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MANFIO

Geoffrey Fushi, co founder of Bein and Fushi died on Friday, he was 68.

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Thanks, Luis, for drawing our attention. As the article mentions, "Not your average violin dealer"

Means both have died prematurely. I met him briefly once but many of you will have your own stories.

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What a loss! What a benevolent, noble, admirable character to have founded the Stradivari Society. Very sorry to hear this news. He was truly someone who appreciated violin and furthered the art in a tangible manner.

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What a loss! What a benevolent, noble, admirable character to have founded the Stradivari Society.

Keep in mind that this program may have had tangible financial benefits for the dealer. It increased the pool of potential buyers beyond the small number of musicians with enough money to afford these instruments. More buyers (more demand) supports higher prices and faster turnaround.

Where did most Stradivari Society patrons purchase their instruments? ;)

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Keep in mind that this program may have had tangible financial benefits for the dealer. It increased the pool of potential buyers beyond the small number of musicians with enough money to afford these instruments. More buyers (more demand) supports higher prices and faster turnaround.

Where did most Stradivari Society patrons purchase their instruments? ;)

Hmm.... well, someone was bound to say what others may have been thinking.....eloquent silence?

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Keep in mind that this program may have had tangible financial benefits for the dealer. It increased the pool of potential buyers beyond the small number of musicians with enough money to afford these instruments. More buyers (more demand) supports higher prices and faster turnaround.

Where did most Stradivari Society patrons purchase their instruments? ;)

Is there anything wrong with that ?

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Is there anything wrong with that ?

Nope. Just pointing out that the motives behind the Stradivari Society may not have been solely magnanimous, benevolent and noble, as was implied in post #7.

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Once upon a time, when I was a teenager, I applied for a job at B&F. I received a slightly baffling reply, inviting me to enrol in their Trainee scheme. This was briefly described in the accompanying letter, describing how tasks were allotted points (roughly 1 Bridge = 1 Point) and how, if one were to achieve a certain amount of points after so and so many weeks, one would qualify for health insurance etc. My father grumbled about the Mc. Donaldisation of violin making, I was however willing to give it a try. Shortly afterwards an acquaintance of my father (obvious coincidence) sent a copy of an employment contract (which I still have) which, should I have understood it correctly, requires a Trainee to buy all the mandatory tools from B&F. and too not be allowed to use anything else. It went on to describe how one is to do all the usual tasks and is in fact quite a good workshop practice manual, except perhaps that it seems to advocate everything being thinned out to the graduations in the Sacconi book. A week later I got a job at Möller in Amsterdam, which fell through a couple of weeks before I went there, upon which I got placed by the trade in Munich, which turned out to be a super opportunity and where I earned about twice as much as was on offer in Chicago. In my brief period as a Cello student in London, I had lived next door to a big Scientology office, which made it impossible to step out of the door, without being offered a free personality test, so I was slightly browned off with that already.

I would be interested to learn from anyone who was on the Trainee Scheme if I had the right impression or not.

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Nope. Just pointing out that the motives behind the Stradivari Society may not have been entirely magnanimous, benevolent and noble, as was implied in post #7.

Sorry, I don't know much about The Stradivari Society - my apologies if I got it wrong.

My understanding is that it loaned instruments to people who could not afford one. Were they compelled to purchase them after a certain period of use ?

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Were they compelled to purchase them after a certain period of use ?

Nope.

What might be some effective strategies for selling instruments to people who don't play them?

From what establishment did most Stradivari patrons and instrument lenders (not lendees) purchase their instruments?

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Nope.

What might be some effective strategies for selling instruments to people who don't play them?

From what establishment did most Stradivari patrons and instrument lenders (not lendees) purchase their instruments?

I see what you mean - they convinced rich people to buy instruments which were loaned to young musicians. The musicians got lucky and the rich got ...richer. B&F provided a useful service and turned a profit. I don't see a problem with that. It seems everybody won.

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I would be interested to learn from anyone who was on the “Trainee Scheme” if I had the right impression or not.

