Luthier in New Zealand?

May 19, 2023, 5:51 AM · Hi everyone, recently I felt my cheap apprentice-made $1000 violin is not good enough anymore when playing harder pieces, time to upgrade. I have about a $20k NZD budget ($13000 USD give or take) but it's a bit hard to find a good instrument in new zealand, such an isolated little island here!

does anyone know a good luthier in New Zealand who can make a violin within this budget range or stretch a little bit?

Prefer contemporary violins as I have little knowledge about antiques, also I guess my budget is nowhere near the threshold of a "good antique violin".

Thanks and appreciate any info or advice.

Replies (7)

May 19, 2023, 10:10 AM · I don't know anything about New Zealand violin makers, hiowever I have the international 2022 STRAD directory of makers and shops. For New Zealand it lists 9 sources. It is not clear which are makers and which are only shops. What I do know (because a luthier friend of mine listed in this directory some years ago) is that the listings are paid for by the listed - so the following may be less useful for your purpose than a telephone book.

Antonio Strings, ltd, Christchurch
John B. Harte, Christchurch
Hanna Krause, Christchurch
Gavin MacAlister, Auckland
The Stringerd Instrument Company, Auckland
Adrian Studer, Nelson
The Violin Shop, ltd, Wellington
The Violin Workshop, Auckland
Tobias Widemann Violins, Clarkville, KAIAPOL


May 19, 2023, 12:25 PM · There’s Mitchell McCarthy in New Zealand. He’s American but he moved to New Zealand not too long ago. He’s currently at The Stringed Instrument Company in Auckland.

He made one of my violins while he was still in the US and it’s a wonderful instrument. I’ve had some friends as well as professors play it and they’ve said it’s a very good instrument especially considering what I paid for it. I’m not sure what they’re going for now since he’s moved but I would imagine that his violins would still be in your price range. I tried another one of his violins when I was looking for a new one last year and it was priced at $7000 USD and I bought mine for $6000 USD in 2021.

He has an instagram where he’ll post his work/progress by the name of mccarthyviolins. He’s currently working on a new violin, but I’m sure he’d be interested in building you a violin.

May 27, 2023, 7:43 AM · Thanks, Andrew and Christian for your kind suggestion and advices! I have spoken with my teacher, she did recommend the violin workshop Auckland, says a number of philharmonic orchestra player is using instruments from this workshop which is run by an experienced sole luthier from Mittenwald.

I take a look at Mccarthy's Instagram, looks pretty nice as well, I'll reach out and attempt to get my hands on one to try if possible.

Thanks so much again, guys! I now have some directions.

May 29, 2023, 12:58 PM · There might be a few more on the West Island.
May 29, 2023, 3:24 PM · There's no West Island, only north and south island
May 30, 2023, 6:02 AM · west island of NZ...... I got it, must be referring to the Aussies!
May 31, 2023, 10:28 PM · You got it, Gav. LOL!


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