Master Violin Maker is Teaching a Minnesota Boy His Craft
A master violin maker in St. Paul, who has made 450 stringed instruments and played in orchestras around the globe over his 53-year career, is teaching a Minnesota boy his craft of making violins. But why? And how did they come to meet?
Ben Milne is the 13-year-old boy who is being taught how to make violins by a master, Will Batruff. They met because Ben's mom is professional violinist, Susan Janda, and her violin was made by Will.
Susan would bring her son along to Will's shop when she went to get adjustments on her violin. Ben was always so interested in everything at the shop and one day, when Ben was 9, Will asked if he was interested in making a violin.
Ben is now in his fourth year of his mentorship. Will told KARE 11 that he decided to teach Ben because Will was 10-years-old when someone taught him how to make violins.
Will, who is in his 60s, said that his "'making days are coming to an end.'" He has rheumatoid arthritis and it hurts to do his work. Maybe one day the shop in St. Paul will be Ben's.
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