Ben Osterhouse, cellist, teacher and composer

“I bought a cello from Frederik because I was searching for a professional instrument, after playing for many years on a pretty decent student cello. Frederik’s cello has a rich, expansive tone, full of color and nuance. Now when I play in an ensemble, I can clearly hear myself, as well as blend in much better. I play cello at my church, and the first time I played a solo for the offertory on my new cello, a little boy came up to me afterward, pointed to my cello and said “I like this”. Since I live in the same town as Frederik I have been able to consult with him on the state of the cello, keeping it well maintained, and appreciate his meticulous attention to detail, and careful research.”

Violin repair

Erin Kaste, violinist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra

“I’m currently a professional violinist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Frederik Bethke has been taking care of my violin and doing any necessary repairs for almost 35 years.  He began working on my violin when I was a teenager in Minneapolis and I’ve trusted him with my instrument ever since regardless of my distance from his shop – I travel 12 hours once every year or so to have my violin checked out and to have any necessary work taken care of, from closing open seams and making and installing a new fingerboard to touching up and polishing.  He does excellent work, is careful and respectful, and always listens to issues I’ve had closely so that he can address them.  While I’ve had minuscule emergency work done in Memphis, I’d never trust anyone but Frederik to do any substantial work on my instrument.”

Mark Gitch, Director of Orchestras at Wayzata High Schools, Minnesota

“Frederik has been the luthier of choice for my school inventory for nearly two decades. As the Director of Orchestras at Wayzata High School, I am responsible for the care and maintenance of more than eighty string instruments ranging in quality from starters to fine instruments suitable for advanced players. Frederik treats each with utmost care and respect, knowing that the playability and tone of each is critical to the student’s success. More than just fixing what needs fixing, Frederik provides a level of service that treats our instruments as if they were his own. In addition to excellent workmanship, Frederik provides clear repair and maintenance options and helps me to understand the reasons behind his recommendations. His proactive communication, attention to detail, and calm manner are additional reasons I’ve maintained my relationship with Frederik for so many years. I confidently recommend his services to students, amateurs, and professionals seeking a luthier for their own instruments or programs.”

Bethke Violins studio interior

Maurice B. – Minneapolis, Minnesota

“This unassuming atelier has in over 20 years, proven to me, above all, that discerning work and skilled artistry in stringed instrument repair and new construction, in direct association with the client, to be most pleasant and rewarding. The esteem I hold for this little shop is well justified. Thank you Frederik, for your good natured expertise and success in this regard.”

Joe Schmidt, cellist

“I’ve worked with Frederik on quite a few instruments over the past twelve years as his customer, and am pleased to say he analyzes issues with great attention to the particular needs of the instrument and customer, and performs adjustments and repair work with great patience, I wish I had that much!  His charges are reasonable and I’ve always been impressed with the tonal and visual results.”