David Rivinus made his first violins in the early 1970’s under the tutelage of Indianapolis violin maker Thomas Smith. Shortly thereafter he was accepted to a full apprenticeship at the Hollywood CA shop of restoration icon Hans Weisshaar. Most of his four years there were spent learning the painstaking craft of restoring violins, but on his own time he continued to make instruments. He also combined his love of violin history with a life-long hobby, becoming the shop photographer. He took detailed pictures of well over 400 rare instruments and bows, including more than a score of documented “Strads”, and was the photographer for the Los Angeles based Colburn Collection.
In 1979 Rivinus opened a shop with violin maker Thomas Metzler in Glendale CA. The shop services players from the several major orchestras in the Los Angeles area, including the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as scores of Hollywood studio musicians, university music departments and amateur string players.
The shop continues to thrive, but Rivinus left after several years and moved east where he devoted himself to new instrument making and acoustic research. It was there, on his farm in southern Vermont, that the Pellegrina and its related line of ergonomic instruments was born. A decade later his work on acoustics and ergonomics continues, but he has moved west once more, this time, to the outskirts of Portland OR.