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Rainer W. Leonhardt

Master Violin Maker

To play a master made violin, viola or cello for the first time is to experience an epiphany: the complex sound, the resonance, the projection and the hand feel, is simply on a higher plane. Factory made stringed instruments rarely, if ever, posses these qualities. Only hand crafted instruments, starting with careful wood stewardship, expert knife and chisel skills, and finishing with sensitive varnish application and setup, are capable of such expression. The reason lies in the nature of the wood itself, a living and heterogeneous material, that requires the discernment of an experienced master to carefully work it to its optimal qualities.

Rainer Leonhardt is the standard bearer for his family's remarkable Mittenwald workshop, the third generation Geigenbaumeister to head the firm. With a lifelong commitment to the craft, and faithfully supporting the rise of young new makers, Rainer Leonhardt is also the manager of Mittenwald's famed Museum of Violin Making. With a reputation that has earned a worldwide following, Leonhardt has continually grown in stature and esteem, consistently winning major international awards.

SHAR is proud to present a fine selection of instruments from Rainer Leonhardt, suitable for the serious player seeking a higher level of artistry and expression. Each instrument includes a certificate signed by Rainer Leonhardt, attesting to its origin and authenticity.


Leonhardt Workshop


The Leonhardt Workshop, producing quality bowed instruments since 1926, is situated in the small town of Mittenwald. This center of South German lutherie has a 350 year tradition of violin making. The Leonhardt workshop has graduated from its humble beginnings to an atelier of master craftsmen. Shop founder Anton Dietl was succeeded by his son-in-law Wilfried Leonhardt – himself son Mittenwald luthier Fritz Leonhardt (plucked instruments). Wilfried Leonhardt has in turn been followed by his own son, master luthier Rainer W. Leonhardt (1997). Considering Rainer W. Leonhardt's passion for excellent craftsmanship, it comes as no surprise that he is also manager of the renowned Mittenwald Museum of Violin Making.

Learn more about the rich history of violin making in Mittenwald and Germany.