Featured Past Event:
Modern Makers 2012 Exhibit
Carriage House Violins to highlight contemporary makers
Instruments and bows from around the world on exhibit in Newton
From October 12–27, Carriage House Violins will host Modern Makers 2012, an international exhibit of select instruments and bows by today’s premier artisans. Three dozen makers from around the world (please read about the featured violin makers and bow makers below) will be represented by their best violins, violas, cellos, and bows, which will be available to admire, play, and purchase. A cocktail reception will launch the exhibit, and an informal talk is scheduled. The events are free and open to the public.
The two weeks of Modern Makers is also a unique opportunity for players, teachers, collectors, and patrons to meet a handful of makers and talk with Carriage House Violins’ experts about how contemporary work has stepped up to take its rightful place in the pantheon of fine stringed instruments.
“The exhibit is called Modern Makers, but they are really the masters of their generation,” says Christopher Reuning, president of Carriage House Violins and its parent company, Reuning & Son Violins of Boston. “We handpicked the work on display to represent the best young up-and-comers as well as the most well-known and experienced makers working today.”
While Reuning has made his reputation as one of a handful of international experts in antique instruments, he has not forsaken the tool skills he learned as a violin-making apprentice at age 12. He remains keenly interested in modern making, which is, in part, how Carriage House Violins came to be spun off as a distinct shop. In addition, Reuning applies his extensive knowledge and experience to working with many of the Modern Makers on their model designs and sound quality.
“Violin makers used to work in seclusion, but these days they thrive in an atmosphere of collaboration with players, other makers, and dealers,” Reuning says. “We enjoy fostering these partnerships.”
Carriage House Violins sales associate Susan Horkan has made it her mission to champion contemporary makers. She travels extensively to seek out the finest modern instruments and bows at competitions and exhibitions in the United States, London, Paris, and Cremona, Italy—the birthplace of the violin-making tradition.
“In the last 10 to 15 years there has been a renaissance of making, especially in the United States. The number of outstanding makers has increased, and the quality has just blossomed,” Horkan says. “Hearing a beautiful new instrument speak in the hands of the right player is inspiring for everyone involved.”
During Modern Makers 2012, music teachers in particular are invited to bring their students to experience a variety of instruments and to tour the Carriage House facilities, showrooms, and workshop. Musicians will be allowed to compare and contrast as many instruments and bows as they wish and to purchase in a casual, no-pressure situation. Instrument prices range from $10,000 to $40,000; bows from $3,000 to $7,000.
Modern Makers 2012 events
- Wednesday, October 10, 6:00pm - 8:30pm in the Keller Room at New England Conservatory of Music, Carriage House Violins will provide a preview of the instruments and bows from our Modern Makers 2012 exhibit. Select instruments and bows will be on display and available to trial. Please contact 617-262-0051 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Saturday, October 13, Carriage House Violins will host a wine and cheese reception at 7pm. The Arneis Quartet (shown in photo to the left), all graduates of Boston University, will perform on instruments and bows from the showcase, and attendees can munch and mingle.
- Sunday, October 14, at 3pm, Christopher Reuning and Kevin Kelly, a violin maker and teacher from Boston, will give an informal talk about contemporary instrument making, how it’s come to improve so significantly, and what to look for in a new instrument. Members of the Arneis Quartet will be on hand to demonstrate the concepts discussed.
Roman Barnas was born into a family with strong woodworking traditions. As a child he spent many hours playing with wood cutoffs in his father’s workshop. When he was 10 years old he started helping his father doing simple tasks in the workshop, including sharpening saw blades and even some woodworking. He also played variety of musical instruments, starting with accordion at age 9. At the age of 14 he was accepted into the violin making school in Zakopane. After finishing, he went on to study violin making and music in Poznan at the Ignacy Paderewski Academy of Music. He graduated with honors.
In 1994 he came to the US. During his visit he became aware of the learning possibilities that the violin making scene in the US presented. He saw many rare Italian violins, and recognized the very high level of craftsmanship that was presented by the best American violin shops and their workers. He went on to work for a major violin shop in the mid west for almost 10 years. In 2004 Roman came to Boston where he started work as a violin making teacher when he accepted the position of the Department Head of the Violin Making and Repair program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston’s North End.
Roman has studied violin making with the best violin makers and restorers world wide. He participates on regular basis in the most renown violin making workshops. In addition to teaching, Roman continues to work as a violin maker by making a limited number of high quality instruments each year. Roman is also a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. At the most recent international VSA violin making competition, Roman received a tone award for his violin.
Rainer Beilharz began his violinmaking career in 1982 at 18 years of age with John Ferwerda in Melbourne, Australia. Rainers career has been one of continual search for improvement based on an understanding of the great masters of violin making in the eighteenth century.
He has received a journeymans certificate (Gessellenbrief) in Markneukirchen 1993, and the title of masterviolinmaker (Geigenbaumeister), issued with distinction by Handwerkskammer Munchen und Oberbayern in 1997. Both certificates were gained during a seven year period in southern Germany in which he worked in the workshops of Bernhard Franke and Antoine Muller in Stuttgart. He returned to Australia as full time maker of new instruments in 1997.
