Welcome to Austin Strings!
Austin Strings is a family-run full-service orchestral string shop with music-teaching studios. We strive to provide excellent one-on-one service and maintain a positive and supportive atmosphere. We welcome students of all ages; picking out an instrument is a fun, interactive process. If you need your current instrument adjusted or repaired you'll be delighted with the results. We set up and adjust many instruments no matter the price range and restore or repair instruments when needed without over-charging or doing any unnecessary work.
If you're looking for a string instrument rental in ATX, look no further! Our rental program is second-to none, see more details here Click for Rental Page.
Austin Strings was opened in May of 2001 after the closing of Northwest Music. Lori worked as a repair technician at Northwest Music and loved that the repair areas were accessible, the atmosphere was friendly and customer service and education were top priority. She decided she wanted to continue this hometown atmosphere and so opened Austin Strings to continue serving Austin and surrounding areas.
Owner & Luthier
Lori is the owner of Austin Strings and Bastrop Sound Sanctuary; She started luthier training in 1996 and opened Austin Strings in 2001. She studied violin setup and repair at The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts under Hans Nebel and bow rehair, repair and bow-making at The University of New Hampshire under Lynn Hannings. She has over 420 in-class hours and over 19 years professional experience repairing and making both bows and violins. Teaching, repairing instruments, and making bows are her biggest passions and she feels very blessed to be a part of the Austin community.
Lori grew up with older brothers who all took music lessons. She began piano at 8 and then violin at 9. In high school she got the opportunity to play cello at a summer camp and decided to continue cello as well. She received full-tuition scholarships on cello which paid for her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Social Work, followed by a Masters of Science in Social Work. She has been playing cello professionally for over 35 years, with many ensembles including: Ballet West, New American Symphony, Utah Music Theater, Sundance Music Theater, Wasatch Chamber Players, Silverwood Trio, Serenade Strings, and continues presently with Soltice Strings.
Derek DeZarn has a degree in String Instrument Technology from Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music and has worked in the industry for over 20 years both building and repairing instruments. When you get a chance to chat with him, check out his amazing record of professional instruments he’s had the opportunity to work on in his extensive career as a luthier. At the Jacobs School of Music he studied under Thomas J Sparks. After graduation Derek became the assistant instructor and did set up and repairs on school and faculty instruments including János Starker’s gorgeous Hungarian cello, Emilio Colón’s Jean Baptiste Vuillaume cello, and a Nicolò Gagliano circa 1723 violin. He has studied luthiery at both Ifshinn with Haide-Lin and at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, and has studied varnishing with Joe Robson, Marilyn Wallin, and Roman Barnas. On his extensive list of repairs you’ll find many instruments from the players in The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and from professors and students of universities in the surrounding areas.
Derek also repairs guitars, mandolins, and folk instruments. He apprenticed with Randy Wood at Randy Wood Guitars, even helped him build the new “Old-Time Pickin’ Parlor.” Derek worked on guitars, mandolins, and folk instruments in Savannah, Georgia - including working on Clarence White’s Martin D-28 guitar (owned by Tony Rice at the time), and re-stringing Vassar Clements’ fiddle.
Derek has run many repair shops over the years and we’re so excited to have him here! In addition to his impressive resume, what you’ll find about Derek is a clear passion for working on stringed instruments, an abundance of creativity, and a big smile. He’ll work on instruments of any level and has experience with folk instruments as well - so no matter what you need done call/text or stop by and he can help you out!
General Manager, Bow Luthier
I’ve been playing music all my life; I’m so fortunate to have grown up in a musical family! My mom played cello professionally and taught out of our home while I was growing up and my dad had his own fan-powered pipe organ in the living room! I played piano for many years and started cello when I was about 10 years old. I now study bow-making and repair with Lynn Hannings every summer and currently have 305 in-class hours.
Studying bow-making and repair has been very eye-opening as to why so many musicians are uncomfortable and experiencing pain. Most musicians will blame themselves when it is their equipment that needs adjusting. If you are having any pain while playing, bring in your equipment and let us check it over for you! There are many things we can do to help you be comfortable so you can continue to play over the long-term!
I truly believe music is one of the most amazing things you can do for yourself. It challenges you, makes your mind sharp, and forces you to accept your many flaws and mistakes while still striving for something beautiful. It truly is special and personal! It’s important to get set up with someone who is very positive and knowledgeable about the instruments themselves and can talk you through practice routines and reasonable expectations you can have for yourself when learning a bowed string instrument. I’m so proud to be a part of my mother’s shop where we are friendly, welcoming and masterful. We have the absolute best customers in all of Austin; if you’re interested in learning one of these instruments, we should absolutely be your first stop!