Zethelius violinmakare

In Swedish


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Torbjörn Zethelius is a graduate of the Violin Making School of America, Salt Lake City, USA. He has apprenticed at Stråkton Violin Ateliers in Stockholm, and with violinmaker Samuel Zygmuntowicz in Brooklyn, New York. He is a member of the professional associations The Swedish Violin- and Bow Maker's Association, SVSF, and Stockholm (musical) Instrument Makers, S.I.M.

I make instruments for discerning musicians and students, working in the Cremonese tradition.

One of my special interests is the study of violin design. This has led me to study the Renaissance - the religious ideas of that time and in particular the role of the musical instrument maker. The antique idea of the Music of the Spheres, Harmonia Mundi, was a central theme that could be visually symbolised through application of Euclidean geometry.

I combine these ideas to form a unified system which can provide a basis for the design of violins. Renaissance Man believed that everything was interconnected in a metaphysical way. I work from the theory that the violin was both a symbol of Man and the cosmos. In other words, it is a 'micro-cosmos'. The image of a living universe where Musica Mundana is a central theme become realised in the geometry of violins.

On S.I.M.'s web site I am presenting a method of constructing the arching of the belly and back by working from the inside of the plates toward the outside, instead of starting the procedure with the outside, which is the common practice of our time. I wish to suggest that this method could conceivably have been the classical violin maker's method of construction, from the very beginning of violin making in the Sixteenth Century until the mid-Eighteenth Century. Click here to read more.

"The Betts" "Kreisler" "The Betts"
"The Betts"
Antonio Stradivari 1704
Guarneri "Del Gesù" 1733
"The Betts"
Antonio Stradivari 1704


Be in touch with me: By telephone: +46 (0)8 669 17 66. You can also send a fax to the same number - by appointment. Email is usually answered within a few days: zethelius@netinstruments.com.

Visit me: Pålsundsgatan 6, 117 31 Stockholm, intercom #201, When in Stockholm you are welcome to visit me by appointment. Subway to Hornstull, 10 minutes from Central Station.

Showings: Viewing and playing of instruments may be arranged at your convenience in any location in the Stockholm area, e.g. at concert halls, practice rooms, and so on.

Services: I do sound adjustments, sales by commission, etc. Welcome!

Pictures taken in Ashmolean Museum i Oxford, The Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. © Copyright Torbjörn Zethelius. Photo of the Zethelius viola was taken by Tucker Densley.

Photo: Malcolm Jacobson


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