Each stringed instrument hand-crafted by luthier Erich Schweiger embodies a legacy of master methods and formulas centuries old. His artistry and award-winning recognition as an instrument maker are uniquely complemented by his status as a violinist. At four years of age, Erich entered the musical world under the tutelage of renowned teacher Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. His family tradition of musicianship continues.
Traditional as the instruments he makes, Erich built his career. During adolescence he apprenticed under the expertise of violin restorer William S. Pinches. The awakening of his talent found guidance under Hans Nebel and Arnold Bone at the University of New Hampshire Violin and Bow Institute. With his confidence and skill ripening, young Erich entered the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah. Under the direction of Peter Paul Prier and Jeffrey Robinson, Erich immersed himself in the Cremonese methods of violin, viola, and cello construction, restoration, instrument and bow identification.
Following these studies, Erich joined Michael Becker Fine Violins, Ltd. In Chicago, Illinois. There he applied his knowledge and skill to the making and restoration of fine instruments. His time in Chicago afforded opportunities to observe and study the art of renowned makers such as Stradivari, Guarneri, Guadagnini and many others.
Erich Schweiger moved to Seattle, Washington in 1985 where he established Schweiger Violins; a full-service violin shop. In 1996, upon completion of his log home, he relocated his shop to a tranquil setting on Camano Island. At his five-acre homestead residing on “Old Cremona Way”, he solely pursued the art of violin, viola, and cello making.
While on Camano Island, Erich joined the local fire department as a volunteer. He was appointed a position as Career Firefighter in 2001, and continues this profession today. “Similar to the world of violin making, the fire service embraces many traditions from the past. The rewards are very fulfilling in both passions”, he quips.
Family, and fire service commitments brought with it a 13-year hiatus to Erich’s workbench. In 2015, Erich resumed his violinmaking passion in Stanwood, Washington, one hour North of Seattle. Today he combines his knowledge and musical ability to make instruments that are both exceptional in tone, as well as workmanship. Professional musicians throughout the United States and Canada proudly own instruments bearing the Schweiger label.