Cath discovered a passion for making and restoring violins in her early twenties. 45 years later, she still thinks this is the best job in the world — where else could she blend her love of music, wood, history and beautiful sounds into a career that supports and nurtures musicians? Her training overseas, with Vahakn Nigogosian at Oberlin, and Christoph Götting, one of the top violin restorers at Beares, London, has deepened her love of lutherie and expanded her skills and knowledge. She also brings her decades of experience as a performing violinist and teacher into the mix.
Alan comes to SIC with an enviable background in management strategy and IT development, skills which have lifted the Stringed Instrument Company to a new level. He delights in discovering new and exciting products, and loves interacting with customers to find the right instrument or bow for players at all stages of their musical journey.
Together they form the dream duo!
A born talent in circus performing and music making, originally hailing from Switzerland, Pascal started the 4-year apprenticeship at the National Violin Making School in Brienz at 16. Finishing the apprenticeship with a diploma, he travelled to New Zealand in 1997 to start a full-time position working for Adrian Studer Violins in Nelson. He worked for The Stringed instrument Co in 1997, 2003, 2019, and from February 2020 he’s back again working for SIC. His circus career has taken him all over New Zealand, from Loons Theatre and Wellington Fuse Circus to seven consecutive years at WOW - an absolute highlight, and a workplace delight. Pascal is the former Guiness World Record holder in fire eating, breaking the record for the second time in Rome in 2010, for the TV show "Lo Show Dei Record"!
Mitch is a 2012 graduate of the violin making and repair program in Red Wing, Minnesota, and has been working full time as a luthier ever since. He was awarded an academic scholarship from the Violin Society of America during his studies. On graduation, Mitch accepted a job offer in Austin, Texas, where he worked for the next five years, serving the vibrant Austin string community. In 2017 he decided to return to his home state, to work in a violin shop in Minneapolis, and establish a home studio for making his own instruments. Mitch first became aware of the Stringed Instrument Company when he saw a VSA advertisement for a job opening in late 2019. After several years of Covid-closed borders, the stars aligned and he was able to make the trip to New Zealand for a bench test and job offer in mid-2022.
Mitch is very excited to be in Auckland, and looks forward to getting to know the local musicians and help them get the most out of their instruments. He will also continue making his own violins, which will be available at the Stringed Instrument Company in the near future.
And we have wonderful students working for us: Michka, Danny and Emma!