A lover of all things violin, Karl Stobbe is at home in the violin world as both performer and craftsman. He completed a Master’s of Music at Indiana University in performance, with a minor in violin repair and construction. He spent 5 years living a double life as a violinist and a luthier before realizing he was a better player than builder, at which time he put his tools away to make room for practicing. Although occasional relapses still see him playing in the workshop, he has gone on to be one of Canada’s most accomplished violinists, working as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and concertmaster. His recording of Ysaÿe’s Solo Violin Sonatas was nominated for a JUNO award in 2014. His personal website is www.karlstobbe.com.
Karl’s passion for the construction and mechanics of the violin has continued to play an important role in his life, and he has frequent opportunities to see and play exceptional violins and bows. He has given multiple presentations on the history of the violin family, violin building and repair, and is often asked to give lectures and lecture recitals on rare, fine instruments at concert halls, art galleries, universities, and conservatories.
Karl was encouraged to co-create the Violin Addicts Anonymous website by his daughter, who, after watching her father and friend spend several days looking at a set of violins on the Internet, sarcastically suggested that we start a website to help violin addicts. After a minute where she watched our heads triple in size and explode, she looked back in resignation and said, “I’m not coding it for you!”