Jamie Herrmann Violin Maker

Violinmaking, Repair, Restoration

“…My work with Jamie is extensive. I remember trying a violin that he had restored out of disrepair and his work was so good that I actually bought the violin. He also helped do extensive crack repair on my Postacchini violin…”

Noah Geller, Concertmaster Seattle Symphony

“I would not hesitate to send my colleagues and students to Jamie for work on their violins; he pays close attention to detail, really listens to what you're looking for, and has a great passion for repairing, restoring, and making instruments.”

Erin Furbee, Assistant Concertmaster
Oregon Symphony

“In my years of being a performing fiddler and dealer in the violin trade, I have met few luthiers who equal Jamie Herrmann in expertise, experience and the undying drive to execute work with absolute perfection.”

Brandon Godman, Master Fiddler, Currently with Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands

“Jamie Herrmann did beautiful restoration work on my 1769 viola while he worked in Philadelphia…I highly recommend Jamie Herrmann for any discerning string player.”

Anna Marie Ahn Petersen: violist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

"...Jamie Herrmann is an exceptional instrument maker and repairman-he's made bridges for our instruments and helped with setup on numerous occasions. In addition to being amongst the best in the business, these two are incredibly down to earth, warm people and a joy to work with…”

Dover Quartet


Jamie Herrmann is a professional violinmaker and restorer. His primary focus is the making of fine violins and violas based on his first hand knowledge of historic Italian instruments. He has a passion for fine setup and adjustment work, and enjoys the detective work and the open, experimental spirit required to bring out the best in every instrument he makes or works on. Jamie was fortunate to receive his training through a full professional apprenticeship in violin making and restoration with award winning Philadelphia violin maker Christopher Germain. He then worked at Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins in Philadelphia as a restorer and later manager of the restoration workshop. This allowed him to come into regular contact with some of the best players around, as well as to study and work with excellent examples of early Italian violin makers’ work on a weekly basis. Additionally, Jamie had the wonderful opportunity to spend 4 years working with the talented Miracourt trained maker, restorer, and genius sound adjuster Pierre Moisy, whose passion and faith in the potentialities of tonal adjustment left an indelible impression on him. Jamie later collaborated with bow maker Jacob Mitas on Herrmann & Mitas Violins & Bows in Portland, Oregon, before moving to his current location in Salem, Oregon.

In meeting with Jamie you can expect the level of craftsmanship, professionalism, and attention to detail that you would expect to find in any of the best shops in the country but in a one on one, informal atmosphere where players feel they are heard. They are able to gain insight into what goes on behind the scenes in a violin workshop. Clients do not drop off their instruments to office staff at a front counter here. Instead, you will have the experience of sitting down and discussing your instrument with the individual craftsperson who you are trusting to work on it, as well as coming up with an agreed upon game-plan to fit your specific individual needs. Jamie takes the time to notice and notate all significant data needed about each instrument in order to optimize it’s potential, and performs micro-adjustment/experiments to test the sound potential and present limitations of an instrument before taking down the setup or beginning any type of work. Essentially, he will determine what the instrument is capable of and how to get there from here. It is often found that players' instruments are far from being optimized, both tonally and in terms of physical playability, and they are frequently surprised by how much more their instruments are capable of than they previously believed. In any instrument Jamie works with he is always striving for qualities such as greater clarity, quicker response, more richness/complexity, evenness, better projection and power, as well the sense of cushion and spring evident in great instruments that are in good adjustment. The small independent violinmaker's shop is the ideal environment for this conversation between maker, player, and instrument.

