Lutherie, restoration and appraisals
All string instruments
Advice and opinion
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|About my work with
the violin family and the contrabass
Since 1970, my time has been more and more focused upon bowed instruments. While I have no personal favorite, I seem to do a great deal with cello and bass.
minister to the orchestra and chamber music clientèle
in my town by Monterey Bay, and shepherd a rather
large pool of student rental instruments. I
play bass and a few fretted instruments, and leave
playing violin publicly to others. My elder daughter
Kaethe studied viola in Boston, and later played in
the Boston Philharmonic for nine years. She now plays
violin in an Ethiopian band and is starting a music
school in Addis Ababa, where she also has a string
quartet. My younger daughter Marandi is also a
violinist, playing with the String Orchestra of
Brooklyn and the New York Arabic Orchestra, among
other NYC-area ensembles.
My background with bowed instruments
After graduating from Monteith College in 1968, I worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts as an object conservator. It was in this position that I happened to make my first tender leap from fretted instruments to violin family instruments, thanks to an association, through the museum, with Curt Wunderlich, one of Detroit's most esteemed luthiers and violin dealers at that time. My approach to violins was initiated through restoration and conservation, not making, and thus it has remained ever since. I really thrive on problem solving and repair. I continued my informal education in violin work after moving to the Bay Area in 1970 through a series of productive relationships with a number of luthiers here, notably Henry Lanini, John Bolander, Francis Rutherford and David Gusset.
Of course I do all the routine repair work, and have done so for more than fifty years, but I love to set instruments up and obtain the best sound and playability from each one. My esteemed clientèle includes students, their teachers and numerous string players from the Santa Cruz, Monterey, Cabrillo and UCSC orchestras, as well as players from the world of ethnic and traditional music.
I believe in supporting your local luthier. There are great ones everywhere who specialize in violin work. If you need advice, or help locating the right luthier to help you, let me know. Through professional organizations such as the VSA, GAL and ASIA, and private online violinmaker's and other string instrument forums, I have good contacts around the world, and will be happy to share them.
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