Richard Biggs is a classically trained luthier. He served an apprenticeship with a master luthier followed by years of on-the-job training by other masters in Chicago violin shops. He owes a debt of gratitude to several of these shops for helping him hone his many skills, which include making, repairing, restoring, and setting up instruments of the violin family and their bows.
With over 30 years of experience, Richard, a member of the Violin Society of America and the British Violin Making Association, still attends conventions, conferences and workshops offered by both organizations to help him keep in step with the latest developments in stringed instruments. His favorite is the prestigious Oberlin Bow Makers Workshop, which is co-sponsored by Oberlin College and the Violin Society of America. Richard feels that a good luthier must be familiar with the best repair and restoration techniques known to help instruments reach their full potential.
Richard opened Biggs Violin Shop in Porter, Indiana in 2001. Professional and amateur players alike come to the shop. They come from major symphonies, community orchestras, universities and schools. He has clients from as far away as Ireland, England, and Canada, and as close as the neighborhood. Richard holds to a strict philosophy when working on an instrument or bow: “When a client entrusts their instrument to me I owe it to them to treat it with respect, as though it were a Stradivarius, whether it is or not. And to do my best work at all times. Anything less is simply not acceptable.”