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Jost Thöne

Jost Thöne

Jost Thoene, son of music pedagogue and composer Karl Thoene (1924-1993), was born in Rhede, Germany, in 1962. Continuing the Thoene family tradition, he studied music and viola at the Academies in Dortmund and Muenster in Germany. In the course of his studies, he also spent a great deal of time learning about the art of violin making and its history. After completing his studies, Thöne decided to become a dealer in fine stringed instruments, with shops in Germany and in Italy.

Since 1998, when he established the publishing house "Jost Thöne Verlag", Thoene has published a dozen large books about the Italian and French violin makers of the last four centuries. These reference works feature more than 120 of these important violin makers along with their instruments and biographies.The latest of these works was "Antonio Stradivari", published in 2010; it became "the state of the art" in violin documentation, showing in four volumes 148 violins, violas and cellos of the icon Antonio Stradivari in life size. This documentation gained international recognition. Some of the books have been translated into four other languages besides English and are already being sold worldwide, for example by international auction houses such as Sotheby's in London.

After 25 years of experience as a violin dealer in Germany and Italy, Thoene founded the Violin Expo Cologne in 2006, creating a globally unique stage to present international contemporary violin making in the historic centre of Cologne. He supervised the exhibition "Antonio Stradivari – Myth and Music" in Cologne in 2010 as a guest curator of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation Corboud. This exhibition was unfortunately postponed due to culture budget cuts by the city of Cologne.

In 2014, Thoene and his partner Christian Reister, an expert in wealth management and asset management, founded VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH. The company take its place at the moated castle in the city of Bedburg, near Cologne and Düsseldorf. VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH is committed to offer excellent string instruments for investment purposes. Furthermore, promoting young talented musicians is a personal concern for Thoene and Reister.

Christian Ludwig

Christian Ludwig

As a professional violinist and conductor, Christian Ludwig has performed regularly in great concert halls such as the Kölner Philharmonie (Cologne), the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Prinzregententheater in Munich, as well as in the state theatres of Nuremberg and Karlsruhe. He was awarded the “Choc de Classica” for his CD recordings.

Through his travels and encounters with numerous musicians, he has examined and explored the characteristics of instruments in great depth, searching for the optimum individual sound.