Craftsmanship with family tradition

Technical expertise, the skill of the craftsman and the eye of the artist all take time to develop. Such qualities are passed on from father to son, yet must adapt to changing times. This is the case with the Penzel family of Ostrach, Germany.
Nearly 100 years ago Emil Max Penzel, the great-great uncle of the present head of the company, founded the family business at Erlbach, a center for the making of musical instruments in Vogtland /Sachsen. His early bows were based upon those of the leading French maker, Lamy, but he soon developed his own designs and before long the trademark “E. M. Penzel”, between two horizontal treble clefs, established itself as a guarantee of authenticity and quality of his work.

Roland Penzel

Birgitta Penzel

The next family member to run the business was Kurt Penzel, and it was his son, Kurt Gerhard Penzel, who after his years of training and apprenticeship, transferred the business to Stuttgart where he acquired his Master Craftsman’s Diploma. In 1974 he moved his home and workshop to Ostrach, not far from Lake Constance. Bows bearing the name “K. Gerhard Penzel” between two horizontal treble clefs have earned a reputation for excellence all over the world, as demonstrated by the many honors confered upon them, in particular the gold medal won by a set of four bows for string quartet in Liège in 1969.
For some years now Gerhard Penzel’s son, Roland, also a master craftsman, has been the driving force behind the family business, together with his Swedish wife, who comes from a violin- making family. Gerhard’s daughter runs the commercial side of the business as well as the restoration department. The son of Roland Penzel, Matthias Penzel, joined the company in 2000. He received his Master degree in 2008. The company became a Private Limited Company (GmbH) in 1986 and changed to Limited Commercial Partnership (KG) in 2006.
Today, the trademark of father and son “K. Gerhard Penzel und Roland G. Penzel” is a guarantee of quality for the high class “Classic models”, satisfying all possible demands with regard to design, workmanship and finish. We offer a complete range of bows for concert string instruments.

It is the esteem of our customers all over the world that encourages us to continue our production of master bows and to seek new ways of improving still further the high standards on which our reputation is based upon.

Gerhard Penzel
Roswitha Penzel