The old town of Maastricht is the homebase of artisan violinmaker Martin Rijsemus. Since 1981 is his workshop/ studio located at the Witmakerstraat 1 in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Being a son of an artisan smith and a mother devoted to playing the violin, it may not have come as a surprise that Martin (born Wageningen 1955) was strongly influenced by the love of his parents for arts and crafts as well as for the fascinating instrument the violin. He started playing the violin at the age of five and his musical training was completed under supervision of Mr Tibor Berkovits (+ 1988) at the Music Academy of Maastricht (conservatorium Maastricht). As a violinist he has been for many years member of the Heerlen Salon Orchestra performing nationally and internationally. During that time Martin also studied at the Mittenwald School for Violin makers, an International centre of excellence for stringed instruments, where he finalized his study to become a violinmaker. Presently with more than three decades of experience running his own workshop, Martin has become a seasoned master violinmaker helping and training others to also master the art of violin making. The combined skills of being able to make a violin out of a mere block of wood as well as his knowledge and feel for how a violin should sound, brought many true stringed instrument artists to his workshop.
Martin is married to Ingrid who studied at the same Music Academy of Maastricht. She has been a student of the famous Hungarian pianist Mrs Hedy Schneider. In the early years of their marriage Ingrid pursued her own musical career, teaching children to play the piano. For the past 15 years though she has been supporting Martin in the daily business of running the workshop/ studio. Recently (we are writing 2016) they celebrated their 38th marriage anniversary with their two sons Ingmar and Niels. The oldest son Ingmar is a gifted cellist yet his greatest passion lies with modern technics. He studied and graduated aviation electronics and is currently employed in that direction. Niels on the other hand, clearly likens to his father when in 2002 he chose to become an apprentice in the workshop of his father. In 2012 Niels demonstrated his mastering of the art by handmade his first violin, which had been bought by Mr Andre Rieu, Maastricht’s most famous ambassador of the violin.
Niels his training included a one-to-one by George Ettinger in Los Angeles, USA. Now Niels too is a master violinmaker and he is particularly focussing on the restoration of rare stringed instruments.
Nowadays father and son constitute the workshop/ studio “Rijsemus and Son, Violinmakers Maastricht”. Together they represent almost 50 years of artisan experience in the making of violins.
Martin and Niels their workshop/ studio is not just a place where you can have your violin or cello maintained or repaired, it is also the first step to a “meet and greet” with the world of stringed instruments. Martin has a broad range of rental instruments for the very beginners as well as a corresponding range of exciting instruments for those that are looking for their own personal sound. Martin and Niels are able to cover all your requests and inquiries regarding stringed instruments; you just have to drop in and find out for yourself. You are most welcome.