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Eric Chapman


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I learned yesterday that Eric Chapman passed away on April 7th. He was a past VSA president and long time board member who was instrumental in the resurgence of violin making in the US and a great promoter of contemporary instruments. Condolences to his wife and two children.

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That is indeed sad news.

Eric Chapman was one of the most knowledgeable people about contemporary violin making and the development of the Violin Society of America. At the VSA conventions, he was very generous with his time in sharing that knowledge, even with people of no special VSA status, like me. For about a year I volunteered to write articles for the VSA Newsletter. Mr. Chapman was a helpful and important source of information for that task. Even after my time as writer was over, I always looked forward to seeing Mr. Chapman at the VSA conventions and finding out what the latest violin news was. He shared his knowledge with selfless enthusiasm.

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I met Eric during the International Viola Congress, he was specilized in violas, a great loss indeed.

Eric and I had met many times, but in 2006 he did the intro for my VSA presentation and we discovered among other things that we shared a college alma mater.

I was so nervous and he chided me into a reasonably stable state of mind...that began an interesting series of conversations. A gentleman no doubt who will be missed....

Joe

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I'm sorry to hear of Eric's passing. I spoke with him on a couple of occasions when my research lead to the Goodkind & Chapman association era, and the Herbert Goodkind collection. He was most accommodating and helpful. He will be missed.

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Interesting bit of trivia about Eric:

According to him, he was once a Black Studies professor at University of Michigan. Interest in a white "Black Studies" teacher diminished, :lol: so he moved on to other things. I think being a real estate agent was next on the list.

Ski, judging from the most recent newsletter, they could use some help again! The good part is that according to this newsletter, I am finally "somebody".

There's a picture caption which reads,

"Marilyn Wallin shakes somebody's hand as Phil Kass and Norm Pickering look on. :lol:

Well, actually, the others in the photo are Norman Pickering and Eric Chapman, but do you see why I think the newsletter could use some help?

There's also a picture of a cello, described as a violin....

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Ski, judging from the most recent newsletter, they could use some help again! The good part is that according to this newsletter, I am finally "somebody".

There's a picture caption which reads,

"Marilyn Wallin shakes somebody's hand as Phil Kass and Norm Pickering look on. :lol:

David,

I saw that picture and thought that unidentified "somebody" is David Burgess, but then thought, well maybe it isn't. Does David ever wear coat and tie? You were effectively camouflaged. Now you know how to hide out in plain sight, if you ever need to.

By the way, Eric Chapman was good at telling funny stories. He'd probably laugh at that photo caption, too.

A Chapman story:

When Herbert Axelrod couldn't find a decorated Stradivari cello to complete the decorated Stradivari quartet, he took the Marylebone Stradivari cello to a repair person to get the ribs decorated. The repair person obliged by putting a vine-like pattern as a decal on the ribs. The repair person took a lot of criticism from the violin community for adding something unoriginal to a Stradivari cello, but the repairer held his ground and responded with, "What are you all complaining about. The ribs aren't original either."

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