Hellmich Violins

My way

Fortunately

A few

Personal words

My own life journey shows what music and violin making mean to me and why a violin is so much more to me than simply an instrument.

You will also learn why I specialize in making one-of-a-kind pieces with character and thus focus on building new stringed instruments based on the models of the old masters. It means a lot to me to share these insights.

Chapter 1

Discovery

My memories of the village of 800 souls in the former open-cast mining region of Lusatia are dominated by the scent of the pine forests and the sandy ground beneath my bare feet, which has been turned over by coal mining.

My family was pressed by the GDR. On our farm we provided ourselves with food, such as eggs, fruits and vegetables.

You have to remember today how unusual it was back then that my mother expressed the desire to play the piano in her early 20s.

But even more unusual was that on the day of the piano tuner’s visit, a little girl sang to him the pure, correct notes.

That day, an unexpected talent flared up for the first time.

Chapter 2

Fascination

When my single mother made it possible for me to try out different instruments at the age of six at the open day of the music school, I was completely hooked. I was touched from the bottom of my heart when I first entered this world.

My childlike mind felt a deep peace and devoted longing. It was the violin that captivated me the most of all the instruments. I was fascinated by this world, where people understood each other wordlessly and were drawn into a maelstrom with them.

All this started from the symbiosis between player and instrument.

It quickly became clear that I was different. I rarely let my violin out of my hand, wanting to play to my mother in the bathtub in the steamy bathroom. Even a cast on my arm couldn’t keep me from sinking into the sounds of the violin for hours every day.

Chapter 3

Veliebt

Yes, I was in love.

I was so much in love with this world and with my violin that I left the first orchestra rehearsal in tears.

Because the interplay and this fulfilling sound, which made my cells tremble through the different instruments, touched something deep inside me.

(My mother had overheard the rehearsal outside the door and still says today that she had never heard music so off-key – after all, I was only six years old).

Chapter 4

Obsessed

My inner drive grew and grew, my diligence and ambition burned and I was persistent to become the best. I fiddled myself into a trance for hours every day, was insanely proud to win competitions at a young age and to travel to master classes instead of going on vacation.

Soon came grants and sponsors, followed by first prizes at the national level, concert tours as a soloist as far as Syria and Jordan. At the age of 15 I began my junior studies at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. Some called me a “wonder child.”

Competitions, concerts, concert tours, junior studies, all in addition to my high school diploma – I practiced during breaks instead of playing with the other students in the playground, in class the teachers caught me going over my pieces on my ruler. My academic performance and mental health got worse and worse.

Where had the enraptured little girl gone, who fell in love with her violin and played music for joy?

I had lost sight of what music was always about for me.

Chapter 5

Back to the beginning

So I remembered back to the most beautiful moments of my life.

The most touching was when I met Laetitia. Laetitia is not a person, but she was the violin that accompanied me for a long time. Our relationship was very intimate, I knew her and her idiosyncrasies inside and out, knew how she reacted, knew the different traits that were inherent in her and we were a dream team.

Yes, you can almost say the relationship between musician and instrument is like a love affair.

Laetitia was also special in that it looked and sounded like an original Italian violin from Stradivari’s time. Blind tests prove that modern violins must be in no way inferior in sound to the old masters! Like most musicians, I would never have been able to afford such an original violin. Laetitia, however, was only a few years old and not even half as expensive!

What a happiness it would be to be able to give such a gift to other musicians.

But doing an apprenticeship after graduating from high school felt more like a step backward for me. For my happiness I had to free myself from expectations and trust my instinct and gut feeling, Destination -> be happy.

Chapter 6

Happy

And suddenly everything fell into place.

As one of over 200 international applicants, I immediately landed one of the 12 coveted apprenticeships at the world-renowned violin making school in Mittenwald.

I had arrived.

I noticed that because the activity felt easy to me. Not easy in terms of craftsmanship, making an excellent violin requires great sensitivity, craftsmanship and knowledge. But easy in so far as whether my soul had found its task.

I love my job. Both the seclusion when I fully dedicate myself to an instrument and breathe life into the wood and give it character.

As well as the moment when I can give a musician a voice with it. When new horizons of sound open up and this lifelong love develops, like between Laetitia and me.

This moment is magical and fulfilling. That is my happiness.

Today I create

Character Pieces

I have each violin in my hands for about 250 hours.

It is important to me to build an instrument that has rough edges and convinces both externally and sonically through its versatility. I want to give people an idea of my Laetitia.

An instrument with radiance and charm, strong character, just as unique as you are. An instrument that bears my signature and is also visually an eye-catcher.

The self-confidence to specialize in new construction has paid off, I do not want to please everyone, but the musicians who share my vision:

Dare to pursue your vision.

A little addendum about playing the violin: Yes, I am playing again with joy. However, not at the level it once was.

As a concertmaster in an amateur orchestra and a member of various bands (including metal music), I have returned to a freer and lighter approach to music.

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