Gregg T. Alf
Born to an artistic family in Los Angeles on January 30th, 1957, Gregg Alf is widely respected as one of the leading violinmakers of our time. Musically inclined, he studied the violin as a child and made his first violin in 1975.
At age 19, he moved to Cremona, Italy where over the course of eight years he graduated from the Cremona International Violinmaking School “Antonio Stradivari” in 1980 and earned a growing reputation for his work. He returned to the USA in 1984 and with his friend, Joseph Curtin, founded the violinmaking studios of Curtin & Alf. From that collaboration grew Alf Studios (www.alfstudios.com), which continues to this day in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Gregg’s work has won highest honours at international competitions and exhibitions including a full range of awards and gold medals, and in 1982, the Violin Society of America’s highest honorary designation, “Hors Concours”. His unique style has evolved through an in-depth study of the rare Italian instruments that pass through his shop combined with a careful and ongoing dialogue with the concert artists who own them. His advocacy of contemporary making has brought a new generation of performers to the viability of modern instruments and Gregg Alf violins appear regularly on-stage with many of today’s leading symphony orchestras, in new recordings and in concert with some of the most respected soloists of today. They were presented at the Ole Bull celebration in Bergen Norway and are in loan collections offered by the Royal Academy of London, the Amati Foundation, Dextra Musica and the Maestro Foundation.
As a violinmaker, Gregg is exceptionally open about sharing his techniques. While honouring the Italian traditions represented in his replicas, Gregg looks to science and innovation for the guidance and inspiration needed to make even better instruments in the future. Founder and Artistic Director of the Amiata Summit, Gregg believes that promoting a new climate of openness between his colleagues and encouraging original models that look to the future while honouring the past are the keys to true progress in the art of violin making. He is a regular presenter at schools across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Highly regarded as a teacher, many of his apprentices have gone on to distinguished careers of their own.
Gregg holds membership in the Violin Society of America, the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, the British Violin Making Association and the Entente Internationale des Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art. He has served on the faculty of the Oberlin Violinmaking Workshops for many years and was a frequent workmanship judge for the VSA’s Violinmaking Competitions, the Cremona Trienalle, the First China International Violinmaking Competition, and others. In 2011 he served on the Scientific Committee of the Guadagnini Exhibition in Parma, Italy. Gregg currently works on the Scientific Committee of the Cremona Museo del Violino, and I recent years has curated several important exhibitions including the 2016 Messiah Stradivari Exhibition in Cremona and the Tokyo Stradivarius Festival, 2018.
When away from his bench, Gregg may be found scuba diving, cooking Italian food, practicing meditation and yoga, or just enjoying life with his wife, Anna, their two young children, Leo and Amiata, and a treasured circle of friends. Gregg is now living with his family in the historic center of Venice.
1975 Made first violin
1978 Member of Violin Society of America (VSA)
1978 VSA’s 3rd Third International Competition Gold Winner
1980 Graduated from the Cremona International Violinmaking School “Antonio Stradivari”
1980 VSA’s 4th International Competition Gold Winner
1982 VSA’s 5th International Competition Gold Winner
1982 VSA Highest Honorary Designation “Hors Concours”
1984 Founded Curtin & Alf with Joseph Curtin
1984 Inducted member at the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
1995 Member of British Violin Making Association
2003 Inducted member at Entente Internationale des Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art
2016 Cocurator for Messiah Stradivari Exhibition in Cremona
2018 Curator for Tokyo Stradivarius Festival
VSA Violin Making Competition
I and III Edition of China International Violin Making Competition
XIII Edition Triennale Internazionale di Liuteria Antonio Stradivari International Violin Making Competition Pisogne
9th International Contemporary Violin Making Competition A.N.L.A.I