Lutherie 2023: Saturday 29 April

NSVM reunion buffet Friday 28 April

Student/recent graduate forum: Friday 28 April

The annual conference for violin makers in Newark celebrates 50 years of NSVM

and we launch our first Student/recent graduate forum

Order your copy now!

The Lutherie Day team is proud to present its first publication, a history of Newark School of Violin Making, to celebrate the first 50 years of the college.

Over 48 pages, in full colour, we detail the history of the school, list alumni and staff, show where in the world they went on to work, and present interviews with past students. There are many previously unseen photos from the past 50 years.

The booklet is priced at £18 plus postage and can be ordered at

The 23rd annual spring seminar for violin makers

Lutherie was founded to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, for meeting friends old and new, and for student violin makers to interact with professionals. The 2023 conference will celebrate the first 50 years of Newark School of Violin Making. The speakers; William Castle, Daniel Kogge, Lorraine Bitaud, Victor Bernard and Niall Flemming  are all former students from different eras, representing the range of skills and interests of Newark alumni.

On the evening of Friday 28 April we are holding a buffet at Newark Town Hall to offer the opportunity of a reunion for former Newark students. Booking information is below.

The day before the main conference we present a forum specifically for student violin makers and those in the first two years since graduation.

William Castle:

Rediscovering archaic tools and techniques

William started at the Newark Violin Making School in 1979 and upon graduation in 1982 went to work in the restoration workshop of Geigenbau Machold in Bremen. After three years there, seeing many classical Italian instruments, he set up on his own in York, mixing repair work and making. Since 1996 he has lived in Shropshire, devoting his time to making new instruments.

In his talk William will examine historic methods and techniques of violin construction, some of which we know about but tend not to use, and others for which we have only partial or suggestive evidence. Using a mix of historical evidence and his own experiences with different tools and methods, he will explore how the old master violin makers may have worked, and present reasons why we might want to use similar tools and techniques ourselves.

Daniel Kogge:

Berlin – Melting pot of German violin making

Daniel Kogge, born in Berlin, trained at Newark from 1986-1989.

He refined his skills and expertise in internationally renowned workshops in Germany, Switzerland and France before establishing a workshop in Berlin over 25 years ago with his partner Yves Gateau. Kogge Gateau Fine Instruments specialises in high-end restoration, sound adjustment and sale of high-quality stringed instruments.

As well as being a member of the Verband Deutscher Geigenbauer he has the honour to have been President of the Entente Internationale des Maîtres Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art since 2019.

Daniel’s talk will cover the formation of the Berlin school of violin making in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, considered in the context of the various stylistic influences such as Mittenwald, Saxony and others.

The Berlin School is inevitably linked to the historical rise of the city to a European metropolis and is representative of German violin making in this epoch.

Lorraine Bitaud:

Restoring and the process of decision making

When discussing restorations, we always talk about the final way we achieved the work.

But how do we get to the correct way of fixing our issues? Is there a “right way”? At the end, what leads us to completing the restoration?

We will approach those questions through a practical case : the restoration to full length of a cello back that had been reduced in size.

Lorraine trained at Newark (2006-2010), and soon developed an affinity for restoration. After graduating, she joined Adam Whone in London, perfecting her restoration skills (2011-2018) as well as working freelance.

Since 2019 Lorraine has worked independently in her workshop in West London, specialising in major restorations and sound adjustments.


Victor Bernard and Niall Flemming:

A brief introduction to modern bow making

A talk from two contemporary bow makers reviewing their time in Newark, their journey into modern French bow making and how they choose their wood.

Victor Bernard was born in 1985 near Paris, going on to study at Newark from 2005-8. After the course he developed his passion for bow making and restoration, working in Brussels with Pierre Guillaume where he was able to develop his taste for antique bows. In 2014, he joined Atelier Flagey in Brussels where he works alongside violinmaker Joanne Van Bosterhaut.

He has won First Prize for bow making at Viola's Paris 2019, two Gold Medals and seven Certificates of Merit at the Violin Society of America, one Gold Medal, two Silver and one Bronze at the Mittenwald International Bow making Competition in Germany.

A student at Newark from 2007-10, Niall Flemming now lives and works in Brussels. Among his accolades are two gold medals from the Violin Society of America (2022), 2ème Prix at the Concours D’Archeterie Violas in Paris (2019) and two certificates of workmanship from the Violin Society of America (2018). Niall takes inspiration for his work from the golden era of French bow making; some of his greatest influences include the works of E. Pajeot, N. Maire and F. X. Tourte. The lineage of Niall’s work can be traced back to Bernard Ouchard through his training with Noel Burke and Stéphane Thomachot.

Newark graduates reunion buffet

Join us, meet old friends and make new ones! We are hosting a celebratory buffet to celebrate the golden anniversary of NSVM.

The venue is Newark Town Hall, from 18.30 to 21.00 on Friday 28 April. The caterers are Gannets, and the bar will be open.

The cost is £32 per person, booking details at the foot of the page.

Student/recent graduate forum

For the first time at Lutherie, we are organising a day specifically for violin making students, and those who graduated within the last two years. This will take place at Newark Town Hall the day before Lutherie, Friday 28 April.

The day day includes:
• a tool sale arranged by the RAB Trust, where students can buy donated tools, books and materials at well below market price
• a set-up clinic led by Daniel Kogge, giving students the opportunity to discuss this important aspect of their work with a leading professional
• a round-table discussion led by Libby Summers on how to bridge the gap between college and work, with contributions from potential employers and those who can share their own experience of setting up a business.


Traders have been an important fixture of Lutherie from its inception. The provisional list for 2023 is:

Alexander Accessories
Andreas Pahler Tonholz
British Violin Making Association
D’Addario Strings
Daniel Lane - photographer
Lutherie Books/Tim Toft Violins
RAB Trust
Rowan Brown -  peg maker
The Sound Post Ltd
TIKL - Pro-restore violin cleaner
W. E. Hill & Sons Lutherie Products

If you would like to book a trader’s table, please contact us:


Newark Town Hall
Market Place
Newark on Trent
NG24 1DU

Doors open at 09.30 for coffee and chat, the conference starts at 10.30 and ends at 17.30, with breaks for lunch, catered by Gannets of Newark, and tea.

As in previous years, Newark College is allowing us the use of their car park in Bede House Lane on a first-come, first served basis, postcode NG24 1PY or What3Words ///


The Lutherie organisers are keen to develop links between students and the trade. As a first last year, Stringers of London took a trade table to facilitate meeting students and recruiting the top talent to work with them. This resulted in a job offer and a new member of staff for the shop. We plan to develop this for 2023.

Charity partners

It’s a tradition of Lutherie to support a charity each year; this year we share the honours between Luthiers sans Frontières and the RAB Trust.


If you’d like to join the Lutherie mailing list, please add your email address below.

Booking information

The timetable for the day is:

09.30-10.30 Registration, tea/coffee, traders
10.30 Talk 1
11.30-12.15 Tea/coffee, traders
12.15 Talk 2
13.15-14.45 Lunch, traders
14.45 Talk 3
15.45-16.30 Tea/coffee, traders
16.30 Talk 4
17.30 Close

Please book via Eventbrite

Lutherie 2023

© 2023 Lutherie2023

Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Created with
Mailchimp Freddie Badge