Living and working in a countryside, gives me the opportunity to spend as much time in nature as possible. The sports - running, cycling, swimming, hiking, playing tennis-, gardening, relaxing, eating healthy food, suntanning, going to concerts... help me to keep a good physical-mental health and a vivid sense for good sound and aesthetics in a creative life. To be a violin maker is not just a job, but profession and a lifestyle.
A report with me in 2016 (only in Hungarian):
I was studying baroque violin- and viola da gamba making at West Dean College in West Sussex, England. I finished the 3 years course within 2 years and received a Diploma with distinction.
Studying violin making at Franz Liszt Academy of Music. 1996-1998.
Teaching violin making at Franz Liszt Academy of Music. 2010-2015.
Living and working in a peaceful countryside yet still close to the capital’s musical life, giving me the opportunity to dedicate my entire attention to the highest level of craftmanship. There’s a comfortable three rooms spacious area for the workshop in this 220 years old house, near by the Catholic church, with a large 3600 square meters garden.
I believe that art is not a mere interpretation of copying old artefacts but creating new ones that never exised before. Classical makers in 16th – 18th centuries understood proportions – like golden section, harmonic section, arithmetical section. They were geniuses in the way they used divine proportions, stylistic variations and shaped different characters of sound. With a close understanding of the classical cremonese violin making system and their inspiration behind the surface, enables me to freely create period and modern instruments in the manner of our great classical makers.
I believe that the „engine” of the musical instrument is the finest quality of tonewood. This provides the continous growth in the quality of sound for centuries. Once a year I drive to certain areas in Europe, where the best tonewoods grow to buy the wood for my musical instruments. These are spectacular and special places from Transylvania to South Tirol, where I go for long walks in the high mountains to smell the scent of the forests and meet the people who live there. Then the wood rests for long years before I bring it back to its other life.
Baroque cello was made in 2016, based on a successful new personal model (form “P2” from 2015). Due to the demand for somewhat smaller size cellos, I created this shape, based on smaller size original instruments, like Gofriller and Stradivari.
Body length: 745 mm.
Body mensur: 400 mm
Neck length: 280 mm
String length: 693 mm
This larger modern violoncello was made in 2014, based on my personal “P” mould.
Body length: 757mm
Body mensur: 408 mm
Strings length: 707 mm
This 7 stringed bass viol was made in 2011, personal form, based upon 17-18th Century original viols' outlines.
During the making of the plan, I found surprising similarities among original outlines, which were either english or french ones and were made in a good 100 years difference - by superimposing tracing papers on each other. I guess they often must have simply copied outlines from each other. I was interested to examine some aesthetically pleasing plans where I found obvious harmonics in outlines. Mainly the 3/7 - 4/7 ratio was used to divide length into parts and determine the instruments widths. I wanted to create the origin of these shapes and making individual forms upon this "perfect" shape.
Since this was done, I can build instruments so freely on this mould, each of them will be different and personal, but we will always feel the heavenly dimensions, which we feel often from the classical instruments.
Inspiration from viols of Nicolas Bertrand.
Making modern and historical violins, violas, cellos and viola da gambas are the main profile of the workshop.
Considering the sound and playing comfort as the main importance, we work on the fine tuning of all those elements making the sound better.
Due to the demanding and time-consuming in-depth work, we can undertake one or two instruments in a year to restore.
When I established Viktor Koos atelier in 2004, the „bespoke” violin making was the main profile of my enterprise. When a musician comes to discuss aspects of making a new musical instrument, we have to find a common language in sound quality and aesthetical expressions. Before I undertake a commission, I also ask them to try one of my instruments, a few years old one, and a relatively new one to have an idea of my workmanship.
There is a good one year of waiting list usually, in the meanwhile, we can find the right tonewood and work on personal requests. Musicians can visit me any time to look at the making process, and they receive pictures about the ongoing process.
When the instrument is ready, there is a two week trial period before they are expected to decide about the purchase.
Jordi Savall & Le Concert des Nations were playing in Budapest, at the Liszt Academy of Music, 19 May 2015.
Manfredo Kraemer, the concertmaster of Le Concert des Nations playing Viktor Koos baroque violin, made in 2010. The instrument was inspired by the late works of Guarneri del Gesú.
Balazs Mate, the cellist of Le Concert des Nations is playing Viktor Koos baroque cello, made in 2008. The cello was based on Antonio Stradivari’s famous “B-forma” reconstructed cello mould.
Balazs Mate and Manfredo Kaemer are playing these instruments in Utrecht, 5th of September, 2010.
+36 26 335 308
+36 30 495 7135
Széchenyi utca 6. Tinnye, 2086 Hungary