I was born in Perm in 1969. I started working with wood at the early age of five.
At the age of 15 I enrolled at the music lyceum of the St.Petersburg State Conservatoire, after which I studied the violin at St.Petersburg Conservatoire itself.
In St.Petersburg I continued my training as violin maker at Vladimir Yakimenko’s workshop. Under his guidance I was introduced to repair and restoration, acoustics, aesthetic and history. Under his supervision I made my first violin, which was awarded a Diploma and a Deed of Honour at he First National Competition of violin makers in 1992 in Moscow.
I have now been making fine string instruments for twenty-five years. I work in the tradition of the ancient masters: I don’t make copies. Each instrument by my hand is a unique piece. Each possesses its own distinctive character and the beauty of good craftsmanship.
The making of a string instrument starts at the drawing-board, where I make a sketch and check all the proportions. At the same time, I define three important aspects: the sound, the look, and the feel at the player’s hand.
The quality of the wood is of paramount importance. For the last twenty years I have used the same supplier, who provides me with timber from Southern Europe, which is harvested at the best time and is left to age in the open under optimal conditions.
Excellent quality of materials, exact proportions and the right plate thickness are the necessary conditions for the production of robust instruments with a durable rich and beautiful sound.
Varnishing is one of the most complex procedures in violin making. It is far more than the mere physical protection of the wood. Indeed, the quality of the varnish and the method of its application are decisive elements of the sound and the visual appeal of the instrument.
In the early 1990s I initiated a scientific research project on violin varnishes, working with the chemistry laboratory of the Saint-Petersburg Hermitage and with an Italian laboratory, under the supervision of Italian experts. I also consulted a number of ancient manuals and documents and I experimented with varnishes in my own workshop.
The research showed that the ancient varnishes are in fact based on simple formulas but that their secret lies in a correct preparation and application – a skill that requires long years of practice.