The secret of the perfect string instrument is not only the greatest family heritage, but also a common hobby even of the fifth generation of the Honěk family.
The greatest master was our grandfather Alois Vincenc Honěk, who was born in Děhylov, Silesia, on October 25, 1911. He inherited his love of string instruments from his father, who was a carpenter and also made several violins. He trained as a violin maker under the guidance of Opava violin maker Růžička in parallel with his grammar school studies. After graduating from high school, however, he did not fulfill his father's wish to become a professional luthier and went to Prague to study medicine at Charles University. After successfully graduating, he decided to pursue a career as a surgeon.
Despite a very demanding profession, he always found time for his favorite hobby. He was known to have been working on his instruments since four o'clock in the morning. Only then did he go for a walk to the hospital Na Františku, where he was a head surgeon for many years
He has dedicated his entire life to the production of string instruments and research into the secrets of perfect design, until the blessed age of 90. He crafted more than 100 instruments and left dozens unfinished for his son and grandchildren. He researched into the objective measurement of the tonal quality of the violin. He published the results together with Ing. Million in the prestigious magazine Strad. AV Honěk was a member of the Violin Artists' Circle
He was also an excellent surgeon who significantly contributed to the development of this field, not only in our country. He had excellent relations with the Czech Philharmonic and for a long time accompanied the orchestra around the world as their physician. He also collaborated with greats such as Václav Neumann. Dr. Honěk died at the age of 91, on June 31, 2002.
As he himself liked to say, his greatest achievement in life was not the instruments themselves, but the fact that he set passed the passion on to his son and grandchildren. He entrusted his secrets to them and taught them how to construct master instruments.
Today, not only his son Tomáš Honěk (born 1950 in Prague) but also his three grandchildren Tomáš Jr., Jakub and Albert Vincenc continue the tradition. Even the youngest great-grandson Tomáš (born 2010) has fallen in love with the violin making
The TV medallion from the 70's gives an insight into the medical and violin history of Dr. Alois Honěk. Commented by Rudolf Hrušínský.