Lutherie, restoration and appraisals
All string instruments
Advice and opinion
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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.
I 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. My
younger daughter Marandi is also a violinist, playing
with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and the New York
My background with bowed instruments
After graduating from Monteith College in 1968, I worked at the Detroit Institute of Art 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 almost 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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