While studying musicology and playing the violin Ijmkje (pronounced Imka) became interested in the making of violins. She made her first violin with her local violin maker, Göran Tidström, in 2004. After completing musicology (MA, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 2005) and the Newark Violin Making School in the UK (upper merit 2008), she worked for seven years with cello specialists Robin Aitchison and Sarah Mnatzaganian in Ely in the UK. Ijmkje also did work experiences with several other violin experts: Anette Fajardo in London, Guust François in Amsterdam, Helen Michetschläger in Manchester and Matthew Wing in London.
Now Ijmkja makes and restores violins, violas and cellos from home in Ely and works part time at the Royal Academy of Music in London, as part of the team that looks after their world class collection of instruments. She also likes to work with other violin makers on a regular basis, and has worked with us here in Newbury, Andreas Post in Amsterdam, Kogge and Gateau in Berlin and Mark Wilhelm in Switzerland.
Ijmkje also regularly attends courses and workshops, such as the BVMA (British Violin making Association) Restoration course and the Oberlin Violin Making Workshop and Restoration Workshop in the US.