[email protected] Interview
Interview with Dmitry Badiarov
“Make your faith bigger than your fears. And definitely, get a mentor because life is not long enough to make all the mistakes by yourself. .” – Dmitry Badiarov
Today we feature Dmitry Badiarov, the founder at Badiarov Violins. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
I am a violin designer, speaker, and mentor. I am best known for two things: the revival of the violoncello da spalla, a lost page in the culture of classical music. I am also known for the revival of the lost thought process of the ancient masters who created those original violins today priced millions.
I use this to craft high-end instruments for world-class musicians and share this knowledge with instrument makers who want to create their new original work based on the solid cultural foundations’ thousands of years old.
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
Great question! Let me take you on a journey. It is 1989, we are in Merida, Spain. Picture ruins of an ancient Roman theatre. Midnight, a sky full of stars, the orchestra on stage, celebrated Rostropovich is conducting the orchestra, and myself, 20 years of age, among the violinists on stage.
You hear the sounds of Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev.
And I feel absolutely exhilarated. It’s an open-air theatre, yet it sounds like the finest of concert halls!
I thought the ancient masters knew something about acoustics the moderns have no clue about, and I had that burning desire to find this out so I can apply this same knowledge in the violins I want to create.
Why would a violinist want to create a violin? Here is the thing… The violin I played at that time was so primitive in comparison with the violins of my peers. It made me feel inferior, I felt, my instrument was shattering any chances of my success, but my peers played on violins today priced 6-7 figures and I did not have that kind of money.
The only way for me to get that better instrument was to craft it.
Fast forward, 1994, I just moved to Brussels, at the age of 25. This is where I could actually start my real research inspired by the legendary Sigiswald Kuijken.
He revived the lost culture of baroque violin playing, by conducting extensive research into the history and culture of European baroque music, reading primary sources, bringing that lost culture back to life. And I felt inspired: what if I apply the same approach to instrument making! It should work!
So I began. I spent months upon months at libraries, instrument museums, and also at my violin-making workshop, experimenting with my discoveries around the thought process of the ancient masters, creating my first original violins, based on that process. But soon I discovered no one else was excited about my research.
Musicians and other makers told, “Stop it! You will never succeed! Everyone tried to outdo Stradivari and everyone failed”, “Make copies of violins, this is what musicians want”, “Stop reinventing the wheel”… I could not sell any of my instruments, and I badly needed money as I moved to Europe without any savings, any scholarship, job, any guarantees.
I felt depressed and fearful. “What if all these musicians are right”, “what if I failed already”, “maybe they are right I will never succeed”.
After a couple of years of doubt and with the support of Sigiswald Kuijken I continued my research. And slowly things started to work. Around 2002, a major breakthrough, celebrated Ryo Terakado, concertmaster to two orchestras La Petite Bande and Bach Collegium Japan bought a violin based on my research rather than a poster of a violin. This was so freakin’ incredible! I felt I was onto something real.
Slowly other musicians too discovered what I do actually works.
I made instruments for many members of La Petite Bande, then musicians started traveling from all over Europe ordering my instruments.
Then world-class musicians too got interested and started ordering my instruments by the heaps. I made six instruments for Sigiswald Kuijken, 3 for Ryo Terakado, 2 for Sergey Malov.
This lead to more success and I got featured in Nikkei News, Tokyo MX TV, RTLZ TV, The Strad, Radio France. And finally, even instrument makers got interested in what I do. And some travelled over 10000km to learn from me.
Then they went on creating inspiring success stories of their own, building not just copies of violins from posters but building a legacy at the bench.
This leads to more fun in my career too, and I became an award-winning speaker and mentor. Today I love nothing more than helping instrument makers create a business they will love so together we can make a greater impact in more people’s lives.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
As a result of the story I just shared with you, I figured out, if an instrument maker wants to succeed today, the best way is to build a legacy at the bench, a mark the world cannot erase or ignore. So I started my own Authentic Instrument Makers Academy.
Although I am based in The Netherlands, my training for instrument makers takes place online, and live at fantastic locations, such as the tropical islands of Lanzarote in Spain, or Madeira, or even on a sailing yacht in The Netherlands. Besides this, I still create fine instruments of the violin family to order for clients from around the world.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
There were several such moments.
