For many decades, our family business has been concerned with the making of high quality string instruments, with the cello at the centre of our efforts.
In our workshop, we strive to blend traditional handicraft with the most up to date acoustic measuring techniques.
As members of the cello makers’ guild, my family is now in the third generation.
My grandfather started out with a small workshop where he artfully carved violin and cello necks from the raw wood.
When my father, Anton Stöhr, took over the workshop, he continued this enterprise in the spirit of its founder. One year after taking over the business, my father established his tone wood business in Igelsdorf, which he continues to run to this day. In addition, he began a further enterprise in founding the Anton Stöhr – Cello Workshop which has, for more than 30 years, gained him many satisfied customers worldwide.
With this family background, it was impossible for me not to fall for the charm of violin making.
I was admitted into a three year apprenticeship under Günter H. Lobe, master violin maker. After being successful at Chamber of Industry, State and German Federal levels, being granted the title “Germany’s best violin making journeyman”, I passed my master’s examination in violin making in 2000 in Nuremberg, being honoured with the Bavarian State Prize as best graduate.
Since then, my creativity in our cello workshop has blossomed further.
For a long time, my profession has been my vocation.Master cellos from one – hand from the raw tree trunk to the ready-to-play instrument. A confirmation of my continuing improvement in the quality of the “Thomas Stöhr Celli” is the win of the “German Musical Instrument Award – Category Cello”. This award is granted by the Federal Ministry for Economy and Labour, to acknowledge products of outstanding quality. Within Germany’s musical instrument sector, it is considered the highest honour available, and it was presented to me by the Federal President, Johannes Rau. A further confirmation of my workmanship was the Violin-Making Competition in Mittenwald 2005, where I was judged second best cello maker in Germany.
Our workshop is in Baiersdorf-Igelsdorf, a village just outside the gates of the city of Erlangen in Franconia, and in the true meaning of the word, its products resonate well within national and international orchestral circles and among famous soloists.
In closing, a little anecdote:
Thinking about the great violin or cello makers, we usually visualize them in their sixties or older, with stern faces and long flowing beards. When I was awarded the German Musical Instrument Award by Federal President Johannes Rau, I was 28 years old, and a guest of honour expressed his surprise at my receiving this great honour at such a young age. At which a member of the President’s entourage remarked: “What do you expect? At his age, Stradivari was already building masterful violins, and at age 30, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had composed his best works.”