Contemporary Bow Makers

June 5, 2006 at 05:18 AM · Who are some of the best contemporary bow makers and how much do their bows cost?

Replies (19)

June 5, 2006 at 05:00 PM · If you search the archives on this site you'll find tons of useful info on this subject, much of it posted in just the last few weeks.

Let us know if you have problems searching.

June 7, 2006 at 11:56 AM · Hi,

For information on bows, I would suggest that you Email Gennady Filimonov from this site who is extremely knowledgeable on this topic.


June 7, 2006 at 09:33 PM · NOPE! best way is to go to Musicora in France, or check the French register of bow makers, you'll find pretty much everyone there,- but you can't go far wrong with apprentices of the late B Ouchard, from Mirecourt 70's....

Btw takes years to train a good bow maker, like a good sound and recording engineer!

June 8, 2006 at 03:19 AM · Thanks Christian,

This subject has been discussed at great lentgth in previous discussions.

For some who are not familiar with the history of French bow making, the re-birth of the Great French School started with Bernard Ouchard who was asked to comeback to Mirecourt after the 1940s and start up a bowmaking school. Which he did with much success. He planted the seeds with the likes of Rolland and Raffin and then came Thomachot, E. Clement and now with the younger generation of award winning makers that includes S. Bigot, Gilles Nehr and Yannick LeCanu.

These are makers that have already gained great respect among players and collectors alike.

For those who are in Europe (France & or Italy), ofcourse it is easy to go to Musicora or Mondomusica and meet and try contemporary bows and fiddles.

Being that the US Dollar is weak against the Euro, it makes it very expensive now to travel abroad and hence the price of French Bows in France is even more expensive than before.

One of my favorite French makers from the earlier 20th century is J.J. Millant.

There are also wonderful award winning American makers that make fine bows in the French tradition.


BTW Gareth,

looking up lists of makers does not reveal much to people who have never seen the work of most of these contemporary makers. And for those who do not know the difference, how would they know why there is a difference between a bow by Thomachot as opposed to a Yamaha or Coda. This is why many come to visit to ask these questions so professionals with experience in collecting and playing can try to answer these questions.

And if you know Ivry Gitlis, you may know that he plays and loves the bows by Edwin Clement, who lives just around the corner from him in Paris.

June 27, 2006 at 02:56 PM · To give the North American contingent their due, I personally like Pierre Fuchs (semi-North American) and Roy Quade. I also have tried bows from Charles Espy, Robert Morrow, David Forbes, and Paul Siefried (sp?) and all have bows that I like.

June 27, 2006 at 09:48 PM · I can certainly recommend you check out the bows of the English maker Howard Green.I bought one of his bows last year.The sound and playabilty of these bows is just extraordinary.I was already playing on a Benoit Rolland bow.Itzhak Perlman has a couple of Green's bows and Ilya Gringolts plays on one and there many other top players using them.Hope this helps you find the bow of your dreams.

June 28, 2006 at 03:32 AM · I'm crazy about the bow that I recently bought by William Halsey, who lives in Maine. It's one of the finest bows I've ever tried.

June 28, 2006 at 09:12 PM · Here is my short list which includes among the French Makers:




Clement (he is Belgian by birth though)


Le Canu

G. Nehr

among American Makers:

Keith Peck

Joe DaCuhna

I have examples of all of the bowmakers mentioned above in my collection.

Charles Espey (especially earlier bows)

Paul Siefried

Robert Morrow

June 30, 2006 at 02:05 PM ·

June 30, 2006 at 03:19 PM · Well it's sort of like asking who is better Pele or Ronaldo?!

But....Thomachot has his own model which he has not deviated from for the last 15-20 years (similar to that of Sartory in feel but more supple).

Clement loves to make many different models. All very much with a feel of the finest 19th century bows of Tourte, Maire, Peccatte etc.

June 30, 2006 at 04:58 PM · Doug Raguse makes some really nice bows

June 30, 2006 at 05:54 PM · Geoff,

Just wondering.........have you tried any of the other makers I (we) have mentioned?

June 30, 2006 at 07:48 PM · Of modern bows I've tried, some of my favorites are Quade, Raguse, Dirr and Tepho. Two Raguse bows had better facility and balance than the Quade bow that I wound up purchasing. The Quade ellicited a buzzy, sizzly resonance from my gut strings that tipped the scales in its favor. I like bows that sizzle and counduct the string vibrations down to the right hand fingers.

June 30, 2006 at 09:14 PM · Daniel Schmidt of Dresden

June 30, 2006 at 09:25 PM · There is also a good reason why only one person wins a gold every 4 years at the Vatelot competition in each category (as well as every 2 years at VSA for that matter).

i have tried the many other makers mentioned..............and that is why I have my short list.

I encourage those who have not tried the bows I have mentioned to see for themselves.

But to each his own :)

June 30, 2006 at 10:18 PM · Gennady,

for the benefit of those of us on a budget, who is the most affordable and who do you feel is the "biggest bargain" on your short list--or is the proposition gauche?

July 1, 2006 at 08:42 AM · I have been saying for a while that out of the Great French contemporary makers that are still affordable under 4K

it is Bigot, G. Nehr and Le Canu.

As for the American contingent you probably know for yourself what their price is.

Ofcourse it will be the younger generation of award winning makers who are most affordable at the moment.

But the longer you wait, the less affordable they become.

If you are on a budget of under 3K, it is a whole different list of makers and of a different class.

July 1, 2006 at 07:43 PM · no i havent but would sure like to.

July 3, 2006 at 05:02 PM · I agree that the timing is important especially in purchasing young makers bows. The newer generation of N. American bow makers that won gold in Portland (Fuchs, Morrow, etc.) are more likely to be reasonably priced now rather than after they keep winning medals and get more requests for their bows.

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