Firstly, as an instrument maker, my success is certainly based on approaching violin making differently, from the point of view of the ancient masters to create new original work with a story built into our instruments.
I was inspired by Kuijken.
I literally modelled on him. He has done this in music. There are other world-class musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt, Jordi Savall, Nicholaus Harnoncourt who have done the same with their instruments. And I have done this in violin making. It is just so much better than simply making copies from posters, which is the more widely accepted approach to instrument making.
I could have never achieved this without the support of Kuijken, Ryo Terakado, and other outstanding musicians in La Petite Bande, my friends Blai Justo and Luis Otavio Santos, both incredible musicians and charismatic leaders.
Another aha moment came from the incredible Mat Wilson of Einstein Marketer.
He was my mentor for 2 years and he demystified the secrets of digital marketing for me, as result I was invited to speak on stage of a digital marketing conference in London, alongside Social Media experts such as Paul O’Mahony, the author of Rethink. Countless aha moments come from my dear mentors Andy Harrington and Cheryl Chapman.
I would have not been able to do even a 10th of what I do without their world-class mentoring.
I found it an interesting question “who didn’t help”. I truly think, there were no people who did not help. Including those who rejected me for years.
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
The biggest lesson is never to become complacent, always thrive for more. In 2010 Classical music had dramatically changed. Ensembles I was used to working with lost subsidies and were not hiring, concert opportunities simply vanished. The whole stratum of former potential clients had completely disappeared.
This lead to a really deep down in my career, the causes of which I did not fully understand, and that eventually resulting in massive health issues: a near-death experience.
What I did not see is a plain truth: the #1 killer to an artist is not economical crises, not lack of support from governments. The #1 killer is obscurity and the same is true for the vast, vast majority of small businesses and creatives.
It was on the parts of my mentors Andy Harrington and Mat Wilson who guided me since late 2017 out of the abyss in which I found myself. I started leveraging Social Media in a more strategic, professional way, re-building my remarketing audiences, building offers that make sense to my clients. Going below zero on my accounts allowed me to take my business to a six-figure status in a matter of two months.
I learned that it is literally the best time ever to be alive and time an artist. An artist with basic entrepreneurial skills can achieve anything they want.
Of course, the world changes continuously at an ever-increasing pace, and a lot of things I would be doing differently today. However, one thing will never change apparently: be always sharing value and people who value will come.
Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” I wish I have known this before.
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Jim Rohn said, “You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With” And this is what I would advise my younger self – be VERY selective about whom do you hang out most time with because this is absolutely true.
I would encourage myself to get mentoring way earlier. Mentoring is truly the key to success. I would thank all the people who doubted me for their opinion and not let myself feel down. And never thought I should not have become an entrepreneur. I believe I should have become aware that I am in fact an entrepreneur way earlier.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
ClickFunnels, Stripe, and Facebook. I cannot think of my business without these. I heard about them at countless business masterminds I’ve attended. My mentor Mat Wilson of Einstein Marketer helped me to make good use of them. I heard about them at countless business masterminds I’ve attended. My mentor Mat Wilson of Einstein Marketer helped me to make good use of them. Business without Facebook would be unthinkable. However should I loose it, I would be using other Social Media channels. Such as LinkedIn and YouTube.
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” I wish I have known this before.
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
Taking my business to six figures in two months and getting to speak alongside Social Media marketing experts such as Paul O’Mahony and Chris Rowell, and helping my clients’ instrument makers do the same.
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
My goal is to help instrument makers to create a business they will love and build a legacy at the bench. I could focus on making fine concert grade instruments and at my current pace create another 35-50 instruments.
And I could take my knowledge to the grave… However, when I share the lost thought process of the ancient masters with other makers, they will create amazing instruments based on this ancient story and inspire their clients. Their inspired clients will share this story with music lovers. This might even result in a renewed appreciation of our culture, especially that of Classical Music. I think this would be beautiful.
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Make your faith bigger than your fears. And definitely, get a mentor because life is not long enough to make all the mistakes by yourself.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Badiarov Violins”
To learn more about Badiarov Violins Visit http://badiarovviolins.com/
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