Joseph Grubaugh

     Joseph Grubaugh was born on May 13th, 1950 and with his family, lived throughout the United States, Japan, Spain and France before settling in the San Francisco bay area at age 13. He majored in Music Theory and Composition and received his degree in music at the University of the Pacific in 1972 before beginning a three and one half  year apprenticeship with Albert C. Muller in Sacramento, California. In 1977 he went to work for Hans Weisshaar in Los  Angeles where he continued to study restoration techniques. While there, he met his future wife and partner, Sigrun Seifert. 

They moved to the San Francisco bay area in 1979  and they have worked, lived and raised a family in Petaluma, California,North of the Golden Gate Bridge since 1980. In 1982 they collaborated on their first instrument together and since then, have continued in the tradition of making and labeling their creations jointly. 

He was recognized at the First American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM) International Competition held at Lincoln Center, New York City in 1984 where he won 3rd  prize overall. Since then he and Sigrun Seifert have won 5 Gold medals and 4 Silver medals at the Violin Society of America  for their work together and were both declared Hors Concours by the Violin Society of America in 1998. 

In 1993 and 1994 they organized and attended a workshop at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Analytical Laboratory outside Washington DC under the sponsorship of the AFVBM.  They have shared  that experience and continue the  search for better techniques in work to instruments that come into their shop.  Joseph has also been a frequent presence on the teaching staff of the VSA sponsored Oberlin Violin Making Workshop since it’s beginning in 1998.

In 1994 he and his wife discovered the “Duke of Alcantara” violin of Antonio Stradivari circa 1732,  that had been missing since 1972 and were very instrumental in it’s return to the University of California at Los Angeles.

They currently spend about three quarters of their time making new instruments and one quarter in restoration.

He is a member of:
American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
Entente Internationale Des Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers D’Art
Guest Lecturer for VSA and AFVBM
Judge for the VSA International Violin and Bow Making Competition
Numerous Publications co-authored with Sigrun Seifert in: the Strad Magazine, Strings Magazine, VSA journals and AFVBM journals.