3rd Generation Violin Maker

Henry Bischofberger’s father and grandfather were violinmakers in Switzerland.  Throughout his life, Henry
has followed that tradition.

Henry learned to play the violin in the 4th grade and continued playing through high school in Seattle’s Garfield High School Orchestra.  In 6th grade, he started a traditional apprenticeship at the family’s violin shop on Capitol Hill in Seattle.  He swept the floors, cleaned violins, strung instruments, and waited on customers.

After graduating from Garfield High School in 1970, Henry traveled to Switzerland to learn his craft at the prestigious Swiss School of Violin Making in Brienz, Switzerland.  After completing his studies in Switzerland, Henry returned to Seattle in 1975 to work in the family’s Capitol Hill violin shop.

In 1985, he moved to San Francisco to continue his professional studies under master violin and bow maker, Frank Passa, who had studied with Sacconi at Wurlitzer in New York.  Henry furthered his studies there in restoration of instruments and bows and had the opportunity to work on many Stradivarius, Amatis, and other fine Italian instruments.

Henry returned to Seattle in 1993 to run the family’s violin shop on Capitol Hill for 12 years.  He now brings over 45 years of experience to his new shop in Kirkland on the East side of Lake Washington.  Here he applies his skill to tonally adjust and fine-tune student and professional-level instruments to optimize their performance.  Henry offers quality instruments for sale or rent at affordable prices, and provides the highest level of service and skill that the Northwest has to offer.

Henry and Debbie

Henry and his wife Debbie started the Kirkland location in 2005. They make a great team as they each have their specialty, Violin Maker and Accountant. They love to play Ukulele, travel and visit their 3 grandchildren.

Customer feedback …

"We put on the Aronoff Chamber Music Festival and Series at Bastyr University each June. I feel Henry Bischofberger is one of a few really reputable instrument dealers in the area. I am a private violin and viola instructor and in the Spring I gave a master workshop for viola students and teachers at Henry Bischofberger Violins and will continue again next Spring. It was very successful! He has an "impressive pedigree" as a Swiss-trained, third-generation violin maker, but more importantly he's got a great instinct of his own for the instruments and bows he chooses to deal in. I think Henry's shop has a beautiful collection of inventory already since he opened. I am so impressed by the fact that he answers his own phone and does his own work." - Joyce Ramee, Co-Director of The Max Aronoff Viola Institute