Originally from Cottbus, Germany, Ben was born into a family of musicians and theatre professionals. He enjoyed a childhood of arts, nature, soccer, climbing and camping. He was educated in the Waldorf school system, where pupils’ sense for crafts and arts was equally as important as their academic skills. He drew his deepest inspiration from working on different art projects taught by his Russian carving teacher. After finishing school and working as a stage technician in the State Theater Cottbus, he spent one year in Italy. Then, Ben moved to England, where his violin making journey began at the internationally renowned Newark School of Violin Making. A big part of his work has always been cultivating a connection between players and makers. During his four years at the Newark School, Ben served as the chairman of the Trent Chamber Academy Orchestra, and in his final year, he was on the management committee for the British Violin Making Association, where he organized their 20th Anniversary celebration. In addition to his extensive instrument making training, he had the opportunity to study some of the finest examples of old Italian instruments by working as an assistant for instrument photographer, Jan Röhrmann. After completing his training in England, Ben moved to New York City to work as a repairer and restorer for Christophe Landon Rare Violins and in his workshop at home in upper Manhattan, he continues to build violins, violas and cellos.
This Andrea Guarneri inspired Viola was made in 2015 and is slightly smaller then 16 1/4 (41.1mm). The String length is set at 373.5 mm, very comfortable to play and produces a warm but powerful sounds.