Geigenbaumeister Wolfgang Schnabl

Wolfgang Schnabl - builder and creator of soulful string instruments

I was born in Bubenreuth in 1963 and was fascinated by the art of instrument making from an early age. This fascination led me to follow the footsteps of my experienced and award-winning father, Reinhold Schnabl. Benefit from a family tradition and experience for more than 72 years. I also take great inspiration from A.Stradivarius, J.Guarneri del Gesu and D. Montagnana.

From 1984 to 1988 I studied at the Staatliche Fachschule für Geigenbau in Mittenwald. From 1989 to 1990 I worked in Premysl O. Spidlen’s workshop in Prague, and in 1991 I apprenticed with Joseph Kun in Ottawa, Canada.

The first cello I built achieved 5th place when it premiered at the Concours International de Lutherie et d’Archerie de la Ville de Paris in Paris in Mars 1991. With this result I was simultaneously the best and the youngest participant from Germany.

In 1996 I completed my master’s examination with the “Master Prize of the Bavarian State Government”, and since 1998 I have been working independently in my own workshop in Bubenreuth.

My customers include many well-known German and international musicians, for whom I also produce custom-made instruments. An example of this is a 5-string cello that I made for the Russian cellist Natalia Gutman.

Awards at violin making competitions by Wolfgang Schnabl

International competition Paris 1991
Award of honor: “Mention Speciale du Jury” , category Violoncello

2nd International Competition Mittenwald, Germany 1993
Certificate of honor: youngest, best participant from Germany

3rd International Competition Prague, Czech Republic 1993
3rd place, bronze medal  violin
3rd place, bronze medal  Viola

International Competition VSA Violin Society of America 1992 & 1994
Diploma  “Workmanship Certificate”  for Viola

3rd International Competition Mittenwald, 1997
1st place, silver medal cello (gold medal was not awarded)

Manchester International Cello Festival, England 1998
1st place, silver medal cello (gold medal was not awarded)

Reinhold Schnabl (in memoriam 1932-2020)


  • 1951-54: apprenticeship at the Bubenreuth violin making school, under instructor Willibald Raab.

Journeyman Years: 

  • 1954-56: Wenzel Fuchs workshop, Eltersdorf
  • 1956-57: Scherl & Roth workshop, Cleveland, OH, USA
  • 1958-73: Karl Höfner company, Bubenreuth
  • 1971 – Master’s examination – chamber of crafts Nuremberg
  • 1973-85: Workshop master at Roderich Paesold, Bubenreuth, where he founded the string instrument making business.
  • ab 1985: self-employed in his own, newly built workshop

Awards in violin making competitions by Reinhold Schnabl

1st International Competition Wiesbaden, 1980
2nd place, silver medal  violin

International competition Cremona, Italy 1982
3rd place, bronze medal  violin

1st International Competition Kassel, 1983
1st place, gold medal cello for the best sound

1st International Competition Mittenwald, 1989
2nd place, silver medal  cello