Premysl O. Spidlen was born in 1920 and can be called the doyen of Czech luthiers.
He writes: I come from an old violin making family. Already my grandfather and my father as well, were violinmakers. And now my son, Jan is working with me; so he is the fourth generation of our Family. All my life I have worked on new instruments and I have tried to solve the secret of Stradivari’s instruments. I used my grandfather’s and my father’s methods as well as all the known methods of modern science. I mostly worked according to the Stradivari model although the Joseph Guarneri model isn’t less attractive for me. My ideal is the strong, well balanced and velvet sound of a concert violin.
I have paid maximal attention and effort to the varnish which I suppose to be one of the most important parts of the Cremonese instrument’s success. I prepare the varnish myself and after innumerable attempts I think I have approached very close to, or maybe I have achieved the same varnish as Stradivari had, but only the future can prove it.
A lot of excellent well-known soloists have played my instruments with the same success as the Cremonese instruments.