraid to say that since I served as a jury member for the instrument-making competition in Cremona some years ago and had the opportunity to judge the sound of more than 200 violins. In addition, I am well acquainted with the tonal properties of violins by the old masters. I had the pleasure to play the J. B. Guadagnini violin known as "ex Busch" (1783) over several years and am very familiar with the sound of various violins by Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri “del Gesu”.

As a concertmaster and soloist, I have been very pleased to be able to play my concerts on your opus 70 since 2006! On my recent concert tour through the United States, listeners were regularly amazed to find out that I was playing on a “newly made” violin as opposed to one of those fabulous old Italian instruments! Thank you for this unbelievable violin!

He has won multiple prizes in international competitions and is the founder and first violinist of the Hugo Wolf Quartet (1993-2004). In 2005, he became associate concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and was recently appointed to a professorship at the German School of Music Weimar. Jehi Bahk was a member of the sound jury for the “Triennale” international violinmaking competition in Cremona.

“...one of the most important living violinmakers.”

Joseph Curtin, The STRAD (London) May 2001.

"I immediately fell in love with this cello by Martin Schleske and I simply couldn't let it go […] I had a similar experience as a soloist for the Brandenburg State Orchestra. Once again, the sound of the cello had no trouble getting through. Colleagues described it as rich in harmonics and clear as glass even in the lower registers. A reviewer enjoyed the colors of the sound "ranging from the dark timbre of a lyric alto voice to that of a coloratura soprano". The range of overtones mentioned above is a key to the easy response of the instrument, which in turn makes for a relaxed approach to playing with a lot of room for sound inflections… Thanks again for this unbelievable cello!"

Thomas Georgi, solo cellist for the Brandenburg State Orchestra, June 2004

Thomas Georgi with his Schleske cello.

“Ever since I began playing this 'Schleske', I have been overwhelmed with enthusiastic concertgoers coming up to me after my performances and asking who made my instrument!…”

Tamás Füzesi, 1st concertmaster of the Ulm Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I have never experienced such a powerful and truly fantastic e-string on any other violin, let alone a new instrument. What a pleasure.”

Mathias A. Freund, 1st violin (concertmaster), Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I met Martin Schleske in April 2000, as I flew from Israel to Munich for a concert. […] As soon as I played one of Schleske’s violins, I knew I would buy one. I understood that I was not dealing with a regular violinmaker […] Each violin Schleske achieves, is inspired and comes from his soul, and his achievement reflexes deepness and creativity. His violins speak more than they sound: they tell the listener that violin making can be more than just “handwork”. It can be Art.
Indeed when a handworker goes beyond all the requirements and rules of his profession, in order to achieve “his” perfection, his handwork becomes art and he becomes a Master, the same way a great painter distinguishes himself from the mass of good technical painters through the “define” inspiration…”

Perle Levy, violinist (Tel Aviv).

During my career I have played various violins by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù. I have not found any other instrument that comes as close to the sound of my own 'del Gesù' as this 'Schleske'."

Violinist (leading position) for the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

Background: Interview given as part of a TV documentary produced by NDR. A violin by Joseph Guarneri del Gesù (1733) was compared with a tonal copy by Martin Schleske (2001) during recordings at the Max Joseph Hall in Munich.

"Your work represents a unique combination of artistic intuition, musical empathy and true craftsmanship. You seem to combine art and science in a very natural way (maybe you don't even feel any ambivalence about the two?) […] Each of your instruments reflects a great respect for centuries of violinmaking tradition as well as an insatiable hunger for personal artistic expression and innovation […]

When I ordered a violin from you, all I did was play for you and rely on your artistic intuition to make the right instrument for me. I have been playing your instrument since March 2000 and I have to say that it has exceeded my highest expectations in every regard: It is a living artwork that allows me to get down to the business of musical creation each and every day. It has played an active role in guiding my career as a musician. So far, there has been nothing but praise for this instrument from the public and from my colleagues […]

I believe you have produced an artistic creation that will easily exceed the limits of our short lives to become a great ambassador of what our age has been able to accomplish. I can only express my deepest gratitude!"

