This Web Page is for factual Information* regarding Violins, Violas and Cello's, their Making, Repair and General Information without any bias to sell you anything.
I am a retired professional violin maker and repairmen with 35 years experience in the retail market of sales, repairs and the making of bowed string instruments. I graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making in 1980 under the teachings of Master Violin Maker Tschu Ho Lee. I have made over 150 instruments (violins, violas, cello's, bass, viola d'amore and viola da gamba) and my instruments are played by professional and amateur players throughout the US. I have also taught approximately 20 individuals how to make instruments with 5 having gone into the profession. I have been a violinist for 45 years and have played with professional, semi -professional and amateur organizations. I have performed in many venues in the Eastern US.
I am glad to answer any questions you might have regarding repairs, instrument making, sales, and rentals. I cannot give you an accurate appraisal or estimate of repair costs since I don't have the instrument in front of me. I do however have a database with information on more than 20,000 instrument makers, many of which I have photos of their labels and also thousands of photos of their instruments in my archives. In addition I have an extensive reference library to research makers. I have included a section under instrument care that has repair prices from my former business; this is only to be used as a reference as many shops will have different and possibly higher prices.
There are lots of web sites out there with information on violins, some are good and many are full of untruthful and misleading information provided by dealers and internet sites that just promote their own products. Any outside links that are provided on my site are for information only and I am not connected to them in any monetary way nor do I recommend their services. This site contains no E-commerce of any kind and never will. This site has received so much traffic that I have had to go to a paid web hosting service. Even though I now have to spend money to bring this information to the public, I feel it is that important to help educate people so that costly mistakes can be avoided.
* Obviously with a project of this size there will be a few things that will be opinion based, like string sound and rosin characteristics. These things are offered for guidance but your personal experience may be different because these products will produce differing results on different instruments with different players.
I hope that these pages can be helpful and I will add more information as I can and of course welcome any recommendations for additional information which I will add if factually relevant. I welcome any questions.
I have also started a Yahoo group called violindiscussions for the discussion of things pertaining to bowed instrument repair, making, identification, sales and rentals. The files section also includes a number of free E-Books on making and other violin related subjects.
Education and Employment
1973-1974 - Willis Gault School of Violin Making - Washington DC
1973-2000 - Orchestra Pit Performer in DC, Chicago and Maryland
1977-1983 - Violin Repair Specialist with Washington Music Center - Maryland
1977-1979 - University of Chicago Orchestra
1977-1980 - Violin Repair Specialist with Quinlan and Fabish Music - Chicago
1978-1980 - Violin Repair Specialist for William Harris Lee - Chicago
1978-1980 - Assistant Teacher at Chicago School of Violin Making
1977-1980 - Chicago School of Violin Making 1983-1988 - Cello and Bass Repair Specialist - Weavers Violin Shop - Maryland 1993-1995 - Private Violin Teacher - Maryland 1973-2007 - Owner of Lashof Violins - Maryland
Awards and Publications
Currently in the works - an extensive affordable e-book for the novice violin maker and repairman with hundreds of pictures and drawings.
2008 - Chester Petranek Award for outstanding community service in enriching the musical life of the Washington Metropolitan Area 2007 - The Technical Side of the Musical Theater 118 pg. E- Book 2004 - Mr. Holland’s Opus Service Award for dedication to helping others 2003 - American String Teachers Association Certificate of Appreciation
Links that are provided below are listed as they have some great information, I am not connected to them in any monetary way nor do I specifically recommend their services.
Violin Society of America - Violin Makers Society
American Federation of Bow and Violin Makers
Good & Free Online Violin Making Manual - A bit to abbreviated for the novice
The Violin Channel - Lots of information on current events in the violin world
My Former business, Lashof Violins, now run by two of my former employees. I no longer have any monetary connection.