Scandinavian musicians share craft of violin building

The Wadena City Library hosted a Brainerd based Scandinavian fiddle group, Thursday, Feb. 21.

Every aspect of building a violin focuses on acoustic quality. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Every aspect of building a violin focuses on acoustic quality. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

The Brainerd based Scandinavian quartet played several songs in addition to explaining the complex process of violin building. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

The Brainerd based Scandinavian quartet played several songs in addition to explaining the complex process of violin building. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Stringed instruments like these require an immense amount of training to construct. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Stringed instruments like these require an immense amount of training to construct. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

The quartet played Scandinavian and Finnish music. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

The quartet played Scandinavian and Finnish music. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

A small crowd gathered around the unique musicians as they prepared. They skillfully played stringed instruments as the library filled with beautiful folk music.

Arne Anderson, Paul Wilson, Mary Abendroth, and Bob Anderson are a traveling Scandinavian quartet that relish the opportunity to share their native musical style. Arne Anderson and Paul Wilson also enjoy sharing the artisanal craft of constructing violins.

Anderson had a love for woodwork and wrestling. So he set out to be a teacher and coach but his interests shifted when he attended junior college in Brainerd. He took music courses and realized his true passion was for music. He would eventually teach orchestra in Mankato but soon left to study abroad in London. His European adventure began and Anderson took this opportunity to explore the continent. Throughout his travels, most of which were on bike, he was offered an illustrious opportunity. Anderson was invited to study violin building in Cremona, Italy. He simply couldn't turn down the opportunity to fuse his love for music and wood working.

Italy is known for its musical instruments and is home to many legendary instrument builders. Anderson spent years learning how to make violins. His school had special access to violin molds produced by the famous Antonio Stradivari. Stradivari is known throughout the world to be a master violin builder that perfected the art form during the 17th and 18th centuries. Anderson explained how he used molds made by Stradivari to construct near perfect violins. He would take the molds and trace them before cutting the wood so his violins would retain the same shape as those produced Stradivari hundreds of years ago. He hoped that this would grant his instruments the same sound quality as the sought after Stradivari violins. 

For full article, go to: Wadena PJ

Source, image(s), credits & more: Wadena PJ | Michael Denny