"At the age of 6 I didn't know what a violin was. I knew nothing about it: not the sound, not the name and not even that it existed. I started having a dream which I saw more than 40 times. In my dream I walked into an old broken down building (like those in Cremona !). The building was destroyed in war, only one wall was still standing. I walked in through the ruins and started searching among the rocks and broken shelves. I found dark brown violins with a short finger board and no corners like the final form of a violin (Baroque Violins) ! And when I would wake from my dream I would be in my uttermost feeling of happiness. I always hope to have this same dream again and again" - Paul A. Gharib
His passion for the violin started during the dark days of the Lebanese civil war in 1975. He secretly played his violin and it became his friend during the difficult time. The sound of the violin was his comfort. He taught himself the basics of the violin. But he always had a problem with his violin. He couldn't reach the note with his fourth finger on the fingerboard. This was the problem with all the violins he used. Even his friends had the same problem even to this day and the musicians still don't know why. So Paul wanted to know what was wrong with the violin. Only later he discovered that in the Baroque period, the violin fingerboard was very short respective to the hand. With time, the fingerboard has been growing more and more till it became longer than it should be. This is very discomforting for the violinist regardless of the beauty of its sound! Paul made an attempt to make his own fingerboard and that's how his work as a Luther started. He also started repairing the sound post and re-hairing the bows by cutting real horse tails. During that time there was no Luther in all the region !
Year after year he gained more and more experience and he began to understand the violin and to live the violin from the inside. And he tried to make his own violin at the age of 23. But he could not find the specific wood. Also the top of his violin broke before he had completed it while opening the F- holes. So he broke it and forgot about the whole violin- making project!
A few years later as the internet became more accessible, Paul started searching for more knowledge about the violin. His Higher studies in Computer Science and Programming helped him to discover the world of Violins and its history through the internet! He went in thousands of Luther's websites and violin makers. He read about each one's methods, what tools he used, the cooking of the varnish, types of varnish methods. And came to a conclusion from all that he read and saw; he was able to create his own modern tools which don't exist anywhere in the world in order to facilitate his work.
Paul's dream is to break Stradivarius', the master of all makers, record in making violins. Even though he started late!
Paul completed his studies in the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory Of Music in the oriental section for 5 years under the supervision of his teacher Hanna Al Salfiti. He has been playing the violin in The Lebanese National Orchestra in Beirut since the year 2000 directed by Dr Walid Gholmieh.
Paul is also a member of the Lebanese Syndicate of Musicians since the year 1987.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at:
Home: 00961- 5- 950405