Jan Strumphler was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands in 1958. From 1984 to 1987 he trained at the Newark School of Violinmaking in England. After qualifying as a violinmaker, he then went to work for the well-known bow maker Matthew Coltman in London. He returned to the Netherlands in 1989 and set up as a bow maker in Vleuten, Utrecht. Besides making new bows, he also does repair and restoration work. From 1997 to 2017 Jan was secretary of the Dutch Group of Violin- and Bow makers (NGV) since 1997.
He is not the first Strumphler who earns his living with a combination of music and craft. The first Strumphler who came to the Netherlands, at the end of the eighteenth century, was the well-known organ builder Johannes Strümphler (after several years in the Netherlands, Johannes dropped the umlaut on the u in his surname). His organs are still to be found in churches and homes all over the Netherlands, and are still being played, for instance in the Eusebius Church in Arnhem and the Geertekerk in Utrecht.
Over the last years, several media have published articles on Jan Strumphler:
Also, the book “400 year violinmaking in the Netherlands”, that was published on occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Dutch Group of Violin- and Bow making in 1999, features an interview with Jan Strumphler and photographs of several of his bows. The book is out of print, but Jan still has several copies available.