Rainer has been central to the rise of Australian violin making in recent years. He was co-organiser of the groundbreaking Australian Violin makers conferences in Guildford in 2003, 2006 and 2012 and is a founding member of the Australian violin makers association. He has been a regular participant in the Oberlin violin making workshops since 2007 and is a member of the the Entente Internationale des Luthiers et Archetiers.
Rainer lives and works in Guildford in central Victoria, Australia.
Antoine Cauche was born in 1979 in Toulouse, France.
From a very early passion for music and woodwork, Antoine Cauche chose an apprenticeship as a stringed instrument maker at the age of nineteen.
He entered the International School of Newark (GB) in 1998 and graduated with “Distinction” in 2001. Then he joined the workshop of Masters violin makers Patrick Robin and Andrea Frandsen. He worked beside them for eight years and specialized in making fine violins, violas and cellos.
He finally set up his own workshop in 2008 in Angers, and in the near countryside in 2011. He concentrates on making instruments from the quartet, building up his experience by working with musicians and exchanging with his violin and bow makers colleagues.
- Gold medal cello (Portland 2008) and viola (Cremona 2009)
- First prizes violin (London 2004) and cello (Paris 2010)
- Silver medal violin (Portland 2008), viola (Cleveland 2010, Paris 2011)
- cello and quartet (Cleveland 2010)
His instruments are appreciated and played by professional musicians, students, teachers and concertists.
I grew up in northeastern Connecticut. After high school I enlisted in the United States Air Force. While serving, several chance events transpired that led me to begin repairing, and then building, stringed instruments.
I was initially self-taught, but I chose to further my skill as a luthier by attending the violin making and restoration program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating in 2002 I moved to Maine to work for renowned violin maker Jonathan Cooper.
Since 2005 I have operated my own workshop where I focus on the production of new violins, violas and cellos. My instruments are played all over the world by professional and amateur musicians alike, crossing many different genres of music.
Most of my work is inspired by the instruments of Gaspar DaSalo, Guadagnini and Guarneri del Gesù. I have attended the VSA-sponsored violin making workshops at Oberlin College three times and have been a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers since 2008.
Walnut Creek, CA
Tom Croen lives and works in Walnut Creek, California. He is a graduate of the Violin Making School in Salt Lake City and worked from 1981-1983 for Roland Feller in San Francisco.
After winning 3 gold medals in the Violin Society of America’s 1984 and 1986 competitions, he was designated Hors Concours. He was a workmanship judge in the 2011 International Society of Bassists competition, and the 1982 and 2008 VSA competitions. He served on the VSA board from 1991-1997. In 1998 he was on staff at the Oberlin Violin Maker’s Workshop, and over the years has participated in many of the workshops. In 2010, he was the guest at the AVMA Workshop in Brisbane, Australia.
Tom has always had an active interest in understanding instrument acoustics and has published on several subjects, most notably with Bill Atwood. As a tool maker, he is best known for his purfling tool which he designed. He is a member of the American Federation on Violin and Bow Makers and was in the board of directors from 2005 through 2012.
Drawing upon the traditions of the late masters, the finest woods available, artistic sensibilities and uncompromising standards Paul Crowley crafts concert violins, violas and cellos.
He graduated from the North Bennet Street School’s violin making and restoration program in 2002 and continues to work and collaborate with many renowned violin makers and shops, continually evolving, learning new skills and embracing new ideas.
In 2004 the Violin Society of America awarded one of his violins a silver medal in it’s biannual international competition. His instruments are played by professional musicians and conservatory students all over the U.S.
Discovering an interest in violins at a young age, John’s failure at age 15 to make a fine violin in the family garage only impelled him to learn more. Although John was offered an apprenticeship at an established violin shop, he waited until after high school to pursue what he knew would be a lifelong study of violin making.
At the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City from 1999 to 2003, John studied music theory, art, technical drawing, varnish, and violin making and its history. Upon graduating, John continued his studies by apprenticing with various luthiers, including John Young and Ryan Soltis.
John joined Carriage House Violins in 2008. Training with the shop’s technicians has enabled him to continue his journeymanship and to fine-tune his skills in instrument setup, tonal adjustment, making, and restoration.
John is thrilled to see some of the world’s finest historical instruments on a daily basis at Carriage House Violins and at Reuning & Son Violins because as a violin maker, there is nothing more important than to study the work of the masters.
Professional violin maker since 1992, works in the heart of Brescia, Italy. He was born in Salò, near Brescia, on August 20th 1967. He attended the Violin Making International School of Cremona, where he graduated in 1998. He makes violins, violas and cellos in limited numbers that are mostly sold to remarkable foreign musicians (his instruments are played in Switzerland, France, Ireland, United States, Japan, as well as in Italy).
For his work he draws inspiration from Gio Paolo Maggini, Gasparo da Salò, Matteo Gofriller, Pietro Guarneri da Venezia, Francesco Mantegazza, Stefano Scarampella and Pietro Giacomo Rogeri, in a search aimed to lay emphasis on important violinmakers who worked in lombard-venetian area outside Cremona from 1600 to the beginning of 1900.
