Wolfgang Schnabl was born in 1963 in Bubenreuth, Germany. The art and craft of instrument-making fascinated him early on because, like every other art form, striving for perfection is key. Stradivari and Montagnana were the most important role models. This fascination finally led him to follow in his father's footsteps.

From September 1984 to February 1988 he studied at the 'Staatliche Fachschule für Geigenbau' in Mittenwald. "Among his notable instructors were Roland Sandner and Franz Reindl. In 1989/90 he worked in the shop of Premsyl O. Spidlen in Prague, and in the summer of 1991 he was invited to the shop of Joseph Kun in Ottawa, Canada, where he further refined many skills.

Wolfgang Schnabl is best known for his cellos. In his first participation in an international violin-making competition (Paris, 1991), his first ever cello took 5th place. With this result he was the best and youngest participant from Germany.

Further medals and awards at violin making competitions followed, thus, e.g.

  • 3rd International Competition Prague 1993 - Bronze Medal Violin & Bronze Medal Viola
  • 3rd international competition Mittenwald 1997 - 1st place and silver medal cello (gold medal not awarded!)
  • International Cello Festival Manchester 1998 - 1st place and silver medal Cello (gold medal not awarded!)

In 1996 he successfully completed the rigorous examination to become a certified Master Luthier (Geigenbaumeister) and was additionally awarded the Bavarian State's Master Prize (Meisterpreis der Bayerischen Staatsregierung). Since 1998 he has worked independently from his own workshop in Bubenreuth.

Today Wolfgang Schnabl is one of the most respected violin makers in Bubenreuth, whose fame extends all over the world. His customers include well known musicians from Germany and abroad, for whom he also produces custom-made instruments such as a 5-string cello for the renowned Russian cellist Natalia Gutman.

Wolfgang Schnabl