André S. Ozturk
André Ozturk is a violinmaker, cellist and artist. From his studio in Western Australia, he specialises in making and restoring instruments of the finest quality for professional musicians, soloists, students and collectors.
Born in Perth in 1982, André began playing the cello at 7 years of age under Iain Grandage (later under Gregory Baron) and was immediately fascinated by the design and craftsmanship of the violin-family instruments. Growing up in an artistic household, André was always creating things from a very early age and throughout his childhood was immersed in his world of music, art, science, woodcarving, design, and inventions.
At 12 years of age, with a strong interest in luthierie, André went on talk-back radio to ask if any of the listeners might have old, damaged musical instruments he could have or buy. From this, he received an old mandolin and after visiting his local violin repairer for advice, he carefully restored the instrument. This experience planted a seed inside of him which began to grow.
At 14 years of age, he desperately wanted to make a violin. His mother searched and bought him an old book on the subject which he read and re-read again and again, devouring the information. Not having access to violin tonewoods, André could only imagine the process and longed to try it for himself.
A year later André received a special scholarship to study Cello at the University of Western Australia’s Music Academy for gifted students. There he was given a well-rounded schooling in music theory, performance and history. André also continued his pursuits in the visual arts and, at 17 years of age, one of his sculptures was exhibited in the State Gallery of Western Australia.
Upon entry into University, André was faced with deciding what to study; Fine Art, Music, Veterinary studies, Industrial Design and Architecture were all viable options. It was at this time, prior to deciding on a university course, that André built his first violin, referring to his old book and using a handful of tools.
André went on to study Architecture while continuing to expand his violinmaking workshop, building new violins and playing the cello in various orchestras and quartets. He would often be found in the University’s metal workshop fabricating new hand tools.
Keen to expand his knowledge of Violinmaking, he traveled to Europe where he spent time discussing techniques and working on instruments with some of the world’s finest makers and restorers. During this time, he also studied cello under Gerhard Oetiker in Switzerland.
After returning to Australia, André completed his Bachelor Degree in Architecture and worked in an Architectural office. However he would spend all his earnings on tonewood and when in the office, would long to be in his workshop. That year, André resigned from Architecture to become a full-time violinmaker, never looking back.
Within two years, André had a loyal and growing clientele of musicians from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony, Touring International Soloists, Teachers and Students, as well as old instruments being sent to him for restoration from dealers and restoration firms in Europe who have seen his work.
From his Shop-front studio in Subiaco, André makes, restores and deals in fine Violins, Violas, Celli and their bows. His work has earned him the respect and trust of musicians and collectors across Australia and beyond.