Felix Daniel Rotaru
Violin Maker and Violinist, currently residing in Cremona, Italy.
Born in Timisoara, Romania, he followed initially his mother’s steps and studied the violin, obtaining his professional degree at the National Academy of Music in Bucharest. During this time his interest in violinmaking began, notably thanks to Markus Barbarossa, violinmaker and expert appraiser from Vienna, Austria and Roberto Regazzi, leading contemporary italian maker from Bologna. After obtaining his violin performance diploma he moved to Vienna for a brief stay and periodic collaborations with orchestras like Wiener Kammerorchester and the Baden Sinfonietta. Few years later he left Vienna for Cremona, Italy, where he enrolled at the Antonio Stradivari Institute of Violinmaking. He studied construction, restoration and varnishing with several award-winning violinmakers like Alessandro Voltini, Massimo Ardoli, Alessandro di Matteo and Angelo Sperzaga. He took part in several conferences held by leading experts on the study of classical instruments and participated in diverse projects with the Museo del violino.
Heaving both the perspectives of a violinist and violinmaker, as well as the experience of analyzing and briefly playing several violins of the highest merit including examples by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu among others, Felix Rotaru has gained a privileged, multi-layered experience. During the years, his focus was the sound of old italian masterpieces and the missing links between the old and new instruments. He considered and tested several available theories and possibilities of acoustical enhancement through traditional methods known as ”plate tuning”, with a careful attention to structural resistance in time. With the help of Roberto Regazzi and other makers that follow such principles, Felix Rotaru created and refined a complex acoustical tuning system, structurally generated by the natural proportionality of the instrument’s body and the wood’s density and elasticity. Using proportion and a self-generating scheme, all relatives are brought together into an equilibrium, a process that takes considerable time and precision work. The acoustical results obtained with his instruments have generated considerable interest from notable musicians even from the begging of his professional career.
Today his works can be found in Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Poland, Latvia, etc. Several soloists and concert-masters play his instruments as well as renouned teachers, orchestra players and promising young artists; many of them already owners of great italian instruments from the classical period.
Felix Rotaru works alone in his workshop using only traditional tools and methods. His instruments are exclusively available through his shop. He prefers working on commission but tries to always have some finished instruments available to present to interested musicians. His output consists of 4-5 instruments a year. Recently the interest for baroque instruments of the violin family gained momentum and such projects are under way.