MODELS, SOUND & CHOICES.
A musician once told me, “I want an instrument that plays like butter and sounds like a million bucks.” A reasonable request and just the kind of challenge I welcome. By using classical design concepts and applying creative, dynamic thinking, this goal is achievable. At the heart of this request is the wonderful collaborative dance that has continued for close to 500 years between players and their violin makers. My goal is to understand each musician’s individual needs and then to integrate those requirements into the final instrument. Most of the instruments I make are based directly on the proven classical models of the great masters of the golden age of violin making. Occasionally I modify or adjust these classical models to facilitate a greater ease of playing and also to allow for my personal aesthetic vision.
Stradivari: The Stradivari model is a true classic in violin design. Violins built on this model are well balanced and warm with a lyrical singing voice.
Guarneri del Gesu: The other classic in violin design, the Guarneri model lends a certain athletic quality to the sound that will carry to the back of the largest concert hall.
Cremonese: The viola models of the great Cremonese makers, Andrea Guarneri and the members of the Amati family, are renowned for their excellent solo qualities with the power to support the important inner voice of the viola range. Violas built on these models celebrate these characteristics.
Brescian: The violas of the Brescian makers, Gasparo da Salo and Magginni, have always been prized for their deep rich voice at the darker end of the viola spectrum.
Smaller Violas: Often the most successful violas are a carefully orchestrated synthesis of several different acoustical ideas borrowed from the Masters of the past and integrated to create something new. By preserving a broad chest area across the center of the viola and a slightly fuller arch, I have been able to make smaller violas that keep their characteristic viola voice and are also extremely easy to play.
Cremonese: The models I have chosen from the Cremonese school are Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati and Rugeri. Stradivari and Guarneri represent the tenor voice in the cello world. With a powerful ‘A’ string and a rich, focused sound, they will deliver each note with clarity and precision. The Amati and Rugeri models have a bit more of the darkness that we expect from the Venetian makers. The Rugeri model has the special advantage of being slightly smaller which can be the perfect choice for the smaller cellist. As a cellist, I have a special attraction to the voice of the cello with its range from a high tenor to the darkest basso.