Traditional as the instruments he makes, Erich built his career. During adolescence he apprenticed in California under the expertise of William S. Pinches. The awakening of his talent found guidance under Hans Nebel and Arnold Bone at the University of New Hampshire Violin and Bow Institute. With his confidence and skill ripening, young Erich entered the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, Peter Paul Prier and Jeffrey Robinson directed him in the Cremonese methods of violin, viola, and cello construction, restoration, repair, instrument and bow identification. Following these studies, Erich joined Michael Becker Fine Violins, in Chicago, Illinois. There he applied his knowledge and skill to the making and restoration of fine instruments, and was privileged to view incredible works of master makers - both historical and contemporary.
Erich moved to Seattle, Washington in 1986; working in the shop of Rafael Carrabba Violins while establishing his full-service shop - Schweiger Violins. In 1996, Schweiger Violins relocated to "Old Cremona Way" on picturesque Camano Island, Washington. It is here that he built a custom log home on five tranquil acres dedicating all of his time to the new-making of bowed instruments.
In 1996, Erich joined Camano Island Fire & Rescue as a volunteer firefighter. Erich's violin making career was put on hold shortly after he became a father and full-time career firefighter in 2001. Erich brought the same passion and dedication that catapulted his violin making successes to the fire service. "Firefighters embrace the passion, honor, and traditions embedded within their occupation - very similar to the violin making world", Erich muses.
Erich founded the Pilchuck Chamber Music Series (2004-2006); inviting many professional chamber groups and artist's to display their talents with music/art lovers across Western Washington in a serene outdoor setting with views of majestic Mt. Baker.
In 2016, Erich reestablished his status as a violin maker. Today, Erich crafts his fine instruments in Stanwood, Washington; a small town one hour North of Seattle. It is here that he enjoys his days as a luthier, father, and spending time with his beautiful bride Eva!