A lutherie firm based in Mittenwald, Germany, has received an export award from the Bavarian economics ministry. Geigenbau Leonhardt was recognised for its innovative approaches to marketing to overseas territories.

The firm was one of four south German companies honoured by the ministry. Announcing the prizes, economics minister Martin Zeil said that each had ‘demonstrated a keen insight into new markets, and achieved outstanding export success through imagination and courage’.

Geigenbau Leonhardt, run since 1997 by Rainer Leonhardt, was recognised for its use of new media and communication, including promoting its instruments via Facebook, a regular newsletter, and from utilising online retail sites such as eBay. Currently, around 55 per cent of its instruments are sold to customers outside Germany.

The Bavarian Export Awards have been given annually for the past six years. Companies based in Bavaria with up to 50 full-time employees are eligible for the prizes, which this year attracted almost 100 entrants.