Inspired by his grandfather, award-winning violin and viola maker , David Ludwik Chrapkiewicz (“Rap-kye-vich”) studied violin making with former Mittenwald Shop Master, Alois Vogl, and Raymond Forget in Montreal, Canada (1975-1979).
David has been a full-time violin maker since 1979, having his own shop in Iowa City (1979-1984), Nashville (1984-1992), the New York City area (1992-1998), and now the Washington, D.C. area. He studied antiquing with William Moennig II (1984-1986) while in Nashville. A musician as well, David has an excellent ear and understanding of how the violin is played. He also has an academic background in science, math, and acoustics.
He has authored two articles on acoustics for the Catgut Acoustical Journal and the Violin Society Journal. Having won multiple tone awards, David was invited to present his acoustical ideas to professional violin makers at the Violin Society of America’s Oberlin Summer Workshops in 2006. David exhibited a highly innovative viola at the Innovation Exhibit at the VSA International Competition in 2006. Orchestras in which David’s instruments are played include the Atlanta Symphony, the Cleveland Symphony, the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, Washington Opera Orchestra, and others.
David’s violins are heard on recordings of the Indigo Girls, the Fletcher Bright String Band, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and hundreds of others. The CD “Celtic Fantasy” (Green Hill 2000), played on NPR, features three different violins of David’s and mentions the maker in the credits. He has been featured on Voice of America several times including an upcoming program to be broadcast to Eastern Europe.
David’s instruments are featured on recordings of classical, popular and folk music and are noted for their beautiful workmanship as well as their exceptional clarity and balance of sound both onstage and in the recording studio. Many young players have won competitions and auditions with his instruments. David has exhibited instruments at various viola congresses and violin conferences as well as at the special “Celebration of American Excellence” exhibitions in New York City (1997, 1998).