Heinrich Roth was a seventh-generation violin maker who worked in the family shop in Markneukirchen, Germany, alongside his father, Ernst Heinrich Roth, and brother, Albert. The family developed a reputation for crafting superb string instruments in the early twentieth century, and many were sold to visiting Americans. Heinrich was convinced to come to the United States by his American clients and friends in 1922, bringing with him the experience and reputation of Roth instruments.
Roth's expertise led him to lead the Simson & Frey violin department, where his name rose throughout the United States and overseas, after a few brief jobs in violin departments of other businesses. When Herman Simsom retired in 1932, Roth teamed up with Max Scherl to purchase the Simson & Frey firm. Scherl & Roth was the new name. The company relocated from New York to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1938, an early center of violin manufacturing in the United States.
Following WWII, educators realized the need of building school orchestras, which sparked a surge in interest in string instruments. Roth attracted young, competent violin makers from Europe to his Cleveland violin store in order to give students with the best instruments available. These craftsmen devised the finishing and adjusting processes and standards necessary to produce superb, cheap classroom instruments in large quantities under Roth's leadership.
Those standards were ultimately used as the foundation for those accepted by the National Conference of Music Educators (MENC). Scherl & Roth quickly grew to be one of the world's largest string shops, as well as the country's leading seller of string instruments and accessories. Many renowned string educators regarded the complete Scherl & Roth series as their favorite choice.
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