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Home > Music Interest > Music Stories

Masters of String Instruments from Luby u Chebu Czech Republic

4.10.1935 Horni Myslova okr. Trest'

Emil Lupac's interest in music brought him at the early age of ten to a school of music where he studied violin and clarinet playing. From there he went to the apprentice school at Luby, where his instructors were the master violin-makers J. Vavra, J. Potzl and J. Mrkvicka. After graduating with extraordinarily high marks from the apprentice school, where his talent received full recognition, he was enrolled in the two-year post-graduate school where master violin-maker, J. Potzl developed the talents of his students to a higher degree of perfection and initiated them in the mysteries of designing instruments individually. After graduation, Lupac produced his first concert violin in the Cremona plant, end went on to improve his skills at the four-year course for prospective master violin-makers under the two great practitioners of the art, Vavra and Wilfer. After winning the title of "The Plant's Best Worker" several times, Lupac took special examinations and was placed in 1972 in the category of master violinmaker.

For his high-quality work, Emil Lupac has won:

  • Diplomas from the H. Wieniawski International Contests at Poznan in the years 1962, 1967, 1977 and 1981,
  • International Contest in Italy - diplomas for a violin and for a viola in 1976, in the year 1979 – diplomas for a viola, violin and violoncello, 
  • International Contest in the USA in 1978 - certificates for work and for tone qualities of a violin and certificate for work on a viola.
  • 2nd Prize in the violin category and 4th Prize in the viola category in the 1973 master instrument sound tests, 
  • 3rd Prize in the violin and viola categories in the 1974 master instruments sound tests.

Lupac makes instruments to his own model designed after instruments by Stradivari and Guraneri.

26.11.1935 Hroby, okr. Tabor

A quarter of a century ago, the outstanding master violinmakers J. Vavra, J. Potzl and J. Mrkvickawere the first to help develop the talent of Karel Zadrazil, a young apprentice from Southern Bohemia. At the two-year post-graduate school for the best students from the trade school, Zadrazil confirmed his intention to become a master violin-maker. Practical work in the concert violin workshop and the four-year course under Vavra and Wilfer trained Zadrazil for the post of specialist instructor in the Luby school for apprentices. He was awarded the title of master violin-maker after passing the "supreme examination" - i.e., making a violin under Vavra and Potzl and a cello under Neudorfer.

Karel Zadrazil's work has won the following awards:

  • "Best Worker in the Musical Instruments Industry",
  • "Best Worker in the Ministry's Competence",
  • Diploma from the H. Wieniawskego Contest at Poznan,
  • State distinction "For Excellent Work" in 1963,
  • Order of Work in 1981,
  • International Contest in Italy in 1976 - diploma for a violin and for a viola, 
  • International Contest in the USA in 1978 - 2 certificates for violins, diploma for a viola,
  • Exhibition of Arts and Craft in Munich, FRG, in 1979 - dioploma for participation,
  • International Contest at Cremona, Italy, in 1979 - diploma for a violin and for a violoncello, 
  • 3rd prize for the tone of a Viola at the Louise Spohr competition at Kassel, GDR, 1983

Zadrazil makes his instruments to classical designs modified to his own model. The colour of his instruments corresponds to the type of wood used.

21.4.1941 Zilina

Born at Zilina in Slovakia, Frantisek Zakopcanik spent his apprenticeship years (1955-1958) under master violin-makers J. Vavra and J. Potzl at the trade school for violin-makers at Luby. In the postgraduate course for individual instrument-making he built two master violins as the basis for his future independent work. In 1960, he went to work in the cello and double-bass shop, but in that period he also made several double-basses on his own account. Their high assessment by a commission of experts launched him in 1967 on the career of specialist maker of master double-basses. The very good sound of the instruments from his master's shop have won them high recognition.

  • Diplomas for violoncellos from the International Contests in Italy in 1976 and 1979.

Frantisek Zakopcanik makes double-basses to his own model. The colour of his instruments is mostly reddish brown.

4.2.1948 Utvine u Touzimi

A native of Western Bohemia, Josef Dvorak lived from 1960 at Kralovske Porici u Sokolova, where he also completed his compulsory school education. As a schoolboy he attended optional hobby classes and there fell in love with wood. It was only natural for him to apply, in 1963, for an apprentice post at Cremona.

In 1966 Dvorak completed his apprenticeship with very good marks in both theoretical and practical subjects thanks to the experienced master violin-maker Miroslav Pikart who helped him to develop his talent.

After completing the apprentice school, Cremona's management appointed him, in view of his overall good marks, particularly in the specialized subjects, to the master violins shop, where he gained new experience under his older fellow workers, the present master violin-makers Emil Lupac and Karel Zadrazil.

From 1976 to 1979, Dvorak attended the three-year postgraduate master school under the master violin-maker Emil Lupac, which furnished a solid background for his ingenuity and skill as the maker of master instruments. Since then he has built several instruments which are now played by students of the Conservatory.

Dvorak makes his instruments to the Stradivari and Guarneri models.

Emil Lupac
Emil Lupac
Karel Zadrazil
Karel Zadrazil
Frantisek Zakopcanik
Frantisek Zakopcanik
Josef Dvorak
Josef Dvorak