Biography

I was born in Perm in 1969.
At the age of five I became fascinated by wood carving and at the age of eleven,  I was apprenticed to instrument maker Vladimir Oiberman in Nalchik. Oiberman has revived the culture of instrumental folk music in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria and created a large number of folkloric instruments. His work led to the establishment of two folkloric orchestras and a department of folk music at the local educational institution.
He taught me the basics of the craft by doing small repairs. However his most important lesson was to show how much can be done while starting from nothing at all.
The experience served me well later, when attempting to reconstruct the violoncello da spalla and working on my own concept of violin making.

At the age of eight, I also started learning the violin with Semyon Ziskind.

At 15 I enrolled at the music lyceum of St.-Petersburg State Conservatoire, where I studied with Irina Etigon and Mark Kommisarov. Mark Kommisarov was also my professor at the St.Petersburg Conservatoire.
I also continued my training as violin maker in St.-Petersburg as an apprentice of Vladimir Yakimenko, under whose guidance I learned repair and restoration, the basics of violin acoustics, aesthetic and history. Under his supervision I made my first violin with which I took part in the First National Competition of violin makers in Moscow, in 1992. To my surprise, the violin was awarded a Diploma and a Deed of Honour. I noticed that most of the fine modern instruments on show were surprisingly similar. The immense variety and freedom of expression found among antique instruments was missing completely. I did not want to conform to this general standard, however high, and I decided never to take part in competitions again.
From then on, I devoted myself to the study of the history and aesthetic of the early violins, at the beginning of the 16th century, including the history of the neck, the bridge, the varnish, etc.

Eventually I decided to approach the violin from the music. I left my post-graduate studies at the St.-Petersburg Conservatoire and moved to Brussels, to study baroque violin under Sigiswald Kuijken.
From 1995 to 2006 I worked with La Petite Bande both as violinist and violin maker. I also worked with the Ricercar Consort and performed as spalla soloist with Bach Collegium Japan.
The experience resulted in a good understanding of the violin as violin maker, as musician.

The School of Arts and Crafts in Pieve di Cento (Ferrara) invited me as guest lecturer in 1997. I also gave lectures at the conservatoires of The Hague and Utrecht, and I taught a violin making class at Daikanyama Academy in Tokyo from 2007 to 2009. From 2006 to 2009 I also was a guest lecturer at the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo. I was a member of the British Violin Makers Association, and of the Fellowship of Makers and Researchers of Historical Instruments based in Oxford. I exhibited my work in Bruges, Utrecht, Cremona, Boston, Tokyo and New York.

My instruments are used by reputed soloists such as Ryo Terakado (concertmaster of Bach Collegium Japan, professor at The Hague Conservatoire and Toho University Tokyo), Sergey Malov, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Myers. They are played by musicians of the St.- Petersburg Philharmonic, of La Petite Bande and of other ensembles in Europe and Asia. The testimonials of these musicians are the best reward.

La Petite Bande, live-recording from Osaka.