Johannes Schuricht fell in love late – with the double bass. This makes him one of the few violin makers who dares tackle this giant violin. He has been in love with working on the instrument since he learned to play the double bass eleven years ago. Mr Schuricht’s other activities in Gisingen, Feldkirch, are also extremely rare – he is the only trained violin maker in the whole of Vorarlberg, and his large collection of double basses is unique throughout the whole of Austria.
The four-year apprenticeship in Cremona, the Italian stronghold of instrument making, has left its mark. Stradivari himself built his world-famous violins in Cremona. Today, they are worth around €20 million. “There is a lot of myth involved,” says the professional. “The sound of contemporary violins is almost equal to that of a Stradivari.” He spent his journeyman period in Den Haag and Vienna, and took the master craftsman’s exam in Innsbruck in 1994.
In his free time, he plays double bass with the “Zitternden Lippen” – a men’s jazz band from Feldkirch that enjoys music. The ambitious bassist also plays in other bands, such as in the rock ensemble “Faltarock” and in “Jackys Jazz Critters”. He no longer has the time to make double basses himself, since there is a long list of instruments that need repairing and the musicians need their violins back as quickly as possible. And so the man with the exquisite sense of hearing tries to get into the workings of the mind of the maker before applying himself to the task. These days, a really high-quality violin from a renowned violin maker costs around €40,000, and so it is worth understanding the violin and taking your time before you get cracking with its restoration. “You have to keep as much of the original as possible, otherwise the instrument loses its authenticity – and its value.” And that is what Johannes Schuricht is known for – it is not without reason that musicians travel long distances to have their instruments repaired by him. Only by him, of course.