Bobak Violino – is a recognized and acknowledged workshop with over 25 years of tradition. The company, which has developed its own distinguishing style through years of experience, imparts a unique character to its instruments.
Bobak Violino Workshop is also a place where many young and promising luthiers were educated. Their passion and abilities thrived under the watchful eye of their Master. They are, among others, Jacek Syska, Wojciech Topa, Maciej Łacek, and Tomasz Kowalski, who now, by running their own violin-making workshops, determine the strength of Polish violin making.
The cause of all the stir (the originator and founder of the company) was Jan Bobak, a prominent Polish luthier, member of ZPAL (Polish Union of Artist Violin Makers), first prize winner of the 1986 International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Making Competition.
During his stay in the USA in the 1980s, he had an opportunity to work for the reputable William Harris Lee & Co. in Chicago. There, he came across a completely innovative form of workshop organization. For two years of violin-making work, Jan had been improving his qualifications under direction of Tetsuo Matsuda, who studied at the Cremona school of violin making. Bobak has also collaborated with many now highly regarded luthiers, such as Michael Darnton, William Whedbee, Gary Garavaglia, Vanna So, Bronek Cisoń.
Mutual exchange of experiences and a fresh approach to the issue of instrument construction as well as acoustic and stylistic problems resulted in a totally new outlook on this field of art. Jan Bobak also had a chance to document and copy many outstanding instruments, gathered in the BEIN & FUSHI collection, exemplifying the Italian violin-making art of the 17th and 18th centuries; this, in turn, shaped and stabilized his own style.
Jan Bobak has tried to transfer the obtained experiences to his native soil. In Poland, he was the precursor of giving new instruments features which made them similar to old Italian instruments made by masters. Also today, it is this particular feature that makes our Workshop stand out and constitutes the trademark of Bobak Violino.
At present, it is Grzegorz, Jan Bobak’s son, who is running the company. He graduated from the Antoni Kenar Arts High School in Zakopane, Poland; his specialization was sculpture. In the years 1998-2000, Grzegorz studied violin making at the Chicago School of Violin Making in the USA. He also gained his luthier experience at the William Harris Lee & Co. in Chicago. For some time, he also studied the history of art at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. However, Grzegorz will always tell you that he learned everything that is important in this business from his father.
The international character of the Workshop caused our master instruments signed by Jan and Grzegorz Bobak to be valued and sought-after by both students of Academies of Music as well as professional symphony orchestra musicians and soloists dispersed all over the world, i.e. in Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and, of course, in Poland.
The instruments are constructed by the respective violin makers individually, according to their own vision, which results in all of them having their own distinctive features pertaining to both their style and the quality of sound.
Today, apart from master violins, violas and cellos crafted by Jan and Grzegorz Bobak, the most recognizable and representative instruments of Bobak Violino are constituted by excellent cellos of Jan Szlachtowski and splendidly-sounding violins and violas of Andrzej Swietlinski.