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HoosierGirl's Achievements

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  1. I've seen some fine antiquing jobs. My husband has two antiqued Matsudas that are quite well done; one in particular is an antiquing work of art (the other is nicely antiqued, but not outstanding). However, everyone he performs with knows they're Matsudas... or if they don't, they ask. That sort of thing is not a secret among musicians. I would certainly not consider either a "status symbol."
  2. Quote: Players are inherently competitive people, and an antique(d) instrument is something of a status symbol; it elevates the player amongst their peers to that of someone worthy of a classic instrument. Whether it's real or not, the perception is one of mystery. I disagree. The strings community is quite small; folks know what their peers are playing. If someone has a new antiqued fiddle, folks know that too... no one's likely to confuse it with an old Italian. And if the peer community doesn't respect a particular player, a great instrument certainly isn't going to make a difference.I consider antiquing strictly an aesthetic trend, rather like stonewashed jeans.
  3. Quote: Who are you to tell him that my advice is bad? D_A is one of the few full-time professional musicians on the board.
  4. You need to hook part of it over the chin rest to keep the rest of the handkerchief in place.
  5. Quote: Did you ever notice how many people use handkerchiefs? In my opinion, that's a sign of something wrong. I think folks misunderstand the purpose of the handkerchiefs. My husband uses one for formal concerts. The fabric used in his tux/tails and dress shirts is very slick, and a cotton handkerchief provides "traction control" on the back of the fiddle (where it contacts his collarbone) so that he doesn't have to press or alter his posture. He doesn't even have a violin hickey. The handkerchief isn't intended to alter the chin rest, and he doesn't use one with street clothes or anything other than slippery concert attire. It just allows him to play the same way he would at home in a t-shirt. The exception would be his Becker... he used a handkerchief constantly with it the first year because the varnish was so soft.
  6. Speaking of the NJSO, have you seen their Art Strings fundraiser? (This is not meant a pitch for their fundraiser; I just think it's clever.) Sort of a similar concept to the "Cows on Parade" in Chicago or the painted pigs in Cincinnati: Art Strings I'm keen on the Dia De Los Muertos fiddle myself.
  7. I don't know. NJ bought the collection for $18 million, and Axelrod forgave another $1 million in debt, so that gives NJ an end price tag of $17 million. If Axelrod stays in Cuba, they'll probably have an end price tag of $14 million, since I doubt Axelrod will come back to collect the other $3 million he financed. (I've also read that he forgave the full $4 million; I'm not sure what's accurate there.) As long as the collection is valued at $14-17 million, I think the orchestra itself made out ok. My experience with orchestra boards is that they are quite cautious when it comes to expendatures.
  8. Quote: As I understand it, the orchestra took on a tremendous amount of debt to acquire the collection. With the fiscal situation facing most American orchestras, was that a responsible decision? They've launched a fundraising campaign to pay off the instruments and provide for upkeep, so I suppose at this point it's a matter of wait-and-see. And they do have the instruments as assets.
  9. My understanding is that NJ raised the money in a separate campaign. It's much easier to get donors excited about something like this than it is to raise money for something hum-ho like the endowment. I'm disappointed to hear about the authenticity issues. However, from NJ's perspective, it seems to have been a good deal. They've raised their profile within the orchestral community and recently appointed Neeme Jaarvi as music director, which is something of a surprise. They're in a position to build something, more so than before. And I do think the lure of a fine instrument is an attraction to musicians. Someone is not likely to turn down a job in Chicago to go to NJ, but among orchestras within the same echelon it gives them an edge. I could tell stories about the lengths musicians go to in order to get good instruments.
  10. I have a mild case. Mine improved dramatically after I had my wisdom teeth removed. If it is TMJ, he can also get an oral splint made that will relieve the pressure on the joints. It's a clear device that fits over either the upper or lower teeth... somewhat like those clear braces you see advertised, but a bit bulkier. It's about $400 and just takes a couple of weeks to have made.
  11. Since no one else has jumped in, I'll guess give it a shot. Are you looking at about $1K or so? If so, I think your biggest challenge would be finding someone who does commissions/custom work. Most instruments in that price bracket are factory or shop instruments, worked on by several people. Commissioned instruments have their pros and cons. Violins are so idiosyncratic; a maker's violins may share certain characteristics in tone, but you can never predict with certainty how yours will turn out. It's a matter of taking a gamble, and having a lot of confidence in the person's work. My husband commissioned a violin several years ago, after trying several times to buy one particular instrument by that maker. That fiddle wasn't for sale, so he ended up commissioning one as close to it as possible. One of the advantages is that the maker studied the way he played, took some measurements, and made the neck to fit his hand. As a result, he has a violin that's larger in dimension than his others but just as easy to navigate. On the down side, it took time... two years from start to finish, and the varnish was quite soft for at least another year. As it turns out, he's delighted with it. However, he had another modern instrument previously (by a different maker) that *didn't* develop as he'd hoped, and ended up selling it. So it just depends. Unless you're really set on a particular maker and know exactly what you want, I'd start by visiting all the shops and trying loads of existing instruments first -- both old and new. Chances are good you'll find something you like.
  12. If it were simply a matter of a marketing and availability advantage, Dominants would be favorites across the board (violin, cello, etc.). As it is, Larsen and Jargar and Spirocore and a few others are more popular among cellists than Dominants. When it comes down to it, I think Dominants are simply a good product that work well for many violinists. If they don't work for you or your instrument, don't buy them... problem solved.
  13. Quote: for the most part private collectors' motivations are for preserving the value of the instrument, not the actual instrument - as is evidenced by 300 years of modifications. That might have been true in the past, but the climate has changed. These days, authenticity commands the highest prices, and anyone with an eye toward preserving the value of an instrument will go to great lengths to maintain the authenticity and condition.
  14. Quote: Relatively few of these instruments are in the care of museums... so it follows that every museum that has a fine instrument of historical value in their care has an obligation to preserve it - simply because those who own them who are not in museums have no such obligation. Maybe not, but they have a compelling financial interest to do so, which is probably more powerful when all is said and done than a simple legal obligation. Did anyone ever watch the TV series Northern Exposure, back when? This thread makes me think of the episode where Maurice decides to buy a Guarneri for investment purposes. He flies in a young hotshot violinist to test it out, to verify that he's not purchasing a dud. The violinist plays it, declares it magnificent, and falls in love with it on the spot. His discovery that Maurice plans to lock the violin away in a safe, and not make it available for playing, drives him over the edge and he ultimately ends up in the state mental institution. I can see it happening, I can...
  15. Quote: may be that was what Heifetz had in mind? If preserving the violin under glass was what Heifetz had in mind, he wouldn't have flown around the world playing it for 65 years. No one seems to mind the wear and tear Heifetz added to the instrument. I don't know, I think looking at a great violin is a bit like hearing the Mona Lisa.
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