Jamie Herrmann has worked extensively with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, as well as faculty, students, and graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Eastman School of Music. Clients include the esteemed violinist/pedagogue Charles Castleman (Charles Castleman Quartet Programs), the renowned violinist Aaron Rosand, the Dover Quartet (Joel Link, Bryan Lee, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Camden Shaw), violin soloist Ray Chen, Noah Geller (Concertmaster Seattle Symphony), cellist Eric Wilson (founding member of the Emerson String Quartet), violin soloist Benjamin Beilman, Nikki Chooi (Concertmaster of New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during 2016/2017, current Concertmaster Buffalo Philharmonic), violin soloist Bella Hristova, Sarah Kwak (Concertmaster Oregon Symphony Orchestra), Erin Furbee (Assistant Concertmaster OSO), Chien Tan (Principal Second Violin OSO), Joël Belgique (Principal Violist OSO), Ryan Lee (violin-OSO), Eileen Deiss (violin-OSO), Jazz Violinist Megumi Sasaki, violinist Lisa Lee (The Lee Trio), violist/pedagogue Lisa Zweben, violinist/pedagogue Jamie Chimchirian, violinist Eldar Hudiyev, Ignace “Iggy” Jang Concertmaster Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and the Britt Festivals Orchestra, violist David Yang, cellist Christie Chen, cellist Lynne Beiler, Philadelphia Orchestra players: C.J. Chang, Anna Marie Petersen, Renard Edwards, John Koen, Philip Kates, Davyd Booth, Paul Arnold, Yumi Kendall, Paul Roby, Jonathan Beiler, Judy Geist, Alex Veltman, and others.

In addition to the classical world, Jamie works with many fine musicians from various traditions, such as Cajun/Country legend Doug Kershaw, master Bluegrass and Swing fiddler Brandon Godman (currently with Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands), renowned Irish-Sligo fiddler James Carty, poet, violinist, and singer Alicia Jo Rabins, Irish fiddler Winifred Horan (of Solas), awesome bluegrass and oldtime fiddler Sam Weiss (of the Caleb Klauder Country Band), Caleb Klauder, oldtime fiddler Bruce Greene, fiddle and banjo player Travis Stuart, and and many other great artists of all stripes and colors. Jamie’s work has appeared nightly at the Grand Ole Opry; in addition he has also been called upon to adjust a Stradivari violin in concert hall prior to performance.

Hours by appointment.

Testimonials

 

Brandon Godman, Master Fiddler, currently with Laurie Lewis and the right hands

godman.jpg

In my years of being a performing fiddler and dealer in the violin trade, I have met few luthiers who equal Jamie Herrmann in expertise, experience and the undying drive to execute work with absolute perfection. From making a master instrument, or completing a complex restoration, to minor repairs and setup, Jamie handles every task with the utmost care. You and your instrument are in the best of hands.

-Brandon Godman

San Francisco, CA

For more on Brandon Godman click here.

 

Noah Geller, concertmaster
Seattle Symphony

I had the good fortune of living near the workshop of Jamie Herrmann and Jacob Mitas while I was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. My violins and bows were serviced there frequently, and I came to expect only the highest level of professionalism and promptness from them.
My work with Jamie is extensive. I remember trying a violin that he had restored out of disrepair and his work was so good that I actually bought the violin. He also helped do extensive crack repair on my Postacchini violin. Jamie and Jacob are both stand out guys who are fun to be around. If you are a Portland area string player, I would highly recommend you stop by their shop.

Noah Geller, concertmaster
Seattle Symphony

For more on Noah Geller click here.

 

DOVER QUARTET: JOEL LINK AND BRYAN LEE, VIOLINS, MILENA PAJARO-VAN DE STADT, VIOLA         CAMDEN SHAW, CELLO

Our entire quartet always feels lucky to be performing in Portland--we get to visit Herrmann and Mitas! Not only are these two people some of the nicest people we know, they do absolutely phenomenal work on fine instruments. Two of us recently had beautiful new bridges made by Jamie Herrmann, and all four of us have even been known to ship our bows across the United States to get rehairs from Jacob Mitas. These guys are also incredibly generous with their time. We have spent many hours camped out at their shop tweaking and adjusting our instruments and just generally picking their brains. We highly recommend Herrmann and Mitas to string players anywhere.

