Gilles Nehr

Bow Maker

Gilles Nehr was born in the southwest of France, near Bordeaux. From a very young age, his passion for drawing took most of his free time. At age 16, attracted by the artistic profession of his cousin, master bowmaker Jean-Pascal Nehr, Gilles Nehr became his apprentice in Marseille and graduated in bowmaking at Mirecourt at 19. 

Gilles Nehr moved to Toulouse to work in Stéphane Muller’ workshop. Two years later, convinced by his knowledge of the purest French tradition, René Morel hired him as the only bowmaker in his workshop on 54th street in New York City. Gilles Nehr was the bowmaker of the world’s top musicians: Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Midori, Jamie Laredo and many more. During this time, as he restored and observed bows of unique beauty and value, he developed a new concept of the bow. He sought to address the weaknesses of classical bows while providing concrete answers to the string-player’s requests. The Tête-Bêche bow was born. 

In 1999 Gilles Nehr left René Morel rare violins to open his own workshop in Manhattan. Along with selling his own bows, traditional and Tête-Bêche model, he was the exclusive caretaker of the Juilliard School bow collection.

In 2002 Gilles Nehr moved back to Europe and set up his new workshop in Lisbon. He participated the only competition he ever participated, the BVMA International Violin and Bowmaking Competition, at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he won a price for best craftsmanship.

Gilles Nehr lived in Rome then Berlin and moved back in 2017 to the Bordeaux region in France.