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© Bernard Guillemet
Tracing Venice

Mathieu Pradels

Institut National des Métiers d'ArtLuthier

Mathieu Pradels's interest in the viola da gamba was first sparked by the film Tous les matins de monde (1991), which he saw at age 11. At 18, he enrolled on a violin-making course at London Guildhall University, UK. After completing the five-year course, he returned to France to work on violins, eventually setting up his own workshop. But he never forgot the viola da gamba of his childhood, so one day, he knocked on the door of Judith Kraft's atelier. Mathieu wanted to learn from the master who had been building viola da gambas for years, so many years, in fact, that she was ready to pass on her savoir-faire. After several years of a master-student relationship, under the guidance of the French Savoir-Faire Institute (INMA), Mathieu now has his own clientele.

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