In 2000, with some friends (musicians, musicologists and fellows), he founded the Officina Musicale, an association that organizes musical, artistical and cultural events with the purpose of promoting the art and science of violin making.
Since May 2000 Officina Musicale has been setting up the “Concerto in Movimento” and many other shows.
In October 2002 Filippo Fasser worked together with Officina Musicale to organize the exhibition “Stefano Scarampella – Music and violin making Art in Brescia in the 19th Century”, with the colleague Eric Blot.
In the autumn of the 2005 organize the exhibition “History of one viola” with to the colleague F. Lowemberger, on behalf of the Festival Nuove settimane barocche.
In the 2007 with Chris Reuning, Eric Blot and other, organize the exhibition “Gio Paolo Maggini – centuries of details” on behalf the Festival Nuove settimane barocche (www.giopaolomaggini.com).
Nicolas Gilles is born in 1977 in Montpellier where he set up his workshop.
- Classic guitar studies from 1986 (Montpellier, Nancy and Mirecourt conservatory of music) Final diploma with special mention.
- In 1988 he obtained a first price at the international classic guitar competition in Romans (Isère).
Violin making studies:
- Studies at the French violin making school of Mirecourt from 1993 to 1996: Diploma of violin making.
- Studies at the English school of violin making of Newark from 1996 to 1998: Diploma with upper merit mention.
- Assistant of Charles Luc Hommel in Marseille from 1998 to 2000 (mostly restoration in one of the oldest workshop in France)
- Assistant of Frederic Chaudiere in Montpellier from 2000 to 2002 (making)
- Set up of the personal workshop in 2001 in Montpellier, only making the instruments of the quartet.
- The workshop is placed in the historical centre of Montpellier next to the conservatory in a cultural square call the place Sainte Anne.
The quality of his work is recognized by many distinctions:
- Sound prize for a violin at the Steiner sound competition in 2001 in Hinterzarten in Germany.
- Gold medal quartet, gold medal viola, silver medal cello at the VSA competition in 2004 in Portland, USA.
- Silver medal cello, certificate of merit viola and quartet at the VSA competition in 2006 in Baltimore, USA.
- Silver medal quartet, certificate of merit for cello at the VSA competition in 2008 in Portland, USA.
- Silver medal cello, certificate of merit for quartet at the VSA competition in 2010 in Cleveland.
- Finalist at the cello sound competition Violoncelle en Seine in 2010.
He takes part to many meetings and exhibitions:
- Making a copy of the Ole Bull violin from Guarneri Del Gesu at the museum of Bergen (Norway) with 5 colleagues
- Musicora (Paris – France)
- Mundo Musica (Cremona – Italy)
- Kronberg Cello Festival (Kronberg – Germany)
- Klanggelstalten (Berlin – Germany)
Taking part in several associations:
- Member of the ALADFI who promote making instrument in France
- Member of the VSA
- Member of Trans-art (Multi cultural association who organise happenings with music, dance, theatre, food)
- Member of the academy of music of Montpellier (AIMMTP) that organize master classes with famous violin, viola and cello teachers
- Member of the organizing team of the Stradivari exhibition in Montpellier where 15 instruments of the great master was presented and played
- Member of the organizing team of the fete des luthiers in 2011, where 60 makers from Europe and USA came to exhibit and had their instruments played in many concerts
Publication in September 2011 of the book 4 quatuors edited by Darling publication in Koln, Germany illustrating the 16 instruments awarded between 2004 to 2010 at the VSA violin competion in USA. In this hand made book we can discover his work and his surrounding in French and English.
Laureate in several competitions, Germany, USA, and Italy, Philippe Girardin comes from an artists’ family (mother pianist and father sculptor).
Since his training in Cremona in 1977 and still today with his activity in Milan, he finds in Italy an inspiring artistic environment.
His insatiable curiosity always leads him on unexplored paths. “I have a predilection for all tones, different and varied, sculpted under (in) all forms, and dressed in the most shimmering varnishes.”
Joseph Grubaugh & Sigrun Seifert
The first instrument we made together was similar to learning to play duets. We had disagreements on many of the small points that each felt was important yet when the instrument was done it was much more satisfying for both of us. As it turns out, classical instrument making was almost always teamwork… Stradivari with his son’s ..Del Gesu with his father and maybe even his wife…. Da Salo had Maggini … we have each other….it’s a tradition we’re happy to continue.
Who does what? It’s a question we’re always asked. As we were both trained individually we’re each able to do all aspects of construction. There are times that one of us will take the lead but we like the team work and the variation. We have no other apprentices or outside helpers.
- Born in San Francisco in 1951.
- Early graduate of the violin making school in Salt Lake City and went on to work for Frank Passa in San Francisco up until 1979.
- Multiple gold medals at VSA competitions in 1978 and 1980.
- Designated hors concours by the VSA in 1983 and thereafter excluded from its competitions.
- First prize winner at the only AFVBM competition for cello making (1986).
- Recipient of both the Gold Medal for violin making and the Simone Fernando Sacconi medal for “the instrument most representative of the classical Cremonese school” at the Cremona Triennale in 1985.
