Evah Pirazzi violin, viola and cello strings. Who is she? Is her name really Evah Pirazzi? Is it actually possible that someone has a name that cool?I always wondered about that mysterious green goddess who appears on the package of
"That is a drawing my father made of my mother," said Annette Müller-Zierach, answering my long-burning question. Annette is Managing Director of Pirastro GmbH, the Germany-based string company that makes Evah Pirazzis, Obligatos, Pirastro Gold Label and much more. I met her while she was in Los Angeles for the 2018 NAMM Show.
"I don't know that it looks exactly like her..."
Her mother is Eva Pirazzi!?! I couldn't believe it. I truly felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity. I asked for a picture.
If my husband drew a picture like that and said, "This is you, my dear," I must say, I'd feel quite happy and well-adored, whether it really looked like me or not.
Eva's maiden name was Pirazzi -- her husband is Volker Müller-Zierach, and so now her name is actually Eva Müller-Zierach. Since the early '90s Eva and Volker have run Pirastro GmbH, along with their children Annette (whom I was meeting) and Henning Müller-Zierach.
Also, her name is "Eva," not "Evah." What's up with that? There are two explanations, one having to do with the family, and one a bit more market-oriented. The letters "E-V-A-H" include every member of their family: E = Eva; V = Volker; A = Annette (and also Anny, Eva's mother); H = Henning (and also Hermann, Eva's father). For marketing, the letters stand for qualities of the string: E = Extra; V = Value; A = Added; H = Hypersonic.
String-making has run in their blood for centuries, I discovered. Their family goes back to Giorgio Pirazzi (born in 1766), who learned the craft of string-making at age 14, apprenticing with string makers in both Naples and Rome. Giorgio founded the original string company in 1798, which is the year he established the factory in Offenbach, Germany, just south of Frankfurt, where it remains today. Around the turn of the 20th century, the company became "Pirastro" when Giorgio's grandson, Gustav Pirazzi, teamed up with Theodor Strobel, thus "Pira-Stro."
Eventually the company went from father Gustav to son, Hermann, and then in 1992 Eva and Volker took the helm, paving the way for the innovations that the company embraced in the 21st century, with the introduction of new synthetic-core string lines: Obligatos in 2000, designed to produce a warm orchestra sound; Evah Pirazzis in 2002, designed as soloist strings; and Evah Golds in 2014, designed blend the power of Evahs with the warmth of Obligatos.
It was not surprising to learn that her father, Volker, is also an artist. His art work, concepts and even handwriting appear not just on the Evah Pirazzi label but in much of Pirastro's materials - for example, on the packaging for Obligato and Violino strings.
Who knew that so much history and family lore went into the making of a violin string?
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