Fine handcrafted bows for historical instruments – Baroque and Classical bows

Eitan Hoffer has been making baroque and classical bows for early music string instruments since 2005.

His bows are played by a large number of the leading exponents of early music, throughout Europe and the USA. These include members of

Hesperion XXI, Concerto Copenhagen, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, English Baroque soloists, Gabrieli Consort and Players, Holland Baroque Society, Les Folies Francoises, Solamente Naturali, Göteborg Baroque, The London Handel Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Academy of Ancient Music,

and many more.

 

Eitan received his musical training at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, graduating in 1998. Since 2007 he has played baroque violin and lute with “Barrocade”– Israel’s leading Early Music ensemble, of which he was a co-founder.

As a bow maker, Eitan has been studying original baroque and classical bows from the 17th and 18th centuries. His approach includes the precise measurement of original bows from a number of museums, determining length, exact graduations of the stick, camber, weight, balance point, stiffness of the stick, materials used etc.

His art is to combine his musical skills and sensitivity with his researches, to create concert bows tailored to the needs of the musicians and of the musical style of the period. They are therefore a product of research, experience and passion.

Eitan’s interest lies not only in replicating the visual aesthetic of the original bow, but also in understanding the musical ideals that bows of different periods were made to serve. The playing characteristics of each bow are designed to echo the performance practices of the 17th and 18th centuries, as gleaned from the historical sources and treatises of the period.

 

Classical bows at the workshopAll bows are made by hand, from natural and traditional materials. Therefore, each bow is a unique creation, with its own distinct personality. Although most bows are made to order, there is often a collection of bows ready for trying and available for buying. Bows are shipped after a personal consultation, either face to face (during exhibitions or private appointments) or by e-mail and phone contact. Because of the unique needs of each musician, models can be adjusted to fit those specific requirements.

All bows are thoroughly tested for their playing qualities either by Eitan himself (if for violin or viola) or by his professional colleagues (for cello, viola da gamba, and double bass bows), and a bow would only be shipped after passing such tests. This is in the recognition that each bow is designed to serve as a professional and fine concert bow, fit to grace any stage.

 



Baroque and Classical bows at the workshop.
Baroque and Classical bows at the workshop.

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Updates and photos from the workshop, interesting links for baroque string players and some video clips of musicians playing with my bows. You can “follow” or “like” the page get updates.