- Judge at the Cremona Triennale in 2000.
- Member of the AFVBM since 1983 and a member of the EILA since 1990.
- Now lives and works in Oregon.
Martin Héroux was born in Montreal in 1972. From 1992-95, he studied violin making (making and restoration) at the Violin Making School of Noroit Quebec. From 1995-98, he worked at the Maison Bernard in Brussels, Belgium under the direction of Jan Strick and Pierre Guillaume. In 1998, he returned to Canada where he opened a workshop dedicated to the manufacture and restoration of stringed instruments.
His instruments have received several awards in various competitions, both in Europe and the U.S.; the last are two certificates of merit for workmanship, one in the quartet category and one for cello at the last VSA competition in 2010.
Today, Martin’s passion is to create instruments that are classic and juicy, traditional but spontaneous and alive, with color and sound as rich as the color of the mountains of Quebec in autumn.
Ann Arbor, MI
Musicians praise the quality of sound and playability of Feng Jiang’s violins. Violinists who purchased his violins include Elmar Oliveira, Wei-Gang Li, Mark Fewer, Jessica Lee, Taras Gabora, Rodney Friend, Hahn-Bin, to name a few. These players and many others have found in his instruments a versatile tool that allows them confidently express their musical ideas.
Mr. Jiang’s instruments have been invited to exhibit at events such as the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis and “Klanggestalten” in Berlin, Singer-Polignac Foundation in Paris. He also shows instruments at AFVBM’s “Players Meet Makers”. A member of Violin Society of America (VSA), and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM). He has won some major awards in the field of violin making.
Born as a second generation violin maker in China. Feng Jiang now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan
I started playing the violin as a child, learning classical violin and Irish fiddle at the same time. I started performing with my family’s band around 1975.
In 1989 I entered the violin making program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, and graduated in 1992. From there I worked in San Francisco for Roland Feller, and then in Boston for Reuning & Son Violins.
From 1998 to 2001 I was the violin making instructor at North Bennet Street, and in 2002 started my own studio. I currently have a studio in downtown Boston where I do new making, repairs and adjustments. As a former employee, I still have a close working relationship with Reuning & Son and Carriage House Violins.
I am a member of the AFVBM.
Jesse Maschmeyer was born in 1976 and began his musical training at age 6 in coastal Pacific Grove, California. After begging his parents for two years, they gave him his first violin at age 8. Thus equipped, Jesse took weekly violin lessons in Carmel, California, from Mildred Kline and continued to play throughout high school.
Jesse became interested in violin making at age 13 after visiting violin shops in San Francisco. At 15, on the recommendation of Mrs. Kline, Jesse began violin-making lessons with a local maker, Bill Stanley, who advised Jesse to learn woodcarving at the same time. For the next four years, Jesse worked as an apprentice in woodcarving and furniture making with a local craftsman.
Jesse’s two passions of woodworking and music went hand-in-hand, so at age 20, he moved to Parma, Italy, to learn from Maestro Renato Scrollavezza at the Conservatory of Parma. The experience was inspiring, and Jesse graduated after three years, in July 2000, having made seven violins, a viola, a violoncello, and a contrabass.
Jesse then worked as a repairman and setup technician for Thomas Metzler Violins in Glendale, California, where he gained valuable experience from performing a wide range of repairs. After four years, Jesse decided to broaden his experience and applied for a restoration apprentice position at Reuning & Son Violins where he began working in 2004. Jesse enjoys his work and is inspired by the finest examples of classic Italian instruments that flow through the workshop at Reuning.
Jesse was admitted to the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers in 2008 and is a member of the Violin Society of America where he participated in the Oberlin Restoration Summer Program and the biannual convention. In addition to fulltime restoration at Reuning & Son Violins, Jesse makes two to three instruments a year.
In 1984, I began working for the violin maker, Jonathan Cooper, in Portland, Maine. I worked there for several years doing repair work, and then moved to Boston to attend the violin making program at the North Bennet Street School.
Upon graduating from violin making school, I worked for 6 years with the violin maker, Arthur Toman, in Newton, Massachusetts. Most of that time was devoted to repair and restoration work, but I was able to make a few instruments a year, including several cellos made jointly with Art.
Since 1995, I have focused on making instruments in my own studio in Newton. My instruments have been well received by musicians and have won a number of awards in the Violin Society of America’s International Competitions, including two silver medals for violin tone, and a silver medal for viola tone, for an instrument made jointly with my friend and colleague Christopher White.
I am a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and served for 3 terms as the Secretary of its Board of Governors. I am also currently serving as an advisor to the violin program at the North Bennet Street School.
Salt Lake City, UT
After moving to the small city of Guelph ON CAN, near Toronto, at the age of four Jeff S. Phillips was quickly immersed in a local Suzuki String School program. Here he developed a strong appreciation for music, and the violin, with a rigorous involvement in several string ensembles and youth orchestras.
After high school he decided to pursue a Fine Arts degree at a local university. With a focus on sculpture and drawing an already developed artistic eye and creative mind continued to grow. It was only a matter of time before both creative forces of music and sculpture joined hands in a new love of violin making.
