Jean-Benoît Stensland began his apprenticeship in Montreal under luthier Antoine Robichaud. This training enabled him to obtain in 1980 a Canada Art Council grant to study at the International School of stringed instruments making in Cremona, Italy. After graduating in 1984, he earned a certificate of merit for one of his violins from the Violin Society of America. Back in Montréal Jean-Benoît Stensland opened a workshop with luthier Thérèse Girard. He has developed techniques based on the Italian classical school, striving for a particular ideal tone while focusing on the visual aesthetics of the instrument. To date, Jean-Benoît Stensland has made more than 350 instruments including fourty violoncellos, one of which is part of the collection of the Canadian Museam of Civilisations.
A trained violist, Thérèse Girard received in 1980 a Canada Art Council grant to study at the International School of stringed instruments making in Cremona, Italy (I.P.I.A.L.L.). In 1984 she obtained her diploma under Wanna Zembelli. While in Italy, she also studied bow-making with Maestro Giovanni Lucchi. In addition to making and restoring stringed instruments and their bows, Thérèse Girard specializes in the engraving of frogs and buttons, a technique learned from Master Jeweller (Aristide Tira). In 1992, she was commissioned to make a cello bow to be part of the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilsations. Thérèse Girard works closely with luthier Jean-Benoît Stensland. Mc Gill University owns in its collection a baroque quartet from their making.
For more than 20 years, l'atelier Stensland & Girard located in downtown Montréal offers musicians a personalized service with highly professional standards.