‘It gets excellent sunlight’ - My Space: Svend Christensen

Inset pic

A luthier in Kensington, Johannesburg, South Africa

I was born in Botswana, where my Danish father was working as an electrician. He took me back to Denmark where I grew up; then I went back to South Africa, where my mother came from, to study for a fine arts degree. Then I spent around 15 years in advertising until one day my violinist girlfriend broke her instrument and I fixed it for her. That was the start of a new life for me: I taught myself violin making, and opened a workshop in the Kensington suburb of Johannesburg. Soon afterwards I went to Fertans in France to study at Le Bois de Lutherie, to meet people and prevent ‘wrong’ working methods…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.