Parlor Music with Ute and Mary Jo

Performance is in the Parlor on Friday night, February 28th at 7pm. Seating may be limited and refreshments will follow.

Ute Zahn Bio:

I was born in Germany into a musical family, started music lessons at age four and took up the cello when I was ten.  I soon became interested in the mystery of instrument construction and, after making my first violin at age eighteen, I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life making violins. 
  I graduated with Merit from the Newark School of Violin Making in Newark, England in 1987, and proceeded to work as  a violin maker and restorer for the Beverley Music Center in the UK and for Sandra Wagstaff Violins in Hong Kong.  In 1992 I set up my own business as a violin maker and restorer in Hong Kong.  I also played as a freelance cellist, performing all over Hong Kong and going on several tours of China and Taiwan.  This experience really put me in touch with the needs of the working musician.

In 1998, I was asked to assist in setting up the workshop of Vintage Violins in Vancouver, B.C, and spent three months there.  

  After years of working on my own, I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1999 where I worked for Claire Givens Violins, followed by a few years at House of Note in St Louis Park, MN. While continuing to make instruments in my home workshop I also pursued music-making, playing in a succession of chamber groups and pit orchestras as well as a minimalist avant-garde pop-band by the name of Smattering. 

In early 2011, I joined the non-profit “Luthiers sans Frontieres”, an organization which supports cultural life in underprivileged places by dispatching teams of luthiers, alongside donations of instruments and tools. To find out more about LSF, click here

  From 2012 through 2016, I taught  violin making at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing, MN. 
  In the interest of continued professional growth, I have been attending the VSA’s Violin Makers’ Workshop in Oberlin, OH, annually since 2012.  Memberships include  the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, the VSA, and the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union.

​  I currently divide my time between making fine instruments, doing restoration, playing as a freelance cellist, subbing with the Mankato Symphony as well as the Duluth and Superior Symphony, serving on the advisory board for the violin repair program at Southeast Technical College in Red Wing, MN, and serving as board president for Luthiers sans Frontieres USA