I am a retired professional violin maker and repairman with over 35 years experience in the retail market of sales, repairs, appraising, 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 165 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 since 1968 and have played with semi-professional and amateur organizations. I have performed in many venues in the Eastern US.
Due to my continuing Cognitive and Neurological deterioration from an illness that has effected my brain, heart, sleep patterns and many other things, I feel I am no longer able to continue to do email consultation on issues of identification and valuation of instruments.
As always, I recommend taking any instrument needing evaluation to a violin shop so that it can be seen in person. I have enjoyed helping people with this information for many years, at no cost, as I believe there should be an open dialog. I hope the information that I still have on this site is useful.
My Education and Employment
This Web Page is for Information regarding Violins, Violas and Cello's, their Making, Repair, and General Information without any bias to sell you anything.
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. I will also probably forget to update this when those prices rise.
There are many
With a project of this size there will be a few things that will be opinion-based, like string sound and rosin characteristics and instrument brand comments. These opinions are offered for guidance, but your personal experience may be different because these products will produce differing results on different instruments with different players. For the most part, I have tried to avoid speculation, opting for fact and industry wide opinions by professionals in the field. Statements made by those selling something should always be looked at with speculation.
I hope that these pages can be helpful.
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, but anyone can join
American String Teachers Association (ASTA) - professional
Chicago School of Violin Making - one of three professional violin making schools in the US, this is where I learned the craft
American Federation of Bow and Violin Makers
Good & Free Online Violin Making Manual - Too abbreviated for the novice
Robert Cauer Violins Web Site - Lots of great Information
A Guide to Choosing Strings - Your first stop should be the violin store as two violins of the same brand will sound different with the same strings.
Summer Music Programs - Worldwide guide to summer programs
Free Sheet Music - free is only legal if it is not under Copywrite
Printable Scales - one, two and three-octave scales
The Violin Channel - Lots of information on current events in the violin world
Find a teacher - online or local - I always recommend local first as it is best that the teacher has a