Stevan Rakic's musical instruments workshop

Stevan Rakic is presently the leading builder of bowed stringed instruments in Serbia.

Musician by training and vocation, Rakic had studied cello in Novi Sad Music School "Isidor Bajic" and he graduated from Sarajevo Conservatory in 1975. Already as a student he has won several important music awards playing as soloist or a member of chamber ensembles.

Later on he worked as music teacher. In mid-seventies, Rakic became intrigued by problems of building of musical instruments, reading literature on the work of old masters and their secrets in building top-quality musical instruments.

It moved him to dedicate his full time to building musical instruments. He did his apprenticeship in the workshop of Bata Salacanin in Zemun, which is specialized in the making of plucked stringed instruments, and then passed the master exam. In 1990, he opened his own shop, "Stevan Rakic's Musical Instruments". The shop is located in downtown Novi Sad, Postanska Street 6, in a quarter which traditionally harbors handicraft shops.

In the beginning, Rakic specialized in building bowed stringed instruments, to expand later on to building classical guitars. Thanks to good sound and good craftsmanship, his instruments attracted interest of professional musicians. The quality of Rakic's instruments was also recognized internationally.

In 1997, at the International Music Festival in Mittenwald, Germany, Rakic's viola was ranked among the forty best violas in a tough competition of builders from around the world. At the International Competition for Guitar in Motola, Italy, the jury presided by the English top guitarist David Russell awarded a diploma to Rakic's guitar.
In 2009. on the 12th Triennial, Competition of Stringed Instrument Making, held in Cremona - Italy, Stevan Rakić's violin was ranked 24th out of 198 instruments overall and it has taken the 19th place in tonal competition.

Rakic says about his work:

  • I learned many useful things as student and performer. When I started to work as a builder, I received support and encouragement from colleagues, professional soloists and teachers, like professors Laslo Horvat and Istvan Varga. Their advice were priceless.
Talking about "craft secrets" in the building of musical instruments, Rakic says:
  • There is always something new to be learned whenever I build another piece. We now know the methods of work and the measures and proportions of the best pieces made by Stradivari and Guarneri. We know what kind of building material they used, high quality juniper and maple, but still, everything is in the hands of the builder. It is difficult to say if the old masters had known some "craft secrets" that contemporary builders do not know, but it is not very likely. Perhaps the real secret how to build an instrument with a sweet tone, a rich carrying sound and specific, distinct and recognizable timbre lies in fine variations within the strictly given proportions of the instrument's parts. In any case, the tonal characteristics of instruments made by best contemporary builders are comparable in any respect with those of the best instruments of the old masters.

Srevan Rakić string instruments maker in his workshop with violin

Violin maker Stevan Rakić repairing violin in workshop in Novi Sad

Violin top plate with bass bar in the making

Wood for stringed instruments making in Stevan Rakić's workshop

Shop - workshop Rakić inside