Dover Quartet: Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violins, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola, Camden Shaw, cello

For more on The Dover Quartet click here.

 

RAY CHEn, Violin Soloist

Jamie Herrmann has always been the guy who takes care of my instruments. While I'm delighted that these two have teamed up to form their own shop, it has been such an inconvenience to my life since these guys left Philadelphia. I hear they do mail order rehairs and repairs but I have yet to try and FedEx a Stradivarius. Portland, treasure them.

Ray Chen

For more on Ray Chen click here.

 
 

ANNA MARIE AHN PETERSEN: VIOLIST OF THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA

Jamie Herrmann did beautiful restoration work on my 1769 viola while he worked in Philadelphia. He also very thoughtfully (and patiently!) helped me figure out the correct sound post adjustment to get it to sound its best. I highly recommend Jamie Herrmann for any discerning string player.

Anna Marie Ahn Peteresen: violist of The Philadelphia Orchestra

For more about Anna Marie Petersen click here

 

Erin Furbee, Assistant Concertmaster
Oregon Symphony

 

 

Jamie has done fantastic work on my violin! I have an old Italian violin dating back to 1701, and have been frustrated with its playability for years. When I brought it into Jamie's shop, he suggested several things that would make the violin speak more easily, and now my violin sounds the best it's ever sounded! The tone is clearer, there are more colors to the sound, and the instrument rings and projects more fully. I don't have to work as hard to play it, and my hands and arms feel the difference, too! I would not hesitate to send my colleagues and students to Jamie for work on their violins; he pays close attention to detail, really listens to what you're looking for, and has a great passion for repairing, restoring, and making instruments.

Erin Furbee, Assistant Concertmaster
Oregon Symphony

For more in Erin Furbee click here.

 

WINIFRED HORAN - VIOLINIST, FIDDLER IN SOLAS.

Jamie Herrmann took such care with my violins when he worked on them in Philadelphia. I was absolutely delighted with the results. For a musician, knowing that your instrument is in caring and talented hands is a true comfort. My violins were pretty beat up after a long tour, and when I explained to Jamie what i needed, he exceeded my expectations. My violins came back in a beautiful condition with,new bridges, sound posts, fixed cracks and seams resealed! They sounded and felt gorgeous and I could tell that they were treated with care and attention. Beautiful work!

Winifred Horan - Violinist, fiddler in Solas.

For more on Winifred Horan click here

 
 

Bosco Takaki, fiddler, Kyoto, Japan

 

I've been playing one of Jamie's fiddles since 2009. The fiddle has a warm well balanced tone. Because Jamie is a fine musician and an artist himself, he knows how to make a fiddle that sounds AND looks good.

Bosco Takaki, fiddler, Kyoto, Japan

 

Ben Harvey, Fiddler, Portland, Maine

Jamie made my current fiddle, which is a thing of absolute beauty! Rich, deep lows and clear, ringing highs. During the building process, he kept me informed with constant updates and informative photos, and answered all of my questions carefully and patiently. Jamie is truly passionate about his craft, and it shows in his research and his attention to the smallest detail.

Ben Harvey, Fiddler, Portland, Maine

 

Georgia Grover, Fiddler, Portland, Oregon

Jamie is an amazing artist and craftsman, as well as being a thoroughly ethical businessperson. He has worked on three of my fiddles and is now in the process of building me a gorgeous instrument. His training, experience, and knowledge are exceptional. I have been very impressed with his craftsmanship. He is also very honest and kind and has always tried to save me money by suggesting alternatives. If you need a little work done or if you need a serious expert, I would recommend Jamie to anyone. He is also a great musician.

