Since the crisis of 1929, the profession of luthier was in decline, especially in Mirecourt. Competition from wireless and microgroove records, then the new upheaval of the Second World War did not help matters. Mores evolved, new habits were taken, popular and mass-market music prevailed over the classical repertoire. So much so that in the sixties, there weren't many luthiers left.
The last factory in Mirecourt, the Maison Laberte, closed its doors shortly before 1970.
In Mirecourt, which was nevertheless a world-renowned capital of lutherie, there remained more than a dozen craftsmen working on the manufacture of musical instruments, and very few apprentices were there. trained.
1964is an important year. Indeed, André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs, entrusted Marcel Landowski with a major project: to give back to the French a taste for music by the creation of schools and conservatories.
This action is positive and proves to be an opportunity for French violin making. Indeed, we see that it is necessary to enlarge the stock of musical instruments, bowed string instruments in particular, and that a quality workforce is needed to maintain and adjust these instruments.
We realize that there is a real gap between generations and that we will have to train young luthiers. The few rare apprentices will not be enough.
The idea of a school is therefore essential.But will it be private or public? Located in Paris, Lyon, or Mirecourt?
The luthiersEtienne Vatelot,John Bauer,Jean Schmitt, participate among others in this debate. Finally, at the request of the Groupement des luthiers et archetiers d'art de France (GLAAF) and with the support of the ministries of culture and crafts and local authorities, a lutherie section was created within the nationalized high school of Mirecourt. .
In September 1970, the violin making school opens its doors. The very first students, five in number, work under the direction ofRene Morizot, artisan luthier based in Mirecourt. It was then necessary to organize everything, the material needs were enormous and the luthiers behind the project had to get their hands dirty by restoring the planes, workbenches, etc.
As of the following school year, a bow section is opened in the same premises, directed byBernard Ouchard, bow maker from Mirecourt.
Since that date, no less than 300 future luthiers and bow makers have gone through theNational School of Lutheriebefore completing their training in France and around the world.