Violin Maker

1. Max Franke (1889 – 1985)
2. Wolfgang Franke Born in 1951
3. Joachim Franke (1926 – 2013)
4. Andreas Franke Born in 1978

The history of these four generations of violin makers began with Max Franke, my great grandfather, who started to learn making violins from Otto Jaeger (Frankfurt). Max worked afterwards in the workshops of Heinrich Kessler (Mannheim) and Richard Heberlein (Nuremberg). Later, he became main assistant to Albin Wilfer (Leipzig), before commencing his own business in Leipzig (1921). His work won great appreciation, even winning the gold medal in a competition of violin makers in Germany (1938).

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Max’s four sons also became luthiers and each developed his own workshop within Germany. Rodolf Franke had his in Wiesbaden, Herbert Franke in Mannheim, Bernard Franke in Stuttgart and Joachim Frank, the youngest, continued his father’s business in Leipzig from 1959, giving birth to this dynasty of violin makers.

Wolfgang Franke, the son of Joachim, began his own business in 1976, and I am Andreas Franke, Wolfgang’s son.

I was born and raised in the tradition of a luthier family, a tradition that certainly very much supported me in choosing my profession.

My father’s workshop was my first place for apprenticeship until 1998, when I won the first prize in a violin making competition for apprentices. To further improve my skills and experience, I worked in various well-known workshops belonging to Jochen Schmidt (Dresden, Germany), Christine Erik (Vienna, Austria) and Orfeo (Hongkong). Opportunities to cooperate with many professional musicians from renowned orchestras, such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Symponiker, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Capella Amadeus Jakarta, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra also improved my expertise in optimizing a specific instrument to achieve the best tonal qualities possible.

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My interest in the Eastern culture brought “Franke” to Bangkok, Singapore and now to Jakarta. With pleasure I will share with you information and knowledge you need concerning string instruments and bows, to help you make the right decision. High levels of expertise, skill, accuracy and care are absolutely essential in improving or restoring the “antique” and highly valuable musical instrument. Many years of experience and a far ranging knowledge transmitted from generation to generation will make a restoration conform to your needs and proficiency. In addition, I only use the best materials and instruments to get the best results. I do everything with my own hands, be it a simple repair or a complicated restoration, for my customer’s satisfaction is my greatest happiness.

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Andy Franke


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