Richard Grünke

Richard Grünke, born in Poland in 1930, ended up in the upper Vogtland in 1944 during the turmoil at the end of WWII. He began his apprenticeship as
a bow maker in 1945 with Edwin Herrmann in Schönlind, then completed it in the H.R. Pfretzschner workshop in Markneukirchen between 1946 and 1948.
He remained in this workshop until 1950, when he went to Berlin to work for Alfred Leicht. The years in Berlin were to augment the training he had
received in the H.R. Pfretzschner workshop and had an important effect on his later working career. In 1952 he moved to Bubenreuth to work for Roderich Paesold. With his masters’ examination in 1957, the Peasold company began to stamp his bows in general with” Richard Grünke”.
The style of his early bows was clearly influenced by the Pfretzschner workshop.  Later on with the inspiration of old master bows and suggestions of important musicians he developed a very personal model which he followed for his entire career. In 1975 Richard Grünke set up a business of his own in Bubenreuth. The workshop developed with great success and became a highly frequented address within not only the German but also the international string music community.  In recognition of his work he was called on to participate on the jury’s panel in international bow making competitions.
In 1996 he founded a new company with his two sons, Klaus and Thomas,

named “Richard Grünke & Söhne GmbH”, in which he still plays an active role.


Klaus Grünke Klaus Grünke learned the craft of bow making from his father Richard Grünke in Bubenreuth between 1975 and 1978. The period 1980 to 1982 was an important stimulus for his future career. During this time he worked for Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles, focusing intensively both on restoration techniques and the study of older master bows. After returning to Bubenreuth he continued to work in his father’s workshop, making bows using his own model and brand. His main models are based on examples like D. Peccatte and F.N. Voirin. Lately, after extensive studies, his bows based on selected examples by N.Kittel find great appreciation.
He successfully participated in international competitions and later on he has been called to serve on the jury of numerous bow making competitions all over the world.
In addition to bow making, Klaus Grünke has devoted himself to the study of various theoretical aspects of his field. In the year 2000 he wrote and published together with his colleagues C. Hans Karl Schmidt and Wolfgang Zunterer the encyclopaedia “German Bow Makers” followed by the comprehensive study of “The bows of Nikolai Kittel” which he realized with his colleagues Josef Gabriel and Yung Chin in 2011.
Klaus Grünke is a member of  VDG, Verband Deutscher Geigenbauer und Bogenmacher, and of EILA, Entente International de Luthiers et Archetiers.He also plays an active and leading role in the IPCI, International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative, which was founded by bow makers from all over the world in Paris 2001. The major aim of the initiative is the conservation and the introduction of sustainable use for the scarce but for bow making inevitable Pernambuco tree.


Thomas Grünke Thomas Grünke served his apprenticeship with his father, Richard Grünke, from 1978 to 1981 in Bubenreuth.  He continued to work in his father’s workshop through 1995. Thomas Grünke completed his master’s examination under the auspices of the HWK Nürnberg in 1987.
Since January 1996 he has been a partner in the business “Richard Grünke & Söhne GmbH” in Langensendelbach along with his father and his brother Klaus.
For over 15 years now he serves as a  member of the master panel for apprenticeship examinations.
Thomas Grünke has developed a number of different dimensions in his work;
besides normal repair work he has devoted himself to the complicated restoration of valuable older bows as well as the making of new bows.
His violin, viola and cello bows show the general influence of makers like
D. Peccatte, F.N. Voirin and E. Sartory. Some of his bows base on the
model of Lafleur.

His bows are usually stamped THOMAS GRÜNKE.