Biography

Roman Barnas grew up in a family with long standing woodworking traditions on his father side and started to learn violin making at the age 14. He attended violin making program in Zakopane, Poland at the Kenar School. This was a school with extended art program where students learned sculpture, drawing and painting in addition to the academic programs and the workshop days where violin making was taught. After graduation from Kenar, Roman continued his education at the Ignacy Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan and graduated with honors. From the beginning Roman was very interested in creating new instruments as well as restoring historic string instruments.

In order to gain access to more great collections of classic instruments and master techniques of set up and restoration, Roman came to the US and started to work as a violin Restorer in a major violin shop in the Midwest for about ten years. Restoration work as Roman says provides access to wealth of knowledge about the great instruments created in the past which can be very successfully used in the contemporary violin making. Even during his most busy times as a restorer he kept making new instruments as well. He gave number of lectures and presentations on the subject of violin making and many times was asked to teach how to make a violin which led him to his next decision: In the year 2004 Roman decided to share his knowledge by teaching at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, where he became Department Head of the Violin Making and Repair program. He continues to make instruments as well as restoration work in his studio.

Because of his superb training in violin making, extensive expertise in restoration and broad education in art and music, instruments which Roman creates are often described as great sounding, very comfortable to play and beautiful in their form. At the same time staying faithful to the geometric and aesthetic principals of the classic Italian violin making of the 17 century.

Recently received Tone Award at the Violin Making Competition, VSA, Cleveland, OH