Sebastian Ribes was born in Mexico City in 1970. He began his violin making studies in the workshop of Masters Antonio Carriedo and Octavio Aranda in Xalapa, Mexico in 1991. He apprenticed there for two years, and then following his masters’ advice, he enrolled at the International School of Violin Making in Cremona, where he found himself immersed in the world of classical lutherie.
He attended the school from 1993 to 1997 under the guidance of Master Vincenzo Bissolotti. After obtaining his diploma, he apprenticed for Masters Francesco and Vincenzo Bissolotti for several years. During this period he acquired the knowledge and mastery of the method and technique to continue his craft independently.
Over the years, he has experimented with varnishes and has carried out research in acoustics; he has collaborated with professional musicians and has exchanged ideas and experiences with other luthiers. These efforts have been instrumental in his journey to develop a personal style and his own characteristic sound.
He uses models of the classical Italian masters such as Stradivari, Guarneri, Ruggeri, Montagnana, G. da Salò and others. He employs well-seasoned traditional wood that has been carefully chosen on the basis of their physical and aesthetic characteristics.
He utilises the methods of the classical Cremonese masters, which is based on the internal form and involves purfling the instrument after the harmonic box has been closed.
He makes his own varnish based on linseed oil and natural resins like amber or Venice turpentine and colours it with warm-tones handmade pigments.
Marianne Jost was born in Locarno, Switzerland in 1971. Her studies in violin and her passion for woodworking led her to enrol in the “Antonio Stradivari” International School of Violin Making in Cremona in 1993. She graduated under the guidance of Master EzioScarpini in 1997.
Between 1995 and 1998 she perfected her technical skills and furthered her knowledge of the classical Cremonese construction method under the tutelage of Masters Francesco and Vincenzo Bissolotti.
To complete her studies, she attended the bow-making course taught by Masters JulianeSchanzenbach and Giovanni Lucchi in Cremona from 1998 to 2001. The course was organised by the Lombardy Region and focused on the construction, restoration and maintenance of modern and baroque bows.
In 2001-2002 she worked as a restorer at the workshop of Master Rainer Krause, curator of the bowed string instrument collection in Freiburg, Germany.
In 2006-2007, she and her husband, Master violin maker Sebastian Ribes, published a manual for string musicians on instrument maintenance entitled “VIOLIN,VIOLA Y VIOLONCHELO SU MANTENIMIENTO Y CUIDADO” and held classes on this subject in music conservatories throughout Mexico. The project was financed by the National Fund for Art and Culture (FONCA) of Mexico.
In 2007 she taught construction and varnish in a violin making course organised and sponsored by the Ascoli Piceno Province and the European Community; the course was held at the “Artisan Training Centre” in Moresco (Ascoli Piceno), Italy.
In 2008 she won third prize in the violin category at the International Violin Making Competition in Queretaro, Mexico.
From 2012 to 2014 she was a member of “Stradivariazioni Cultural Association” and participated in the group’s initiatives and in the permanent exhibition at Antonio Stradivari’s nuptial house, situated in Corso Garibaldi in Cremona.
In 2012 she participated with a violin at the International Triennial Competition in Cremona and had the highest score among Cremonese violin makers.
In 2014 she participated in the International Competition organised by the VSA in Indianapolis, USA.
She makes violins, violas and cellos inspired by the works of Stradivari, Guarneri and Ruggeri, and she follows the classical Cremonese construction method.
She works carefully in all the stages that go into making an instrument, from the selection of materials, to the workmanship, to the varnish, and in particular to the set up and sound adjustment in order to satisfy the needs of the musician.
From the beginning of her studies she has continued to exchange information regarding construction, varnish, set-up, sound adjustment and acoustics of string instruments with other makers and continually strives to perfect her craft.