The History of the Roth Violin-Making Family

The story begins with the violin-maker Gustav Robert Roth who founded his own business in Markneukirchen in 1873. The violins made by Gustav and his apprentices are still highly regarded today. His son, Ernst Heinrich Roth I was born in 1877. Ernst learned to play the piano, trumpet, viola, violin and cello. He had perfect pitch and an excellent sense of craftsmanship which he absorbed in his father`s workshop. He travelled extensively to violin makers in Austria, Hungary, Russia and France to perfect his art.

In 1902 at the age of 25 he started his own business, along with his cousin Gustav August Ficker. Their business was highly successful and the instruments of Ernst Heinrich Roth were much sought after in Germany and throughout Europe.

Albert followed in his father`s footsteps as a violin-maker while Ernst Heinrich Roth II received a training in commercial life. In 1921 at the age of nineteen, her moved to America. Along with his friend Alban Scherl the company Roth and Scherl was founded. Thus Roth instruments and other products came on the North American market.

The Roth company continued successfully in Markneukirchen until the beginning of the Third Reich. The political climate prohibited the sale of fine instruments to countries unfriendly towards Germany. The labour force had to be reduced in Markneukirchen.

In 1939 Albert Roth was conscripted at the start of the Second World War. However instruments continued to be produced under the master Ernst Heinrich Roth I and some apprentices.

At the end of the war Albert Roth returned. Some apprentices were employed and efforts were made to regenerate the business. However due to difficulties trading out of the soviet occupied areas, business was affected. About this time the master craftsman Ernst Heinrich Roth I died. Albert Roth took over the management of the company but the company was liquidated by court order on account of breach of regulations.

Albert Roth decided to move to the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. In 1953 the company started trading again. Soon the Roth company was supplying instruments to Europe and the USA again.

Albert Roth died in 1961 and his son Ernst Heinrich Roth III was in charge of the management. He had learnt the violin-making trade at the technical college in Bubenreuth from 1953 to 1955. In 1961 he passed his exams and was awarded the master craftsman´s certificate. Business expanded and new markets were developed in the Far East.

Since 1985 his son Wilhelm is active in the company. He received his training at the world famous college in Mittenwald.

At the moment the Ernst Heinrich Roth company is managed by Ernst Heinrich Roth III and Wilhelm Roth.


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