Everything started with a more or less attentive student at Martin-Schongauer-Gymnasium (High School) in Breisach, a city situated in the southern part of Germany’s Rhine valley, I gained my first insights into the life of an instrument maker. As an enthusiastic French horn player, there was only one place for me to apply: “Gebrüder Alexander” in Mainz, where french horn players from all over the world come to buy their instruments.
Before long I began my apprenticeship as a brass instrument maker. I learned a lot during this time; how to professionally clean his company, I learned a lot: how to professionally clean an instrument, how to flatten out dents in an instrument, how to get rid of unnecessary rattling noises, and how to change the overall tone of an instrument. So many problems with so many possible solutions.
In the summer of 2010, I successfully passed my apprenticeship with a journeyman’s examination and received two awards: I scored the highest on the instrument maker journeyman’s examination in the state Rhineland-Palatinate and the second-best in all of Germany. With such huge awards in my pocket, I moved back to south Germany and started working at “blechblasinstrumentenbau egger” in Basel, Switzerland. “Blechblasinstrumentenbau Egger” is an absolute expert in historical instrument making. There, instruments are made from a single piece of metal. I gained knowledge, experience, and craftsmanship during my time there. Inspired by this new knowledge, I started to work on an extensive and time-consuming masterpiece: A double-horn which was built out of many pieces of metal. After hours of hard work, I finished the double-horn which had the examiners of my master’s certificate saying they hadn’t seen it’s equal in many years.
I was then offered a job in Frankfurt and so I left Basel and moved north. The music store “session” needed help to open up a service workshop. There I gained valuable experience in the business proceedings of big companies in the music industry and learned how to make decisions and juggle responsibilities.
In the summer of 2013, I moved back to Mainz to work under Dietmar Dürk, a well-known builder of French horns who is considered one of the biggest competitiors of “Gebrüder Alexander”. There, I built horns in a smaller series with great precision for musicians like Radek Baborák.
Since I began this journey, I have had one constant dream: to open my own instrument workshop. So, in July 2015, I opened my own workshop named “Klangwerkstatt Martin Böhme”, close to Freiburg. Whether you need a small repair, a professionally cleaned instrument, or a general overhaul with a brand-new finish, I will be sure to take excellent care of your instrument.