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A Cello by William Robert Scott

Minneapolis, 2016

Scott completed making his first violin in 1977 by following directions in a book
and later went on to work at Dahl Violin Shop in Minneapolis from 1977-83. In 1984, he
joined Hans Weisshaar, Inc. in California for an apprenticeship. Scott opened his own
workshop in the Twin Cities in 1986.

He consistently did well at the Violin Society of America’s International
violinmaking competitions. In 2006 Bill Scott earned Hors Concours status and an
Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater, St. Olaf College. The VSA awards
include three gold medals, five silver medals and numerous Certificates of Merit in tone
and workmanship dating back to 1982. Scott is invited regularly to participate in the
Oberlin Violin-Making Workshop–called the “most exciting event in the violin-making
world” (during which 60-65 violinmakers from around world gather to compare
techniques and share ideas).

Mr. Scott’s approach to violin making is largely an intuitive journey. Initially self-
taught, techniques and philosophy were largely established by trial and error, and of
course the study of other maker’s work. Working at Hans Weisshaar’s shop in the mid-
80s provided access to great instruments and an opportunity to examine and restore them.
The Oberlin Workshops over that last two decades have dramatically influenced Scott’s

Bill Scott served as President of The violin Society of America from 2020-22, still
on the Board as Past President. In addition to this, he is on the board of Oberlin Violin
Makers Foundation and Lutheran Health Care Bangladesh-USA. He also plays violin in
the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis (since 1975) and chamber music with family and
friends when available. Recently “retired” from long distance running he now pursues
biking, hiking, traveling and other diversions from his workshop and studio west of
downtown Minneapolis, MN.

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