In 1999 he entered the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City UT under the tutelage of head instructor Charles Woolf. In a short time he had acquired a position at Peter Prier’s Violin Shop in Salt Lake City where he worked for 7+ years. Here, in conjunction with his making, he learned the fine art of repair & restoration. Exposure to a continuous variety of the worlds finest makers works, from modern to old masterpieces, has helped develop a solid foundation of visual style & acoustical control. Several of his instruments have recently been recognized with several awards.
As of late Mr. Phillips still resides with his wife and son near the mountains of Salt Lake City UT. Repair & restoration has taken a back seat to making due to an ever increasing demand and popularity of his instruments. He still keeps his fingers in touch with music by playing first violin in the Salt Lake Symphony. His instruments are being played all over the country and abroad.
Philippe Raynaud was born in France and began his violin making apprenticeship in 1973 with Jean Ullry. During the next 10 years, he trained with J.F. Schmitt in Lyon and Ch.L. Hommel in Marseilles.
In the early 1980s, he spent two years in Istanbul, Turkey, employed by the Turkish National Conservatory to repair instruments and to assist student musicians.
In 1994, Philippe opened his own workshop in Paris and then Dieppe where he created a line of handmade small violas for children that was so successful he sold nearly 200. Once a week he treated himself to a visit to the famous Etienne Vatelot shop in Paris where he could examine the fine Italian instruments on display.
He moved to the United States in 1996 and worked at Stamell Stringed Instruments in Amherst, Mass. before joining Reuning & Son Violins in 2001 to perform repair and restoration on fine old instruments. Today he continues to do expert work at Reuning & Son Violins while making new instruments in his free time.
Benjamin Ruth graduated from the Violin Making School of American in Salt Lake City and continued his advanced training with Rene Morel at Jacques Francais Rare violins from 1979 to 1982. After opening a shop in his native Philadelphia, Mr. Ruth connected with Christopher Reuning and decided to join the Reuning & Son Violins restoration shop in Ithaca, New York in 1989. When Reuning moved the shop to Boston in 1994, Ruth decided to stay put in upstate New York and resume his violin making. Through the rest of the 1990′s Reuning & Son Violins became and important outlet for his work, which he kept fresh by finding ways to grow artistically and professionally.
One important avenue was participating in the annual Oberlin violin making workshop, an informal summer gathering of many of the world’s best craftspeople. In turn, this opened the door to continuing his progress in Europe where he attended a number of violin making summits, where small groups of makers meet and work together to exchange ideas and methods.
Benjamin’s instruments have been recognized at the Violin Society of American competitions where he has won numerous awards over the years. He also received a top prize for tone at at the 2004 British Violin Making Association competition.
Andrew Ryan grew up in a small town outside Boston, one of the seven children of a college professor and an artist. He began playing the violin at age ten and became intrigued with how violins were made after putting a large crack in his own violin, and visiting a violin maker to have it repaired.
Andrew received a B. A. in classical composition from Berklee College of Music in 1984. A year later he entered The Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, and within six months was working in the repair shop of the school’s director Peter Paul Prier. After graduating in 1989 he went to work in London under Adam Whone at Edward Withers Ltd.
In 1994 he was hired by Reuning & Son Violins in Boston, and quickly rose to the position of workshop manager. There he had the opportunity to see and study many of the finest Italian instruments with expert Christopher Reuning, and over the next fifteen years helped build the world class reputation of Reuning & Son.
Since 2011 Andrew has devoted himself to acoustic research, workshop “best practices” and the making of new instruments on commission. He continues to have a close relationship with Reuning & Son as a consultant, visiting their workshop once a week focusing mainly on set up and acoustical adjustments. Himself an active violinist and chamber musician, Andrew has a unique understanding of the relationship between player and instrument. His instruments are greatly appreciated for their ease of playing and distinctive voices.
Andrew is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. He has published articles in The Strad, essays on the work of Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesù”, lectured at conferences and taught violin making at The Violin Society of America’s Oberlin Workshops. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and their three children.
Nathan Slobodkin is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, whose more than 40 years in the musical instrument field include an internship in the musical instrument collection of the Smithsonian Institution; five years of building violins, violas and cellos in the W.H. Lee workshop, Chicago; two years on the restoration staff of Jacques Francis Rare Violins, New York; and a ten-year collaboration with Reuning & Son Violins Boston, producing more than sixty cellos modeled after the famous Ex-Messeus Guarnari del Gesu. He has done work for many violin shops around the United States and his instruments have been sold in Europe, Asia and across North America.
He was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Workmanship by the Violin Society of America, 1996, is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bowmakers and maintains an active dialogue with colleagues around the world sharing new thoughts and developments in the violin-making profession.
He has recently attended professional development workshops at Oberlin Conservatory and Emerson Arts Centre.
Since 1993, Mr. Slobodkin has operated a full-service violin shop in Bangor, Maine, offering violins, violas, cellos and accessories in all price ranges. Today, he continues to make new instruments of individual personality that meet the demands of the most discriminating professional musicians while remaining within the financial resources of both the young professional and the serious student.
