Salt Lake City violin maker R. Alex Wilson graduated Cum Laude from The Violin Making School of America, where he studied with Director Charles Woolf and Silver Medal winner Sanghoon Lee. During his student years Alex spent evenings apprenticing with John Young, a multiple award winning violin maker. After graduating, Alex was hired by Peter Prier to focus intensely on repair, restoration, and set-up. Alex was named Shop Foreman as he helped Prier & Sons Violins transition through the difficulty of Peter’s passing. In 2016 and 2017, Alex attended the Violin Society of America/Oberlin College Restoration Workshop, focusing on cutting edge “best practices” in restoration and set-up. In 2018, Alex participated in the Oberlin Violin Maker’s Workshop, where he worked and studied with this vibrant group of highly advanced and accomplished makers.
Long before dedicating himself to violin making, Alex was dedicated to both the study of music and craftsmanship. He graduated with High Honors from Guilford College with a BA in Music Composition/Theory, and earned an MA from The University of Chicago focused in Ethnomusicology. Having spent years studying in music libraries, listening rooms, and lessons, while also attending rehearsals and concerts, Alex has developed a deep appreciation for the musical arts. His academic interest in music along with his own performance experience inform his violin making, and enrich his appreciation for the work that musicians do in the world. Alex continues to study fields relevant to violin making, such as acoustical science and classical performance practice.
As a longtime craftsman, Alex meticulously developed his skill from the basics of woodworking up to the sophisticated level of violin making he performs today. He first found excitement in woodworking after completing his undergraduate music education; starting as an apprentice, he developed into a professional woodworker. Wanting to connect his craftsmanship with his love of music, Alex pursued violin making so that his skill for fine woodworking and varnish could communicate with his musical and artistic sensibilities.
Alex is currently making new violins from his workshop in Salt Lake City, and also offers set-up, repair, and restoration services. As a violin maker, Alex aims to bring together the working methods of the Classical Italian Masters with current research on acoustics and performance practices. He feels that a violin should be pleasing to hear, see, and play - a trifecta of beauty.