Franjo (Franz) Kresnik

Dr. Franjo (Franz) Kresnik was ViolinBuilderDoc


(born Wien 1869 – died Rijeka 1943) was an excellent physician and a Central European intellectual, a bohemian mind whose two loves in life made him very special. His passions were medicine and violin making.

Most of his life was spent in Sušak (now a part of Rijeka, Croatia), where he worked, played music and studied the art of making stringed instruments. He visited Cremona on several occasions and studied a number of violins, drawings and tools made and used by old masters. For his profound knowledge of Cremonese violin making the Italians dubbed him “Uomo che legge violini” (The Man Who Can Read Violins). In his workshop he made fifty-two violins, two violas, two cellos and a string quartet. Some of these instruments are still played in Europe and America. The remaining violins and possessions (tools, manuscripts, drawings, literature and countless diplomas and certificates) have been kept in a memorial room at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka. In addition, a street near the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka is named after Franjo Kresnik.

Franjo Kresnik
(1869 – 1943) was born in Vienna, studied medicine in Innsbruck, made violins in Rijeka and Genoa, and worked as a general practitioner in Rijeka from 1900. As a supreme connoisseur of instruments by the old master craftsmen, he was known in Cremona as “the man who reads violins”. He built his own, awarded violins to the model of Guarneri “del Gesu”. Eight of his violins, of the 52 that he built, are kept in the History and Maritime Museum in Rijeka.

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