Benoît Rolland – Master Bow Maker


Filmmaker: Michael Sheridan
Produced for: Benoît Rolland

Benoît Rolland has made 1,950 wood bows during his 49-year career. His bows are featured in private collections in Europe, the US and Japan. Most of the major soloists of the past three decades have acquired a Rolland bow, sometimes several. Yo-Yo Ma used a Rolland bow, in his words a “magic bow,” in his 2018 recording of the J. S. Bach Suites for Cello. Rolland has been recognized as a MacArthur Fellow and by the French Government with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Rolland is a master of traditional wood bow making and an innovator In the 1990s he produced the first carbon fiber bow that revolutionized low-cost high-quality bow production. In 2013, his Galliane frog created a fundamental evolution of the classical bow, by setting the hair at an ergonomic angle that follows the musician’s natural wrist movement and increases the playability of the bow. The films are a journey into the mind and work of Rolland as he works on bows and dialogs with musicians.

Benoît Rolland: Master Bow Maker, 2012, 7 min

The Galliane Frog – with Miriam Fried, 2013, 3 min

The Galliane Frog – with Yumi Okada, 2013, 2 min

Bow 1515 – with In Mo Yang, 2016, 5 min

Take a Bow – Benoît Rolland & Yo-Yo Ma at Pucker Gallery, 2019, 9 min (Sound and Editing: Zayde Buti)