Georgia Grover, Fiddler, Portland, Oregon

 

Bruce Purdy, Double Bassist/Orchestra Director, Salem, Oregon

I found Jamie to be highly personable and acutely attuned to listening to my repair concerns. I had a cello with the seams opening and 2 of the violin corners on the c bouts chipped off. He offered to look over the instrument to see if there were any other problems that I may wish to address. Several issues drew his attention: the tuning pegs were sticking and the string holes in the pegs were not properly aligned, the bridge could benefit from reshaping, the alignment of tailpiece gut needed adjustment. I said "yes" to making all the repairs.

When I picked the cello up, the tuning pegs functioned better than I could have imagined, the strings lined up correctly in the scroll and the tailpiece was now centered so it put correct and equitable tension on the bridge - producing better tone, he had replaced the bridge with a higher quality one and fit it to the instrument beautifully. The corners had been so expertly crafted ( he even "penned in" the purfling). The staining was so accurate and matched that I wouldn't have known they had been replaced. The seams were now flawlessly glued. I had back a great Eastman cello to work with and enjoy performing on! The price was more than fair - truly being honest about this.

Deep gratitude and appreciation goes to Jamie for his sincere and genuine work. The passion is within him.

Bruce Purdy, Double Bassist/Orchestra Director, Salem, Oregon

 

Ken Torke, Fiddler, Portland, Oregon

I would recommend Jamie Herrmann’s work with no reservations. He has recently worked on two fiddles for me and I’ll call again if I need help in the future. One was a great fiddle that needed a new sound post and bridge and a bit of set-up work. That’s not much but it made a big difference for the better. The other was an okay fiddle that I expected to be my “distant second.” I thought it might need the top re-graduated. Jamie suggested that less expensive work might take care of it. He re-shaped the neck, planed the fingerboard, made a new sound-post and bridge, changed the tailpiece and suggested different strings. It sounds and plays so much better that it feels like I have a whole new instrument and two great fiddles. I couldn’t be happier with the work. I’ve talked to a lot of “experts” over the years and some times you just really don’t feel like you can trust everything they say nor expect them to deliver the goods. Jamie is one of those rare experts that deserve the title.

Ken Torke, Fiddler, Portland, Oregon

 

Malissa Takush, Fiddler, Eugene, Oregon

I have been working with Jamie for many years on my beloved 1917 Terrence O'Loughlin violin which has several "quirky" issues. He's managed to coax out the very best sound that my instrument is capable of while skillfully deciphering my many vague complaints about it. He is intuitive and creative with his problem-solving, and always has the work done on time. He is also very sensitive to asking first before making any decisions about the instrument (I have had other luthiers do work they felt was "needed", but didn't feel that I should be consulted first!) I cannot recommend him highly enough!

Malissa Takush, Fiddler, Eugene, Oregon






pHIL YATEs, Musician,Portland,Oregon

 

My experience with Jamie was fantastic. He is very personable, patient, thorough, and does great work in terms of repairs and instrument setup. I brought him a recently purchased violin to see if the old repairs disclosed by the previous owner were stable, and if there were any additional issues that needed to be addressed. I was able to watch the entire process, and Jamie patiently explained how he was able to determine if the repairs were stable (I learned a ton). He then showed me another four repairs the original owner had not mentioned (thankfully, all were stable). Jamie noted several alterations that would likely enhance the playability of the violin, and once again, took the time to explain what the benefits would be and exactly what would be done. He also suggested that the violin had great “sound potential” – which piqued my interest, because I thought it already sounded great. When I decided to go ahead with the alterations (planing the fingerboard, new custom bridge, etc.), I told Jamie what changes to the sound of the violin would make it perfect (at least to me). He really listened to what I wanted; the violin sounds amazing - better than I could have imagined. And it plays like a dream – the alterations he performed and the overall setup really improved the playability. Bottom line – Jamie took a good sounding and playing violin and brought it up to a completely different level of quality. Portland is lucky to have a luthier with Jamie’s background, experience, and skills who provides such a high level of service, regardless of the value of the instrument. It's hard to imagine finding this degree of individualized attention at a larger shop. I can’t recommend Jamie strongly enough.

 

More to come.

Hours by appointment.