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The best 20th/21st Century Violin Maker


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#1 aznviolinist8

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 09:10 AM

Who's the best 20th/21st century violin maker/maker's in your mind?

#2 administrator

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 09:58 AM

Who's the best or who do I like?

I like Martin Brunkalla (a lot), but I also like Doublas Cox, Ellison (forgot his first name), Geoffrey Ovington for starters. Haven't seen any of Michael Darnton's fiddles, but understand that he's very good.

#3 oldgeezer

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 11:12 AM

Maybe it’s Sam Z because of the big bucks at auction for the one he made for Isaac Stern. Carl Becker is old and his violins continue to be appreciated. We don’t know and won’t know until the makers are all long dead and the instruments are still popular with players. I wouldn’t expect any surprises but some makers may not be as popular and some respected but less popular makers may become more widely appreciated.

If you buy a new one from a respected maker because you like the way it sounds and plays you might be the first owner of a violin that will be widely appreciated after we are all dead. If nobody much likes your violin after you are dead you will have enjoyed playing it anyway.

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 12:35 PM

What about Bonaparte Squier from Boston?

#5 vieuxtemps

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:15 AM

Unfortunately for me, I haven't played around with what's out there right now. I hear people mentioned Stefano Scarampella and Sergio Peresson, though. Scarampella made instruments around 1890-1920 or so, and a real one in good condition can fetch around $75k. I think Peresson's sell for somewhere in the mid-30k's.

Zyg's do appear to be in demand, though keep in mind the one that fetched an unheard-of price (for a living maker) was the one and only ex-Stern Zygmuntowicz. (Either that, or it was one of two ex-Stern's in the world.)

Curtin, Alf, Harrild, and Borman seem to have lots of big-name endorsements.

When I grow up, get a job, and hunt for a new violin, I'd like to try some of the following makers' works (in no particular order). After that, we'll see about a car or house.

Samuel Zygmuntowicz
David Palm
Gregg Alf
Joseph Curtin
Jamie Lazzara
Sergio Peresson
Stefano Scarampella
Phillip Injeian
Stephen Demirdjian
Paul Harrild
Terry Michael Borman
Tetsuo Matsuda
Jennifer Becker
David Folland
Andrew Ryan
David Gusset

I can't remember where I heard of those last three, but they're on my master list, and the Palm Pilot never lies.

#6 La Folia

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 12:34 PM

There was an extensive discussion of exactly this subject recently. You might search the archives.

#7 MANFIO

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 08:03 AM

I remember one of my old threads called "what if Del Gesù lived today?" with thoughts about fame and good makers...

#8 La Folia

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 08:35 AM

No, that's not the one. Alas, I can't find it. I couldn't even find your thread by searching, even though you just posted to it.

I remember that Michael Darnton thought the winner had to be the Beckers, for their prodigious output, consistently excellent quality. I would also add their influence on other makers, such as Sam Z.

#9 MANFIO

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 11:45 AM

I've found my post about Del Gesù and ressurected it in the Pegbox. In that post I point out that Del Gesù violins would be hardly accepted in the market today.

I agree with Michael, the output and consistency in quality is really important.

#10 oldgeezer

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:04 PM

Try here

#11 skiingfiddler

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:03 PM

Don't fall in love with a specific maker. Fall in love with a specific violin. In other words, judge violins by the violin itself, not by the maker.
Caveat lector!

#12 La Folia

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 03:09 PM

oldgeezer,
That's one of the better discussions, but that's not it either. There's still another one somewhere.

skiingfiddler,
I couldn't agree more, although I might add that a maker with a track record is a safer bet than the guy who just blew through town. (In fact, one did just blow through town recently .)

It wasn't my intention to endorse one particular maker or family. Michael also mentioned that there are some lesser known makers who make instruments that are highly sought by professionals, but they don't receive a lot of PR and public notice on the Internet.

