Peter Prier, 1942-2015

The Founder of the Violin Making School of America left a legacy of the finest instruments – and makers – in the world.

June 15, 2015

It is with deep sadness that the faculty and students of the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City have learned of the passing of founder and Director Emeritus Peter Paul Prier yesterday, at the age of 73. He will be greatly missed.

Peter founded the school in 1972 following much urging from young Americans wishing to become violin makers. The school opened on the upper floor of Peter’s violin shop with just four students and one faculty member, Peter. In a short time enrollment grew and more room was needed, so Peter purchased the building next door and the school had a new home. A second floor was added in 1975 to accommodate additional students and faculty as the school developed an international reputation that continues today.

Peter was Director until 2006, when he sold the school to the long-time head instructor Charles Woolf, who is its current Director.

Peter Prier’s contribution to contemporary violin making, through his making and teaching, is beyond measure. Many of the finest luthiers working today began their training under Peter’s guidance. His legacy is an inspiration, and the school will draw on that inspiration as we continue our work today and in the future.