Moyie Springs, ID
Ryan graduated from the Violin Making School of America in 2000. Post graduaton he went to work in the violin making studio of David Folland in his home state of Minnesota. In 2002 Ryan set up shop in Salt Lake City where he resided for six years. At the 2004 Violin Society of America sponsored Oberlin workshop, Ryan was fortunate to meet renowned maker, Samuel Zygmuntowicz. Through his ongoing collaboration with Zygmuntowicz as his primary mentor and inspiration, Ryan feels fortunate to have developed a finer understanding of how to make instruments that balance clarity and tone.
Ryan strives to hold himself up against excellent standards of workmanship. He was accepted as a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM) in August 2010.
Ryan’s new studio is located in his home in picturesque Northern Idaho which he has been building over the last three years.
New York, NY
Jason Viseltear makes violins, violas, and cellos for both contemporary and period performance. His workshop in Manhattan for the last fifteen years, his first studies were with Robert Young leading to their NYC atelier and partnership; additional studies were with Brice Dupin de Saint Cyr, Michael Sheibley, and François Denis.
A member of the AFVBM, for the last decade he has also worked alongside leading makers and researchers at the VSA Oberlin Workshops, focusing on the techniques of classical masters as well as current innovations. Exploring the principles of classical instrument design, his own work has been influenced by close studies of masterworks from da Salo to Scarampella, Joseph Filius to Testore, del Gesu to Peter of Venice.
Dedicated solely to making new instruments, his work is in the hands of many performing and recording professionals and held in esteemed conservatory collections. Here he will be exhibiting a violin, a viola, and a cello; inspired by del Gesu, da Salo, and Joseph Filius Andrea respectively.
Marilyn Wallin has been a professional violinmaker for 30 years. She was educated in the midwest, earning a Bachelors Degree in Music at the University of Iowa, in Viola Performance. Following intensive training as a musician, she attended and graduated from the Chicago School of Violinmaking. She then further refined her skills at the workbenches of Bein and Fushi Rare Violins.
Since 1984, Wallin has devoted her career to the making of violins, violas and cellos. Nearly 200 of her instruments are in circulation on stages and in practice rooms. Included are the New York Philharmonic, The Julliard School, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory, the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, and many other prestigious learning and performing institutions.
Wallin remains active in the organizations and on the boards of directors of her trade. She is Past President of the Violin Society of America, as well as Past Secretary of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, (AFVBM). She is an Advisor, and past instructor at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She is an advisor to the Chicago School of Violinmaking. Wallin practiced her craft at the Emerson Umbrella, Concord, MA, where she had been a resident artist from 2005 to 2012. She has recently relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska. In international violinmaking competitions, she has been awarded three Medals and eight Certificates of Excellence for Craftsmanship and Tone. She is an active participant in the Oberlin Violinmaking Workshops.
Christo Wood lives and works in Boston, with a home in Jamaica Plain and a studio in Hyde Park where he builds, restores and repairs stringed instruments. His training in the field of violin making and repair includes an apprenticeship in Swannanoa North Carolina, three years at the North Bennet St. School in Boston’s historic North End, and over five years working for Christopher Reuning and Carriage House Violins.
He is a lover of music, food and fun, recently adopted a dog with his wife, conceptual artist and portraitist Jessica Gath, and is looking forward to upcoming museum appearances at the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum in October, and the Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, summer of 2013.
Robert Brewer Young
Sentaraille à Berdot, France
Robert Brewer Young began his career as a luthier in Carnegie Hall with Brice Dupin de Saint Cyr. He received traditional French training in the musical heart of New York City. He worked extensively on the collection of Jacques Francais during this period as well as doing restoration for the Metropolitan Museum. He closely studied the works of Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati, Gofriller and Guadagnini as scores of great Italian instruments came through the atelier at that time. He then opened a workshop dedicated to making concert instruments along classical Italian lines.
Using traditional construction techniques, combined with Renaissance geometrical methods, he strives to recreate the elemental harmonic properties of classical Italian violinmaking. Mr. Young’s doctoral work in the philosophy of mathematics further contributes to an enthusiasm for the geometry that gave birth to the distinctive form and voice of the violin. In collaboration with a group of museum specialists and other top makers, he is also involved in advanced study in acoustics, which uses 21st century science to confirm and enhance 17th century methods.
After 15 years in Manhattan he moved to a small village in the French Pyrenees. There he is devoted to the research and creation of cellos, violas and violins for aspiring and established soloists around the world, including members of the Barcelona, Seattle, Philadelphia, New York, Toulouse and Berlin Philharmonics.
Born in London in 1972 to violin-making parents, Doriane Bodart was inspired by an environment of music and craftsmanship. With the moral support and advice of her father, she first apprenticed in Paris with Stéphane Thomachot, considered by Christopher Reuning and others to be the father of the modern renaissance in bow making.
