About us

Poldauer GmbH is a small start-up company, founded in 2019. It is based in Munich, Germany.

Katharina Reichstaller

Company Director
Kathi is the inventor of the shoulder rest. She takes care of the product development, explains our product and does training.
Kathi is a professional musician and has been playing with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra for more than 30 years.

Kathi is a great follower of the legendary violinist and teacher Leopold Auer.

Kathi also benefits from a great deal of violin teaching experience.

Dr. Martina Spaeth

Company Director
Martina takes care of the management of the company, the finances, advertising and the website with the e-shop.
Martina has been working in the financial sector for more than 20 years. She originally trained as a chemist in materials science and is an enthusiastic amateur violinist.
It is no coincidence that she is convinced of this product which has been made possible by technical innovation and is of great interest to both professional and hobby violinists and well as children studying the violin.

Tutorial

You can get to know both company directors by watching our tutorial.

The inventor Katharina describes her invention in the tutorial accessible through link below or on photo.

Subtitles available.

https://youtu.be/wmtp1ALlIA0

Please also read text below, where the inventor Katharina describes how her invention came about.

Katharina Reichstaller: how my invention came about

Before I invented the Poldauer shoulder rest, I also played with a normal shoulder rest. As a child I started with a small cushion.

After many years in my profession I suffered from the usual problems, the left hand started to ache and on the right hand I developed a so-called folding thumb. I noticed that my colleagues, often already at a young age, complained of massive problems, from herniated discs to tennis elbows. The question I asked myself was, why did the generation that was still playing without support not have these same problems? So it had to have something to do with the how the violin is being held since the introduction of shoulder rests.

After intensively studying the history of violin technique, I realised that until the invention of the violin support, a natural and loose violin posture was described, but the question remained unanswered as to whether and how to create a cushion that could be actually placed under the violin. There were suggestions to place the violin directly on the collarbone or to place a cloth underneath, satisfactory solutions were not offered. Leopold Auer saw the need for a cushion but felt that this affected the sound too much.
When the conventional shoulder rests were first introduced, people thought that all problems had been solved and did not notice that the entire violin technique had changed in order to accommodate to the new shoulder rests. The violin was held higher and higher, the neck gradually became more and more fixed and the pressure on the chin holder increased. The position of the right hand had also changed by turning the violin further to the right, such posture required more pressure on the bow, as the angle to the string was suboptimal.

I realized that to get my problems under control, I had to completely change the posture but I couldn't find out how to do so.

I couldn't play without a shoulder rest, the violin slipped off my shoulder and the pain got worse rather than better. Like many of my colleagues, I have tried all the systems available on the market, but none of them has convinced me. Too complicated, too heavy, the kitchen sponge with rubber band a disaster, etc. etc.

After a long experimental phase which lasted more than five years, I developed a new shoulder rest which met all my ideas as a professional. Lightweight, easy to use, movable and improving sound. We named the shoulder rest Poldauer after Leopold Auer.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, who have tried all my prototypes and helped me develop the current model of shoulder rest that we are selling in several sizes. Without them, it would have been impossible to carry out the necessary long term testing and achieve its suitability for continuous intensive use.

Personally, I had achieved my goals, the pain is completely gone and the sound of my violin (by Giofredo Cappa) has improved.

Finally, it has become possible for me to implement the technique that Leopold Auer describes in his famous violin school and I can also pass it on to my students. The many colleagues who have already switched to the Poldauer shoulder rest all report that they can now work pain-free and that the changeover has paid off for them.