Live Stream: Café Conversation with Samuel Zygmuntowicz, luthier, July 31

How to Talk to Your Violin Maker, with luthier Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

Samuel Zygmuntowicz (born 1956) is a contemporary luthier. He began his instrument making training when he was thirteen years old and studied making and restoration under Peter Prier, Carl Becker and René Morel.

Zygmuntowicz was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. Later he received five years of additional training in the restoration workshop of Jacques Français and René A. Morel. Since 1985 he has been based in Brooklyn, New York, often making replicas of classic instruments.

His clients include Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin and Maxim Vengerov. In their 2008 recording of Bach fugues, the Emerson String Quartet all played Zygmuntowicz instruments.

Isaac Stern owned two of his violins. After Stern died in 2001, both violins were sold at a Tarisio auction in 2003. Each violin surpassed the previous record for the highest price paid for a string instrument by a living maker at auction. One of the instruments sold in 2003 was a Guarneri-model violin made by Zygmuntowicz in 1994 for Stern.