Violin Repair and Restoration in Minneapolis, MN
About our Workshop
The goal of the Claire Givens Violins workshop is to provide expert technical information and restoration in order to maintain the optimal sound and response from your instrument or bow. We are committed to achieving the highest quality standards in restoration and to communicating clearly with our customers.
The workshop is staffed by four professionally trained and experienced violin makers and includes a full-time bow specialist. Workshop manager Douglas Lay has worked for Givens Violins since 1986. The workshop provides estimates of work needed and maintains a weekly schedule, upholding a reputation for careful, thorough, and high-quality restorations. Our staff members are well known for their discerning ears and ability to assist players in obtaining the best sound and response from their instruments and their bows.
Our services include instrument making and repair, restoration, instrument trials, trade-ins, appraisals and insurance statements, and checkups.
Our business hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Tuesday through Saturday.
“Since arriving in the Twin Cities in 1998, I have always turned to Claire’s wonderful shop for all my violin maintenance needs, especially for the expert assistance of Doug Lay, who always, with the utmost patience, knocks my bridge and post in just the right place to get it sounding its very best!”
– Steven Copes, Concertmaster, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
“My relationship with Claire Givens Violin Shop goes back to 1989 when I moved to the Twin Cities to become the concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. The very important long-term relationship in the shop for me is with Doug Lay, who has been the custodian of my violins, their health, the purity of their voices and an ease of resonance from top to bottom. He’s been my violin GP and I will fly to have him adjust my instrument no matter where I live.”
-Jorja Fleezanis, Concertmaster, Minnesota Orchestra: 1989-2009, Professor of Music (violin) and Henry A. Upper Chair in Orchestral Studies, Jacobs School of Music
“My relationship with Givens Violins began in 1986 when I moved to Minneapolis to be a member of the Minnesota Orchestra. Douglas Lay has been working on my instrument since 1989 and while I now live in San Francisco and travel internationally on a regular basis, I will make the time to fly to Minneapolis for the detailed and meticulous work that I always receive from Doug at this workshop. I would not have anyone else work on my instrument.”
-Carla Maria Rodrigues, Principal Viola, San Francisco Opera
“As always Givens Violins shop has provided service at the highest artistic level and it was completed when promised! We are indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful shop in our community staffed by craftspeople at the highest international standards to care for our precious instruments and bows. Thank you!”
-Mark Bjork, Professor of Violin and Pedagogy, University of Minnesota School of Music
“You are the best and I don’t like my students to go anywhere but to you! I can always count on your shop for well-chosen instruments and bows, set-up to the highest standards.”
–Brenda Villard, Villard Cello Studio
“Theodora Wynhoff performed a painstaking, careful dis-assembly and repair of cracks that were appearing in various locations on the body of the instrument…[Theodora] did EXCELLENT WORK on this instrument [100-year-old Mittenwald cello]. It is obvious that close Attention to Detail, and extreme Care and Expertise was devoted to this Instrument. The Sound is fabulous! I would recommend that anyone who needs a stringed instrument restored or repaired, bring it to Claire Givens Violins as it is not possible that greater Care, Responsibility, and Expertise could be found elsewhere!”
-Bryce Shimmon, restoration customer