The Bilbao School of Violin Making was founded by Jesús Alonso Moral in 1986. It is the only school that still exists among the state conservatories. He was a violinist by trade, a graduate in physical sciences and the first doctor of musical acoustics in Europe. He conducted his research at the Speech Transmission Laboratory of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and presented his doctoral thesis on violin acoustics, entitled “The Acoustics of the Violin. Function and Quality”.

He worked among musicians and luthiers in the Swedish amateur violin makers’ association. In 1982, he spent a year and a half in New York with Carleen Hutchins, studying the practical craft of violin making. With the knowledge gained over that time and the measurement methods developed with the help of Erik Jansson, his thesis supervisor, he launched the project based on his research.

That academic year (1982-1983), he began teaching musical acoustics at the Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga Conservatory. Musical acoustics was a new discipline, which was starting to be taught in several conservatoires, and as part of certain degree programmes.

With the aim of promoting the Bilbao Conservatory, the new Foral Council of Bizkaia took responsibility for making the most of the new infrastructures and innovating in terms of equipment and services. Thanks to the trust and support of Guzmán Aranaga, Director of Special Education at the Basque Government’s Department of Education, our school became a reality.

The inclusion of the bowed instrument making specialisation within the Conservatory was an unforgettable moment. In the early years, Jesús taught all the subjects in the specialisation, which was a real challenge. Later on, the teaching was consolidated with the help of professors trained in the specialisation.

A lot of time has passed since then. With the experience gained in both the educational and technological fields, we now intend to update this project and offer a syllabus in line with the curriculum. Our aim is to train professionals prepared for the current context in the field of lutherie.