I have had the pleasure and honour to work at some of the best workshops in the world including Florian Leonhard. I was able to learn from the best, and had access to original violins to study and copy. These wonderful work environments allowed me to discuss my profession with both new makers and restorers, enabling me to get a unique perspective on each and every aspect of making violins.
Working as a new maker in a workshop where I had the opportunity to build new instruments next to the originals gave me the preparation I needed to start working for myself.
With every new violin I build, I strive to achieve the perfection of the old masters. Each new instrument is an expression of respect of their work. I find it astonishing, in this day and age, that no one has managed to improve on the originals.
The form of the violin is something the Italian masters perfected. This beautiful design also creates the best sound, so they need to be copied exactly. I work very carefully to meticulously copy each and every detail.
I only use perfectly straight grown wood - maple from Bosnia and spruce from the Dolomites. Before I start cutting the wood, I measure its density and the speed at which the sound travels through it to ensure the highest quality sound from the final product.
My varnish is self cooked according to François Perego’s recipes. It is venetian rosin based and has a beautiful golden colour. This varnish works very well for me when I antique my instruments. I love the aged look of a 300 year old violin and I try to give my work the same appearance.
Of course, no violin is complete without a musician’s input. I am always happy to collaborate with an artist. The musician’s ear is so perfectly trained that it is impressive and inspiring to search together for the desired sound. I am happy to adjust everything. From the neck size to the bridge curve. Every criticism is welcome.
It is a pleasure for me to create something so personal.
2005 - Violin making school of Mittenwald
2009 - Workshop of Francesco Toto, Cremona
2009 - Workshop of Christian Erichson, Hannover
2012 - Workshop of Florian Leonhard, London
2014 - Own workshop, London
2006 - The Art of construction of instruments with Francois Denise
2006 - Oil varnish with Francois Perego
2007 - Continuative course with Francois Denise
2007 - A Course about the history of varnish in Markneukirchen
2006 - At Miehe-Gabardi in Schwetzingen - Main focus: soul and bridge
2007 - At Conrad Stoll in Haldenwang - Main focus: Making of new instruments
2007 - At Hieronymus Köstler in Stuttgart - Main focus: restoration
"Recently, I had the opportunity to play a brand new viola. I am mostly a violinist, although two of my family members play beautiful old violas, so I am not trying a viola for the first time. I was even more surprised to find that on top of the instrument's appearance, it has a very good playability. One often found in old, well played instruments. I wonder how it will sound in a few years considering the quality of it now. Congratulations to the maker Meike Aupperle for her success in such an early work."
"I recently bought my violin from Meike Aupperle. My first own violin.
When we started talking more elaborately about this project, and I heard Meike's ideas and sensed her knowledge and passion for this it became clearer and clearer to me that I'd really love to have a violin made by her.
We talked in a lot of detail, before Meike even started making the violin, about what I would like from an instrument and she always understood what I meant and explained to me how she would do that. And that is a key point: always explaining to me what she is doing and why and how it affects the sound of the violin. I find that very exciting. I like to think she has helped me really get to know my violin even before I had bought it.
I find she has a very good ear so when we were making sound adjustments and playing around with sound posts and bridges I could always trust her opinion.
I could write many more things about the whole process but the most important thing is that I really enjoyed and still do working with Meike and I always feel I can turn to her openly about anything that concerns me about the violin. I must say I don't think there are that many makers out there nowadays who would work so closely with their clients and that makes her all the more special."
"Im Frühjahr 2011 hatte ich zum ersten Mal in meinem Leben die seltene Gelegenheit, ein neu gebautes Instrument in Händen zu halten, auf dem zuvor noch niemand gespielt hatte außer seiner Erbauerin selbst.
Es handelte sich um ein 7/8 Cello, das Meike Aupperle gebaut und gerade spielfertig eingerichtet hatte. Es sah wunderschön aus – die Kopie eines alten italienischen Instrumentes. (Santo Seraffin)
Gleich bei den ersten Tönen, die ich ihm entlockte, war ich überrascht über den schönen vollen Klang – immerhin handelte es sich ja um ein etwas kleineres Instrument…
Ja, und dann haben wir uns richtig angefreundet. Es antwortete sehr schnell auf meine Impulse und kam immer mehr zum Schwingen. Der Klang öffnete sich immer weiter und ich habe mich in das schöne Timbre direkt verliebt. Würde ich nicht selbst ein „ Auguste, Sebastien Bernadel,“ spielen, ich glaube, ich hätte dieses schöne Cello vom Fleck weg gekauft."
"I am incredibly lucky to have found and bought a violin from the talented maker Meike Aupperle. A Guarneri copy, every detail has been intricately and beautifully crafted, and to my delight the process of making it has been documented in photos presented as a fascinating keep-sake.
Meike is a true artisan, taking immense care and pride in her work. She is willing to work very closely with the player to tweak the set-up and gain the best possible sound from the instrument. And what a sound that is! This violin has none of the raw edginess you find frequently with a new instrument. It is deep and mellow, and plays very evenly across the strings. To this end it blends beautifully within a section. But there is far more to the instrument than that. A huge range of colour is possible, accompanied by a volume of sound that will certainly stand to playing solos. I was taken aback at the added reverberance gained when we tried the Senza system, and will now try that on my antique violin.
I will enjoy being able to get more and more from this violin over the years, something which is only possible on an interesting and outstanding violin."