A meticulously crafted octagonal violin bow by Benoit Rolland in Paris, stamped 1011 in the underside of the stick. Its playing characteristics are very powerful, bright, quick, with an attentiveness to subtlety, with brilliant harmonic content. 61 grams.
Born and educated in France, where he began making bows 49 years ago, Benoît Rolland now works and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. A musician and master artisan, Benoît dedicated his life to music and and to the advancement of the art of bow making. Bestowed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and a MacArthur Fellow, alongside talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, Benoît practices bow making as a philosophy as much as a skill.
In 1971, Benoît studied under Bernard Ouchard in Mirecourt, the last historical French master. Benoît opened in atelier in Paris in 1976, on rue de Laborde. He soon became the youngest person ever to be nominated Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Artisan of France). In 1983, he received the national title of Maitre Archetier d'Art (Master of Art in Bow Making). Lord Menuhin, Arthur Grumiaux, Slava Rostropovitch, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Stephane Grapelli became familiar sights at Rolland's studio.
Island of Bréhat
Rolland retreated to the Island of Bréhat in 1982. This secluded place allowed him the peace to he invent a tension mechanism that allows the performer to adjust the camber of the bow at will called Spicatto. These bows were awarded First Prize at Musicora in 1994
In 2001, Benoît opened a studio in Boston; in 2000 he made his wood bow number 1000. In 2004, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum featured Rolland's bow-making as a Contemporary Art form combining music and sculpture. In 2013 he created the Galliane frog, designed to set hair at an ergonomic angle. The bows Josef Suk called “fantastic” continued to captivate new generations of star string players such as Lynn Harrell, Christian Tetzlaff, Julia Fischer, InMo Yang, and Yoojin Jang.
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