WATERTOWN RESIDENT BENOÎT ROLLAND CRAFTS BOWS FOR THE WORLD’S MUSICIANS
Rolland grew up in Paris as the grandson of a famous pianist, who taught him to play. When he was 9, he fell in love with the violin. At 11, he made his decision of becoming a professional violinist.
Rolland graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris and Versailles. But when he was 16, he saw a wooden bow so beautiful —with tortoiseshell, 18-karat gold, pearls — that he never forgot it. After he graduated from the conservatory, he enrolled in the only bow-making school in the world, in Mirecourt, France, led by the famous Bernard Ouchard.
After studying there for four years, Rolland returned to Paris and opened his own studio. In 1988, he became a pioneer creating bows made of carbon fiber. In 2000, he moved to Salt Lake City, where he met his future wife, Christine Arveil, a painter and writer. They moved to Boston in 2001, and 18 months ago, they moved to a house in a quiet street in Watertown, with room for Rolland’s workshop and a garage they transformed into a studio for Arveil.
In the photo, Benoît Rolland examines a new bow that includes his latest innovation, a redesigned “frog’’ that is used to adjust the horsehair.
John Tlumacki/Boston Staff