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Gerold Karl Hannabach

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Gerold Karl Hannabach – Luthier

Gerold Karl Hannabach grew up in a family of string makers in Schönbach/Egerland, today’s Luby/CZ. He attended the technical school for stringed instrument making there and took violin and bow making. When he was still 16, he had to march off to war and became a French prisoner of war.

At 17, he followed the expelled Schönbachers, who had found a new home around Bubenreuth and began an apprenticeship as a plucked instrument maker with Arnold Hoyer in Tennenlohe, who was also from Schönbach. He completed this in 1953 with the journeyman’s examination. In the same year, he set up his own workshop in Bubenreuth.

In the beginning, he kept his head above water with the mass production of travel guitars. In 1966, he passed the examination as a master guitar maker. This was followed by appointment as a specialist teacher at the “Lehrwerkstätten für Musikinstrumentenbau” (training workshops for musical instrument making) in Bubenreuth and the appointment as 2nd headmaster of the guild. From 1969 onwards, Hannabach only sold individually built instruments “to interested players and soloists.”

In 1973 he went on a study and information trip through Spain, where he exchanged ideas with such well-known guitar makers as Hernandez and Fleta. From 1978 Hannabach was a lecturer at international “guitar making seminars.” In 1979 he was a major co-founder of the “Geigenbaumuseum Bubenreuth” (Bubenreuth violin making museum), which he has expertly accompanied ever since. In 1980 he was appointed “publicly appointed and sworn expert for the plucked instrument making a trade.”

In 2002 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon.

Gerold Karl Hannabach built more than 4000 instruments, touring guitars, children’s guitars, ukuleles, and last but not least, the soloist guitars that carried his name around the world. His son Karl decided early on to follow in his father’s footsteps and continue the tradition.

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