Oded Kishony's early experiences fostered the patience, precision, and focus needed to create great instruments. He spent his childhood playing with the woodworking tools in his father's cabinet shop. His working life began at the age of 15 when he was apprenticed to a diamond cutter. After graduating from college with a degree in English and Psychology, he began working as a weight and balance controller for an international airline and traveled extensively in Europe and Asia.
Kishony began making violins on his own. After completing three instruments, he showed his work to Dr. Albert Mell, editor of the Journal of the Violin Society of America. Dr. Mell complimented his efforts but advised him that violinmaking is a complex and sophisticated art, and that he should find a teacher. Dr. Mell then introduced him to Andrew S. Kim, who had taught at the Chicago School of Violinmaking and had won a double gold medal from the VSA. Oded studied with Mr. Kim for over a year and made two violins.
Following this internship Oded was hired by Stephen McGhee to work at his restoration shop in Manhattan. Mr. McGhee had studied violinmaking in Mittenwald, Germany and had worked in the prestigious restoration shop of Jacques Francais for many years. Oded's skills as an artisan matured in this rich atmosphere of New York's musical life, where he learned the subtleties of restoration and studied many great instruments.
While working in Mr. McGhee's shop, Kishony met John Terry, a talented violinmaker and graduate of the violinmaking school of Cremona, Italy. At Mr. Terry's invitation, Oded joined him in Italy to study the methods of the Italian School. In an intense and fruitful year he made a quintet of instruments.
Kishony returned to Long Island in 1988 and began working in his own shop as a full time violinmaker. In 1992 he relocated his studio to central Virginia, near Charlottesville, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.