Gabriel Bussi, violinista, Orquestra Sinfónica de Galicia.

Taking your violin out of the case every morning is a great gift. It is always a wonderful way to start my day. At first I was overwhelmed by the range of possibilities, but I quickly got over my initial shyness and began exploring a new world of tonal colors. I feel like a painter who has spent his whole life limited to just black and white. Suddenly I have access to a huge palette of fundamental colors of the highest quality. My creativity is really enjoying the challenge…!"

Letter from the violinist Uta Kerner (master class at the Munich Conservatory) about her "Schleske" opus 65, anno 2004]

„Dear Martin,
I am pleased to write a few comments about your artistic work. Your violins are very powerful and dynamic instruments. To one as a player it seems as if they sounded by themselves. Under any conditions (high air humidity or dry acoustics) they fill the hall with sound and music in an amazing way.

I am also owner of a superb Italian master instrument, a “Joseph Rocca” from the 19th century. At some point in my career as a musician I had certain trouble and felt some limitations. This was the time I knew about your violins, and I immediately ordered one from you, telling you about my situation and wishes. The violin you built for me was exactly what I needed. With its big and clear sound, and a very positive energy, it helped me continue my development and has since been played on my most important concerts in various countries…”

Fumika Yamamura, violinist – Principal 2nd Violin of the Orquestra Sinfónica de Galicia.

Fumika trying out her violin op. 44.

"We tested my new Schleske cello in a number of different halls. It projects all the way to the back row. Fast passages have incredible articulation and I can separate everything with no effort. Plus there is an incredible variety of tonal colors... I am starting to find my sound on my Schleske cello! I can get the sound of my Amati plus ten more tonal colors...!"

Jakob Schmidt, cellist.

 “Dear Mr. Schleske,
In the last days you can't imagine how happy I am with the new violin. I already had rehearsals solo with orchestra and rehearsal with piano, and with harp. Everyone is astonished how different my playing is! For me it just feels like everything is in place! Everything I once struggled now seems to be a thing of the past! For example, the clarity of sound, the volume, the amazing range of sound... The resources seem to be just endless!”

“ …the response from virtually everyone who has heard me playing the violin is always really positive! Many people who heard me have had some ravishing comments about it and the improvement in my playing with its help! One of these persons is my professor, Dr. Felix Andrievsky… I feel I am beginning to discover many more things that were hidden... It is really great to realize all of its capacity! Thank you once again for this amazing instrument that will be my supporting partner for many years to come!” Foto einbinden."

Emanuel Salvador, Royal College of Music in London, 1st concertmaster of the Orquestra do Norte in Portugal.

Emanuel Salvador with his violin op. 66 (anno 2004) by Martin Schleske.

Other references:

“Martin Schleske and Joseph Curtin are arguably the two most innovative violinmakers in the world today.”
Prof. Dr. Jim Woodhouse (University of Cambridge, UK) at the “Musical Acoustics Network” symposium, Cambridge 2006

“I would like to ask you to make the opening presentation at the International Congress on Acoustics ICA (Rome 2001) because you combine a level of experience in professional violinmaking and applied acoustics with experimental capabilities like no one else in the international scene."
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Meyer, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig, National metrology institute, Braunschweig, Germany in an invitation letter

“When the results that Mr. Schleske has just presented become known in the right circles, this could mean a revolution in violinmaking."
Prof. Dipl.-Physiker Helmut A. Müller, physics instructor at the violinmaking institute in Mittenwald from 1954 to 1995 and co-founder of the Schalltechnisches Beratungsbüro Müller-BBM in Planegg, Germany. Discussion contribution regarding ISMA 1995 Dourdan in Paris.

Certain research results produced by Martin Schleske have been gathered as part of the exhibition collection of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.