#13 aggressivo

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 04:08 PM

I have tried some violins of well known makers like Bulfari, Conia, Alf, Curtin, R.Hargrave, and someone who not so much famous like D.Palm (Ca), Kretzschmann(Germany)...In my opinion Kretzschmann's a very good violin maker and his price is unbelievable ( for his ability ). For 6000$-7000$ you can get a exact copy of the Kreisler or Cremonese .v.v. of the highest quality. Example, I think his violins are better than most of Buifari's violins now. The violins ( since 1999 ) of Bulfari look always fine, but have a dead red vanish that I coundn't like. They sounds strong, very intensive, brilliant but I find they are too hard.

#14 elisemusic

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:29 AM

I'm looking at a Bulfari now - 1993 - and found this topic through google.  there's not much on the web about his violins though one gets a sort of 'reluctant respect'.  The one I have is typical: dark red - but starting to age as intended with the gold base varnish showing through in patches.  The reason I write is that while it is still strong - I want it for solo work with an orchestra - I would not describe it as hard, perhaps a little strident, but not hard.

 

I'm wondering if this mean the Bulfaris are toning down with time.  By the way, this one is $21K (Canadian).  I hope its not dreadfully overpriced.



#15 Lusitano

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

Don't fall in love with a specific maker. Fall in love with a specific violin. In other words, judge violins by the violin itself, not by the maker.

 

Very well said and I could not agree more, HOWEVER I do have a list of makers who consistently please the hell out of me lol

 

I have a serious man crush on Ben Connover's work as I have yet to find a single flaw or detail which displeases me in his work, I absolutely am itching to have one commissioned for myself as soon as I rake up enough cash to have it done. If Number one sells well, I'll begin with number two and so forth until I have enough funding to book a vacation to Ireland LOL 

 

There are some contemporary Boston makers who I absolutely loved and I can't get over the quality of some Mirecourt workshop violins I've come across. There's actually a wide range of offerings which make me happy from both modern and semi modern makers. It's hard to choose.


"Searching through attics, without luck, for a Stradivari violin since 2002"


#16 Omobono

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:56 AM

Who is this mysterious "new member" (well, from June - with no numbered posts)?

Did I miss something?

 

vqnh.png

 

BTW how did Scarampella come to bridge the 20/21st Centuries?

Or are we talking anyone from 1900 onwards?

In that case - Leandro Bisiach



Omobono: 12th Century citizen of Cremona
and patron saint of its craftsmen.

#17 Omobono

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:06 AM

This is weird.... Can anyone explain?

 

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Omobono: 12th Century citizen of Cremona
and patron saint of its craftsmen.

#18 elisemusic

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

What a strange place.  I post a queery about an italien lutier (Bulfari) in one of the few topics that mention him (but that's been dormant since 2003) - and stimulate a non-sequiteur response to the original ancient topic - followed by correspondence from a lost soul who seems to have got stuck in Alice's rabbit hole...

 

Curiouser and curiouser.  Next up: the mad hatter as fiddle maker....

ee



#19 poptart

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:52 PM

There was an extensive discussion of exactly this subject recently. You might search the archives.


Yea, but it would be interesting to do one with only players, and see how it compares with the opinions of makers/dealers/restorers.

#20 Will L

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:17 PM

I don't remember seeing this topic originally.  Of course the question can hardly be answered definitively with any sense of authority, since no one is likely to have seen all of even just the contemporary makers, much less all the makers from 1901 on.

 

One thing I CAN say from personal experience is of all the modern violins I have tried to make work, only one by a well known maker has actually developed to the extent that I believe it WILL become a fine violin in keeping with those of Strad and Guarneri.  I am not going to say who made it to avoid anger, arguments ,and repercussions.  :) I have been very disappointed by a lot of expensive violins by living makers and known makers such as Scarampella and Poggi (just to give a couple of examples).  But I certainly haven't seen every violin by some of our most honored contemporary makers.






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