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Wilm Stözel began his career in instrument construction by working on pianos at Jenkin Piano Service in New Zealand. Afterwards, he began to work with Paddy Burgin and David Freeman, both New Zealand-based luthiers, before moving back to his native Germany to work alongside Heiner Dreizehnter, and beginning his own line of guitars shortly thereafter.
Initially trained by Steinway & Sons in Hamburg as a piano tuner/technician, I was offered an interesting job with a small yet very innovative piano workshop in Auckland, New Zealand. Jenkin Piano Service offers a wide range of services and I was involved in the rebuilding of old grand pianos, as well as tuning pianos for institutions and private customers. I had always played the guitar (solo and in a band) and, during my time in New Zealand, I remembered my dream of becoming a luthier. It was then that I built my first guitar, a model OM, under the supervision of Paddy Burgin and David Freeman. And thus, I found I was starting to realise my long held dream. It was time to move back home to Germany to focus on guitar building. In 2011, I started working with Heiner Dreizehnter, a successful luthier of 30 years, who offered a wide range of string instruments, from guitars to mandolins, bouzoukis to fretless accoutic bass guitars. For two years, I built guitars for Heiner Dreizehnter and also started developing and building my own designs. During that time I read Ervin Somogyis Book „The Responsive Guitar“ and it had a big impact on how I looked at guitar making. In order to get more training, I went to do a voicing class with Ervin Somogyi and it changed the outcome dramatically in that there was just more of everything. All my guitars are now based on the new approach I learned with him and every guitar is voiced individually to achieve a specific outcome. At the end of 2013, I became self employed as a piano tuner and at the same time, started building up my own guitar workshop in the wonderful south west of Germany. From mid 2014, I started building guitars out of my workshop and have been ever since. As a craftsman I'm looking firstly for a tool that will be a pleasure to work with, has ample uses, is sensitive to my touch and will deliver reliably. Secondly, I want to show by appearance the quality of craftsmanship which went into every detail and visually rounds off the fine sound. A guitar should be a beauty to the eye, so you want to look at it and hold it. But once you do and start playing, it should become invisible and be the direct outlet of your musicality. I had the dream to become a luthier – it is your dream to play your very own guitar. Using only the finest materials, employing precision and patience I built you a sensitive, inspirational instrument. So both our passions together will compose music.
Zoe, Zamir, Lina S, Lina M, Zofia Semibaritone