Rafael Carrabba Violins is one of the country’s finest violin shops. Musicians from around the globe have brought their instruments to our expert luthiers for repairs, restorations, and valuations. We sell instruments and bows in all price ranges. We also sell cases, strings, and accessories.  

Rafael Carrabba Violins is located on Queen Anne Hill at 405 W Galer Street in beautiful Seattle, Washington.

If you are traveling to Seattle to try one of our instruments, we can help you find a hotel close to the shop. More information? Please call us at 206-283-5566.

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Carrabba Violins

405 W Galer St
Seattle, WA 98119 
206-283-5566             email click here


Wed through Fri 9-5
Sat 10-5

Bow repair /rehair by appointment only on Fridays *Bows in before 9:30 am

We roast coffee behind the violin shop. The Luthier Blend is a our signature roast great for espresso and drip. queenanneroasters.com


Robert deMaine

Named Principal Cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel in 2012, the American virtuoso cellist Robert deMaine has been praised by The New York Times as "An artist who makes one hang on every note." Mr. deMaine has distinguished himself as one of the finest and versatile musicians of his generation, having performed worldwide to vast critical acclaim from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Grieghalle and Den Norske Opera in Norway, KKL Luzern, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Berlin Philharmonie.  

A first-prizewinner in many national and international competitions, Mr. deMaine became, in 1990, the first cellist ever to win the Grand Prize at San Francisco's Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings.  As soloist, he has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Neeme Järvi, Peter Oundjian, Joseph Silverstein, Alexander Schneider, and Leonard Slatkin, and has performed virtually all of the major cello concerto repertoire with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Principal Cellist since 2002. Mr. deMaine has also served as principal in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway). 

Robert deMaine's principal teachers include Leonard Rose, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, Luis Garcia-Renart, and Felix Galimir, and counts among his chamber-music partners violinists James Ehnes, Hilary Hahn, Ani and Ida Kavafian, pianists Emanuel Ax, Orion Weiss, and Yefim Bronfman.  He has made regular appearances at the international music festivals of Marlboro, Aspen, Heidelberg, San Miguel de Allende, Montréal, and Seattle, and is also the cellist of the highly acclaimed Ehnes Quartet.

From a military and musical family of French and Polish descent, Mr. deMaine studied at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, University of Southern California, Yale University, and the Kronberg Academy in Germany.  For more information, please visit his official website at www.robertdemaine.com.

"Rafael and his team have worked on and set-up four different very fine instruments for me (including a Vuillaume and a Stradivari), each time with the best success in sound quality, projection, and playability. In addition to the ultra-accommodating and very rapid expert service that I have personally received every time I have visited, they have been very generous with their time, reasonable with pricing, and respectful in all of their dealings. I love this shop, and wish I could take them everywhere with me! Bravi tutti to Rafael and all the staff at Carrabba Violins!" 


Melia Watras

Described as “staggeringly virtuosic” by The Strad, violist Melia Watras has distinguished herself as one of her instrument’s leading voices: as a soloist, recording artist, and cofounder of the acclaimed Corigliano Quartet. An accomplished and adventurous performer, Watras has championed the works of living composers throughout her career. She has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous new compositions, while appearing onstage at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Highlights of the upcoming season include the New York City premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Shulamit Ran’s Perfect Storm (a solo viola piece that was written for and given the world premiere by Watras), and the release of Short Stories, Watras’s third solo CD.

A versatile performer, Watras has enjoyed collaborations with dance and theater. She played viola and danced in the premiere of Kathryn Sullivan's At Home, at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City. Music from her Viola Solo CD was featured in director Sheila Daniels’s production of Crime and Punishment at Intiman Theatre, and she worked as music consultant for Braden Abraham’s production of Opus at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Melia Watras was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and began her musical studies on the piano at age 5. Soon after, she turned to the viola and made her debut at age 16, soloing with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Her formal studies took her to Indiana University, where she studied with Abraham Skernick and Atar Arad, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. While at Indiana, Watras began her teaching career as Professor Arad’s Associate Instructor, and was a member of the faculty as a Visiting Lecturer. She went on to study chamber music at the Juilliard School while serving as a teaching assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet.

Watras serves as Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Washington, where she is chair of Strings, and a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. Watras currently resides in Seattle with her husband, Corigliano Quartet violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim.  She plays a viola made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz.


The Carlsen Cello Foundation

Dr. Ray Carlsen is the founder of The Carlsen Cello Foundation. His devotion to musicians and their access to instruments is admirable. Thank you Dr. Carlsen for your important role in the northwest musical community. Below is an excerpt from his website explaining the mission of the foundation. To learn more go to: www.carlsencellofoundation.org


The mission of the Carlsen Cello Foundation is to make fine cellos available to deserving students. The Foundation loans out instruments on a long-term basis to students selected through teacher recommendations and video performance.
For a string player, the opportunity to learn and perform on a quality instrument is priceless. Talented students are often held back by struggles with an instrument whose tone is inferior and whose construction makes intricate technical material virtually impossible to play. Cellists entering competitions or taking orchestral auditions are at a serious disadvantage without a good cello. A truly fine cello allows technical facility and expressive freedom unattainable on a lesser instrument.
For the majority of students, it is increasingly difficult to own or even to have the opportunity to practice and perform on a beautiful instrument. These students must look to the few organizations and individuals who can help put in their hands an instrument that enhances their talent and can propel their career forward.
The Carlsen Cello Foundation seeks to offer as many deserving students as possible the chance to play a quality instrument. There are many ways to help this cause. Please visit the rest of this site to find out about how to make cash or in-kind contributions and how to borrow an instrument.