In a violin repair shop in Madrid, violist Johann Lotter looked around wonderingly and asked the proprietor about learning the skill and craft. The luthier said, “You cannot play and be a luthier. The knife slips once and that’s it. You never play again.”
Upon his return to Canada, Johann signed up for an instrument making class at the Ontario College of Art and a year later, moved to England to attend the Newark School of Violin Making.
Mr Lotter lives and works in Toronto. His instruments are played by a wide variety of professionals and students. He has worked for Remenyi House of Music and The Sound Post. Since 2000, Johann has worked from his home where, as well as making new instruments, he repairs and restores violin-family and fretted instruments. When not at the workbench Johann plays viola with the National Ballet Orchestra and the Shaw Festival and fiddle with his bands, Stumbleweed and the Blurry Pickers.