Bodart’s interest in bow making blossomed into her passion. From 1994 to 1995, she trained with Gilles Duhaut in Mirecourt, France. During the same busy year, she learned bow restoration in Pierre Guillaume’s Brussels workshop where she was exposed to particularly beautiful and rare bows. Bodart returned to Thomachot in 1996 to further refine her skills and technique, making bows to Thomachot’s exacting standards. Her rigorous apprenticeship notwithstanding, Bodart continued to study and take classes at the Oberlin Workshop, with Charles Espey in the Seattle area, and with Noel Burke in Ireland.
Since October 1999, Bodart has been making and restoring bows in her Paris workshop, which was once the sculpture studio of her grandfather, Marcel Bodart. She shares this majestic space with violin maker Stephane Bodart, her cousin.
The sumptuous style of Bodart’s bows reflects the trend among modern makers toward emulating earlier French makers such as Peccatte, Pajeot, and Persoit, Reuning says. This style of bow making emphasizes tone production and is artistically very direct.
Bodart also works on commission. She crafted a magnificent cello bow of dark brown pernambuco wood mounted with ivory and gold, which is now in the private collection of Micha Maisky.
Since his career began in 1989 Noel Burke’s bows have become greatly revered and admired by musicians of the highest calibre. They are played in renowned orchestras and chamber music ensembles all over the world and by foremost soloists including Leonidas Kavakos, Anthony Marwood, Isabelle van Keulen, Lawrence Power and Frans Helmerson.
Whilst being unique and intensely personal his bows remain in strict accordance with the great French master bow makers of the 18th and 19th centuries in both method and style. His bows are handmade, mounted with combinations of ebony, ivory, silver and gold and are exceptional in their playability and sound production.
The international accolades given to Noel’s work include six gold medals from the Violin Society of America, the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris for violin bow and the gold medal for cello bow at the Royal Northern College of Music Strad Cello Festival. Being invited to serve as a member of the jury at the RNCM Strad Cello and Bowmaking Competition is a further testament to Noel’s achievements and the excellence of his work.
Noel has lived and worked in Italy (Cremona), France (Paris) and USA (Washington State) and served his apprenticeship with the great modern masters Charles Espey and Stephane Thomachot.
Noel now lives and works in Carlow, Ireland where he concentrates on new making and the teaching of bow making.
Jon Crumrine began playing violin at age 4. He holds a degree in viola performance from the University of Michigan. While a student and later as an orchestral musician, Jon enjoyed spending time in violin shops learning more about instruments and bows. This curiosity led him to a sales position with Shar Products in Ann Arbor.
In 1992, Jon began working on bows with Jerry Pasewicz in Ann Arbor. He then attended the Violin Craftsmanship Institute at the University of New Hampshire where he studied with Lynn Hannings and George Rubino. This training led him to a position at Williams Gengakki Violins in Atlanta, and while there he commenced a series of visits to Munich, Germany, to study with Bogenmachermeister Markus Wörz. Jon has also spent numerous summers participating in the Oberlin College Bow Makers Workshop where he worked with French master, Jean Grunberger, and other top American bow makers.
In 2000, Jon moved to the Boston area to become the head of the bow department at Reuning & Son Violins and then worked as the Sales Manager at Johnson String Instrument in Newton. In May 2011, Jon opened his own business within Carriage House Violins where he is available for bow rehairing, repair, and restoration.
Jon seeks out the finest materials available, paying particular attention to the quality, beauty, and age of the Pernambuco wood he prefers. He blends elements of the classic French aesthetic with original ideas to emphasize sound and playability.
Pierre-Yves Fuchs, born in Lausanne, learned furniture making as did his father and grandfather. As a violinist in his childhood, it was natural for him to study violin making, and later bow making.
In 1997 he established his own shop. In 2004 he won the major competitions, VSA and Paris. He earned the title Hors Concours in both competitions.
His work is in the style of Mircourter Pecatte, Maire and Pajeot. The dark wood of the sticks he uses evokes the work of these masters.
I have been fascinated since an early age with musical instruments of all kinds, and began my career in the field at the age of 20, building guitars and repairing instruments as diverse as piccolos to electric basses. My focus soon narrowed to bowed strings, and I built my first violins and violas in Topeka, Kansas under the tutelage of George Olstead, a retired violin maker.
In 1989 I began my association with Mark Hollinger of Missoula, MT, with whom I worked for the next 12 years. While there I learned the exacting standards of professional violin restoration and setup, and assisted in making bowed instruments of the highest caliber. Mark encouraged me to explore bow making, and there I found the great passion of my career.
I first studied under William Salchow in his summer workshop class, and began immediately making student bows for the Hollinger shop, all the while collecting the tools, materials and skills to create great looking bows that play beautifully.
In 1995 I had the great opportunity to study with David Samuels, one of the true masters of our generation. From him I learned the modern french technique passed down by Bernard Ouchard and refined by Stephane Thomachot. I have enjoyed numerous summer bow making workshops at Oberlin, where the best makers gather each year to freely share ideas and techniques. The artistry and attention to detail fostered in these groups has made our time a new golden age of bow making.
From 2001 to 2005 I worked for acclaimed violin and bow restorer Jerry Pasewicz, in Raleigh,NC, where I gained valuable skills in restoration of instruments and especially bows. I served as shop foreman there for one year.
