Gabriele Jebran Yakoub, Violin Maker, Restorer and dealer
“One can easily mistake the sound of an old Italian instrument with the sound of the instruments made by Yakoub “ said Yuri Bashmet to a large audience in St. Petersburg, while Moscow’s Classical Music News called Mr. Yakoub ” A modern day Stradivari”.
A top prize winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition of String Making in Moscow, Gabriele Jebran Yakoub’s detailed, precise approach to instrument making is deeply rooted in his knowledge of musicians needs, being an accomplished cellist himself.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1978 to a family of musicians, he started
learning cello from his mother, Olga Yakoub, at the age of 4. He soon became curious in lutherie, beginning with restoration work at the age of 11 and making his first violin at the age of 15 under the guidance of renowned St. Petersburg maker Vladimir Kitov.
Mr.Yakoub’s instruments are now recognized as some of the finest in the
world and can be heard in virtually all major orchestras around the globe
in such orchestras as Staatskapelle Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest The Hague , West Eastern Divan Orchestra, Chicago
Symphony, Bolshoi Theatre, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev’s Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Moscow Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov’s National Philharmonic of Russia, Yuri Bashmet’s Moscow Soloists and Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica.
Now based between Berlin, Cremona and St. Petersburg, Mr. Yakoub is considered to be one of the top instrument makers in the world. He’s been entrusted with care taking of instruments of the most respected teaching studios, including those of Frans Helmerson, David Geringas, Alexander Rudin and Sergey Roldugin. Mr. Yakoub’s expertly advice and instruments are also constantly in demand with many of today’s celebrated performers including Natalia Gutman, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky , Yo-Yo Ma , Sergey Krylov, Janine Jansen, Maxim Rysanov, Julian Rachlin, Philippe Quint, Kristof Barati, Michael Barenboim, Samuel Magad, Alexander Buzlov, Alexander Ramm and Denis Shapovalov.
Chamber ensembles that proudly perform on Yakoub’s instruments are Jerusalem, Atrium, Rastrelli and Am Erlenbusch Quartets to name only
a few. While in Cremona, where Mr. Yakoub studied at IPIALL “Antonio
Stradivari” , he continued honing his craft with the most sought after
Cremonese luthiers including Giovanni Battista Morassi, Giorgio Scolari,
Alessandro Voltini, Claudio Amighetti as well as frequent consultations
from legendary Etienne Vatelot in Paris.
Mr.Yakoub’s instruments have been highly praised at a number of prestigious contests of contemporary makers, including Cremona’s Concorso Triennale and Paris’ International Violin Making Competition.
Mr. Yakoub is primary caretaker of instruments for Daniel Barenboim’s Foundation in Berlin, Barenboim – Said Foundation in Seville, Spectrum Concerts Berlin, Rostropovich Foundation in Vilnius, Denis Matsuev’s
New Names Foundation and Vladimir Spivakov Foundation in Moscow.
As a concert cellist, he has performed in some of the major concert halls as a soloist and chamber musician. As a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Daniel Barenboim, he has performed at Chicago Symphony’s Orchestra Hall, Staatsoper Berlin, Maestranza in Seville, London’s Royal Albert and Barbican Halls, Berlin Philharmonie and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
Mr. Yakoub is a member of Solidarte Foundation in Milan, Union of Violin Makers of Russia and Associazione Liutaria Italiana. He is also Artistic Director and Advisor to SpeVivere Foundation Berlin and Vice Chairman and Artistic Director of Fondazione Maestro in Cremona.