Master Craftsman Producing and Restoring Violins in Samobor

Total Croatia News

Silvo Rebić owns the only violin production and repair workshop in Samobor.

A small, modest workshop for the production and restoration of string instruments is located just a hundred metres from the central square of King Tomislav in Samobor near Zagreb. You would expect to see an old master there, probably with a beard and an unusual cap. However, the owner is forty-three-year-old Silvo Rebić, who immediately shows an electroacoustic violin he himself designed, reports Večernji List on September 5, 2018.

This is nothing new, electro-acoustic violins have been produced for a long time, but he says that his is unique due to the carbon soundboard. He worked on it for two years and finally managed to bind wood and carbon. Rebić’s violin differs in that it has no angles, and he presented it at a fair in Frankfurt, where it caused great interest. But, he says, he needs someone serious who would invest funds to start production. The price has not yet been defined, but it could be about 3,000 euro.

Rebić attended the former Musical Education Centre in Zagreb and some of the classes were held at the Department of Construction and Restoration of Musical Instruments led by Professor Slavko Domitrović. In later years, he received a scholarship for the Cremona Musical Centre. In that town, Andrea Amati made the first violin in the middle of the 16th century, and his grandson Nicolo taught the famous master Antonio Stradivari. Rebić was awarded the scholarship in 2004, and he stayed there from 2006 until 2008. On return, he opened the workshop in Samobor.

He is the only violin production craftsman in Samobor and one of the few in the immediate vicinity of Zagreb. He deals mostly with the restoration of violins, cellos and double basses, but he also produces new ones. In addition to electroacoustic, he also makes classic instruments.

The best wood for making instruments is Bosnian maple. It produces the best sound and was also used by the great Stradivari. It takes about 200 hours to produce a violin, and Silvo Rebić makes five a year on average. In addition, he restores 15 to 20 violins a year.

He has a lot of work; there are few people like him and a lot of violins, around 2,000 in the whole of Croatia. Each professional ensemble, such as the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera in Zagreb, as well as those in Split, Rijeka, Osijek, has 40 string instruments each. There are also secondary music schools in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Šibenik, Rijeka, Osijek, Varaždin, four in Zagreb, with three professors and 13 students on average. And there are a few hundred privately-owned violins which are almost never played.

Many of Rebić’s clients are people who have inherited violins and now want to restore and sell them for a good price. The restoration costs from 1,000 euro upwards, while newly-made violins are sold for 3,000 euro.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Boris Šćitar).


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