Since moving back to my home town, Topeka Kansas, in 2005, I have been concentrating on making new bows while undertaking repair and restoration work for musicians and dealers. My bows can be found in some of the best violin shops, including Carriage House Violins in Boston.
My goal is to continue to learn from each piece of wood, to pay attention to each musician, to create bows that are beautiful to look at and a joy to play.
Port Townsend, WA
I love making bows.
At their most basic they are an extension of the player’s hand, a connection to the instrument. And at their most complex, they connect the musician’s soul to the music.
I work, as bowmakers have worked since the time of Tourte, with hand tools, crafting one bow one at a time, by feel. Each stick is unique and demands its own attention.
In turn, each bow becomes as unique in playing quality as the musician who plays it. That’s where the power lies for me: In making the right stick that holds the magic and speaks to the musician.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in double bass performance and music theory, Eric began studying the craft of bow making with Jon Crumrine in Atlanta and Reid Hudson in British Columbia. He furthered his studies with Jerry Pasewicz, Rodney Mohr, and David Orlin at the Oberlin College Bow Makers Workshops in Ohio, paying significant attention to advanced restoration.
At the Oberlin workshops, Eric learned traditional French techniques from Stephane Thomachot and Eric Grandchamp, as well as English and German techniques from Tim Baker and Klaus Grunke, respectively.
Eric joined the staff of Reuning & Son Violins in October 2002 to lead the bow repair and restoration department. The inspiration he takes from the graceful and elegant models of Pajeot, Simon, and Maline is apparent in his own bows, which musicians admire—and purchase—for the beautiful tone they produce.
Eric is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America. He has won several Certificates of Merit for Workmanship at various VSA and International Society of Bassists competitions.
Yannick Le Canu
Yannick Le Canu was born in Massy (France) the 4th June 1976. He trained as a bowmaker from 1995-1998 in the workshop taken over by Loïc Le Canu from Bernard Millant in Paris. In 1998 he took his journeyman’s examination under Eric Grandchamp after additional further education. After this, he continued to be employed as a journeyman under Loïc Le Canu.
Between 2000 and June 2004 he worked in the joint workshop Arezzo in Toulouse. He currently has a new workshop with violin maker Juliette Desmarchelier in Lille, France.
- Award for the youngest maker (viola bow) Paris
- “Mention spéciale”(violin bow) Paris
- “Certificate of Merit” (violin bow) Violin Society of America in Cincinati
- “Certificate of Merit” (viola bow) Violin Society of America in Cincinati
- “Certificate of Merit” (violin bow) BVMA London
- “Gold Medal” (violin bow) Violin Society of America in Portland
- “Special Mention for the contemporary creation” (violin bow) Paris
- “Silver Medal”(violin bow) Paris
- “Silver Medal”(viola bow) Paris
- “Gold Medal” (violin bow) Violin Society of America in Baltimore
- “Gold Medal” (cello bow) Violin Society of America in Baltimore
- “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (quartet of bows, violin bow and frog copy)
- “Gold Medal” (violin bow) Violin Society of America in Portland
- “Gold Medal” (cello bow) Violin Society of America in Portalnd
- Hors Concours in the VSA competition
I love to create with my hands. I feel that being an artisan is my calling, and I am fortunate to be able to earn my living as a bow maker.
The bow is a very mysterious object, which provides an endless challenge for the maker. I approach the challenge of bow making through the medium of rare and beautiful materials, using ancient tools and methods. I consider it an honor and a privilege to work with these materials and methods and as such it is my responsibility to always do my finest work.
When the work is done my bow will begin a new life within a community of dedicated musicians. These players will then use my bow to express their own creativity.
I studied bow making with Charles Espey. Mr. Espey provided me with a strong foundation in the French method of bow making, as well as the history and style of French bows. Training with him was both rigorous and rewarding and I am very grateful for his generous and committed instruction.
Occasionally a door opens into your life and reveals a possibility. Knowing Charles Espey as a mentor and friend has been pivotal in shaping my life’s work.
Matthew R. Wehling’s training includes five years working in France with modern masters Benoît Rolland and Georges Tepho, who were both graduates of the Mirecourt Bowmaking School under Maître Bernard Ouchard. His awards include the highest accolades available in the United States (5 Gold Medals from the Violin Society of America, culminating in being nominated “Hors Concours”… above competition… in 2010) and the world (“Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris” and a Silver Medal at the 2011 City of Paris Etienne Vatelot Competition).
Mr. Wehling’s interest in instrument making started in his parents’ garage where he began making guitars at the age of 12. Almost 20 years later he would connect with the trade of bowmaking. Inspired by the example of Charles Espey, he decided that the only way to truly learn the intricacies of French bowmaking would be to sell his house and move to France. His work in France allowed him to acquire invaluable knowledge, skill, and tools as well as an enviable stock of old wood. The visit also gave him the chance to meet and marry the local bookbinder, with whom he has two children.
Wehling’s bows are based on a personal model which draws from a number of makers from the past, but which work to fulfill the needs of the modern professional musician. He currently works on a mainly commission basis, tailoring bows to the individual needs of discriminating musicians.