Since 2005 I am a partner at Darnton at Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins http://darntonhersh.com, located in Chicago. Our shop is 1/2 block from the back door of the Chicago Symphony, and we serve professional players (and amateurs) not only in Chicago, but world-wide. I've been in the business since 1980, and worked at Bein and Fushi in several capacities, including in the shop and for several years in sales, dealing directly with musicians, and at WH Lee & Co, as well as having a shop of my own at various times over the last 35 years. I have written articles for The Strad, for several years had a column on violins in the Guild of American Luthiers Journal, presented at the GAL convention, and have taught a summer violin making class since 2005 (http://SCVMW.com). Currently I supervise a four-person workshop and consult with many professional orchestral musicians on tonal and structural issues with their instruments, including members of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland Orchestras.
In addition to receiving constant feedback from the many musicians who pass through our shop, and from the many personal friends who are regulars, all of the shop work having to do with tonal and playing issues is coordinated with my current partners, who are respected musicians:
About my two partners in the Darntion and Hersh Fine Violins enterprise:
Stefan Hersh is a founding member of the Callisto Ensemble and is currently on the faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is known nationally as a guest artist, teacher, lecturer, and performer. Hersh moved to Chicago in 1995 from Minneapolis where he was Principal Second Violin with the Minnesota Orchestra. Previous to that, Hersh was Concertmaster of the San Franciso Chamber Orchestra from 1985-1989, and founded several chamber music series' in the San Francisco area in the 1980s. He was the Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, the Second Violinist of the Chicago String Quartet, and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians until 2000. Hersh was Associate Professor with De Paul University from 1995-2003.
Julian Hersh has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Far East, and is a frequent performer at various festivals, including the Olympic (Washington), Saratoga (New York), and Caramoor music festivals. As a founding member of the Jupiter Trio he was awarded First Prize in the 2002 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan. Chosen from 54 ensembles representing 19 countries the Jupiter Trio was the first American ensemble in the history of the competition to win the gold medal. In 2004 the trio was recipient of the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award from the Classical Recording Foundation for their recording of trios by Beethoven and Shostakovich on the Bridge Records label. Julian has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma on international television in Marsalis on Music and on CBS Sunday Mornings, and has been featured in numerous radio broadcasts on National Public Radio.