About us

BIOGRAphy – JOST THOENE

Jost Thoene, son of music pedagogue and composer Karl Thoene (1924-1993), was born in Rhede, Germany, in 1962. Continuing the Thoene family tradition, he studied music and viola at the Academies in Dortmund and Muenster in Germany. In the course of his studies, he spent a great deal of time learning about the art of violin making and its history; upon finishing his degree, Thoene decided to become a dealer in fine stringed instruments, with shops in Germany and Italy.

Since 1998, when he established the publishing house "Jost Thoene Verlag", Thoene has published a dozen large books about Italian and French violin making of the last four centuries. These reference works feature more than 120 of these important violin makers along with their instruments and biographies. The latest of these works was the four-volume publication “Antonio Stradivari”, published in 2010; it became “the state of the art” in violin documentation, showing in four volumes 148 violins, violas and cellos of the icon Antonio Stradivari in life size. This documentation has gained international recognition. Some of the books have been translated into four other languages besides English and are already being sold worldwide, for example by international auction houses such as Sotheby's in London. The series is scheduled to be continued at the end of 2015.

After 20 years of experience as a violin dealer in Germany and Italy, Thoene founded the Violin Expo Cologne in 2006, creating a globally unique stage to present international contemporary violin making in the historic centre of Cologne.  He supervised the exhibition "Antonio Stradivari – Myth and Music" in Cologne in 2010 as a guest curator of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation Corboud. This exhibition was unfortunately postponed due to culture budget cuts by the city of Cologne.

In 2014, Thoene and his partner Christian Reister, an expert in wealth management and asset management, founded VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH. With its head office at the idyllic moated castle in the city of Bedburg, near Cologne and Düsseldorf, VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH offers exceptional stringed instruments for investment purposes. Furthermore, it is a personal concern for Thoene and Reister to promote young talented musicians.

BIOGRAphy – CHRISTIAN REISTER

Christian Reister, born in 1972, has worked in the field of high net worth investments for more than 20 years. He has many years of extensive experience in both wealth management and asset management. In the past 10 years he worked for M&G Investments, a part of Prudential plc. in London, and for Metzler Asset Management, part of the 340 year-old Metzler Bank in Frankfurt. As Prokurist and Director of Business Development, he was responsible for large institutional clients in international markets such as Switzerland and the Nordics.

In 2014 Reister founded VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH with his partner, Jost Thoene, an expert in the field of premium stringed instruments. With its head office at the idyllic moated castle in the city of Bedburg, near Cologne and Düsseldorf, VIOLIN ASSETS GmbH offers exceptional stringed instruments for investment purposes. Furthermore, it is a personal concern for Thoene and Reister to promote young talented musicians.

As a managing director at VIOLIN ASSETS, Christian Reister is responsible for client support and product management.

VIOLIN ASSETS supports high net worth individuals and institutions that invest in exclusive string instruments, also enabling investors and patrons to support exceptional musicians.  VIOLIN ASSETS brings investment and culture into perfect harmony.

BEDBURG Castle – The Moated Castle on the Erft

The Castle of Bedburg, originally a moated castle with walls in tuff stonework, was built in the 12th century. After it was destroyed in 1278, it was rebuilt as a Gothic brick castle. After being again destroyed in the Cologne War (1584), it was again rebuilt, at which time the southeast wing was expanded. During the Baroque period, the southwest façade became the entrance façade; the construction of the castle was then complete.

During the French occupation, the buildings were used as an accommodation for veteran soldiers. After 1815, the castle served as a hospital for eye patients of the Brauweiler Labour Institute. In 1839 the buildings were publicly auctioned off; they were awarded to the Rheinische Ritterschaft, a society of the Rhenish nobility, who converted and expanded the castle into the Rhenish Knights’ Academy; at the same time, the chapel was built by Vinzenz Statz. Once the Knights’ Academy closed in 1922, the Neurath Trade Union took over the castle and used it as an administrative centre.

In 1924 the buildings were bought by the city on a rental basis, and the Realgymnasium secondary school was established. In 1939 the school was moved to Bergheim; the Bedburg school was a “feeder school” from this point on. In 1959 the castle was taken over by the Neurath Trade Union through the RAG (Rhenish Corporation for Brown Coal Mining and Briquette Manufacturing). In 1961 the Bedburg Realschule secondary school was set up in the school wing; however, the rooms were used by this school only until its new building was completed in 1968.

Today the rooms, which have been renovated in every detail and superbly equipped, are used to host cultural events. Some of the rooms have been designed to serve as an elegant setting for conventions, meetings, conferences, symposia, etc.; these rooms are available to those interested in putting on such events. The restful, secure ambience provided by the thick castle walls gives rise to a feeling of protectedness, enabling its visitors to concentrate on what is essential.

© Stadt Bedburg

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