Pierre Bohr began his studies at the Scuola di liuteria di Milano and since then has been extensively engaged in the study of original instruments and in participation with instrument makers and specialists in the field of early music.
In 1981, in the wake of social, cultural and aesthetic changes taking place in previous years, he began to construct viols and violoncellos for young musicians who found themselves drawn to early performance practice. Those seeking after sounds free of that certain heaviness – resulting from the previous tendency towards ever increasing volume – seeking towards lost tonalitieswhich seem to have their own appeal for the man of today.
At the end of his formal studies, he and a half dozen fellow students from the school formed the Gruppo Liutai Milanesi which was to specialise in instruments for early music; they shared a workshop in via Pastrengo, where they could work and share machines, purchasing, subscriptions to journals, instrument plans, etc.
In 1987 he was apprenticed to the luthier Herbert Rahs in Vienna.
From 1988, with his colleagues Stefano Solari, Olivier Fadini and Kevin O’Neill he worked in an extensive workshop in the Casa degli Artisti in Corso Garibaldi in Milan, where, in continuity with the lengthy history of this building, he was for some twenty years in collaboration with the artists, photographers and stage designers who worked there. A period much enriched by an interplay between music, literature, art and craftsmanship.
In 1990, drawn towards the lower limits of the sense of hearing, an interest shared with the double-bass player Nicola Moneta, with whom he started the “Octobasse Project”, he began the first modern reconstruction of the instrument by J.B. Vuillaume, the dream project of any young luthier, concluded in 1994, after extensive research and substantial labour.
In 1994 he lived and worked in Gagliano di Mugello (Florence) for six years.
From 2003 onwards he has been participating in bi-annual workshops involving eight other instrument makers from all over Europe in a week of study and work in the workshop adjoining the sawmill of Bernard Michaud; this exchange not only extends knowledge but also leads to interesting discoveries and is fulfilling at the human level.
In 2007/08, he taught in a course of specialisationin baroque construction in the instrument making school in Cremona, an experience which, encouraged by the presence of pupils in the workshop, presented much opportunity for reflection and discussion.
Experimentation into the sound of instruments with gut strings, together with the evolution over time of methods of construction and changes in musical culture, have always been one of his principal interests. He is in frequent collaboration with musicians, musicologists and other instrument makers.
He has built instruments for musicians from many countries and who play across many borders.
His interest in early instrument research through written sources, iconography and surviving instruments, has encouraged him to participate in conferences and to exhibit his research and work in the field of organology.
He has three children and works in Milan.