Michael Darnton could address this question. I would think having the chance to work in the same shop with John Becker might be worth a few of the hoops.

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I would be interested to learn from anyone who was on the “Trainee Scheme” if I had the right impression or not.

I never worked there, but was recruited to work there around 1977 (declined after a visit), and later hired a former employee of theirs.

There's a lot to say, but I probably won't say it right now, or in this thread.

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I never worked there, but was recruited to work there around 1977 (declined after a visit), and later hired a former employee of theirs.

There's a lot to say, but I probably won't say it right now, or in this thread.

I understand that but you made us curious. There are penalties for that : you'll have to post a clip with YOU playing one of your violins AND tell us something about Weisshaar or Jack French. :D :D

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I understand that but you made us curious. There are penalties for that : you'll have to post a clip with YOU playing one of your violins....

OK, suffer the consequences. :P

I play a fiddle break in "Christine's Song" on the CD linked below, but the preview isn't long enough to get to that part, so you might need to spend 99 cents to hear it. :lol:

Not horrible, I think, considering that I have no training or experience in anything other than classical, improvised the part, and hadn’t done any serious practicing for 35 years.

I also play violin background on "My Little Girl", and keyboard (fake wooden flutes) on "Why Do You Cry", and those can be heard in the previews.

Link to the CD

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......except perhaps that it seems to advocate everything being thinned out to the graduations in the Sacconi book.

Jacob, I don't want to hijack the thread but I'm curious, are you saying here that this is bad just because regraduating is bad? the Sacconi book is off? Were you just surprised that it didn't seem a case by case instruction? Didn't Sacconi generally have a lot of influence back then? I heard once that the B&F "training scheme" started off under the direction of former Wurlitzer people. Wouldn't that make Sacconi influence a given?

I'm sure regraduating was already frowned upon back then, but wasn't it still a bit more common?

Just thinking and wondering

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Jacob, I don't want to hijack the thread but I'm curious, are you saying here that this is bad just because regraduating is bad? the Sacconi book is off? Were you just surprised that it didn't seem a case by case instruction? Didn't Sacconi generally have a lot of influence back then? I heard once that the B&F "training scheme" started off under the direction of former Wurlitzer people. Wouldn't that make Sacconi influence a given?

I'm sure regraduating was already frowned upon back then, but wasn't it still a bit more common?

Just thinking and wondering

Regraduating was certainly already seriously frowned upon back then where I was brought up and still is by me. Violins come in many shapes and thicknesses, and should be left that way (possible exception, student violins where evidently no considerations were wasted on graduation in the first place). In current PC speak, one could almost call it “biodiversity”, it`s an obvious serious negative, for an artifact with a longlivity of centuries, when everything gets homogonised down to the current dogma de jour. It`s ages since I re-read my copy of Sacconi, but I can´t recall him advocating re-graduation, he was just reporting how Strad did it, and even there, that hasn`t corresponded to any Strad that I have had open yet.

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Musicians in general and competitors in particular tend to say a lot of things, most of them complete rubbish. Musicians who were also their clients must've been happy - the firm lasted for quite a bit without ( to my knowledge ) major events. While you don't need to be a defender of B&F you might steer clear of being a detractor, unless of course, you have some hard facts which I bet you don't. Otherwise is just envy, innuendo and gossip.

This forum is open to you, Carl, to present the hard facts re. your personal dealings with B&F. I raised the question of their employment practices (which you are welcome to read, should you come and visit) and David wondered about the benign, or otherwise, effect of the Stradivari Soc. & other like institutions, on the violin trade, which seems a legitimate subject of discussion to me.

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I would like to extend my condolences to the Fushi family. Having lost both my parents, my father when he was only 65, I have a pretty good idea what they are going through.

No matter how one feels about the firm, both Geoff and Bob were unique. They built an enviable firm, handled an amazing number of fine instruments, and their shop has been responsible for employing, developing and/or promoting some very fine restorers & makers over the years. The reality is that there probably isn't a firm that has grown anywhere near the scope of B & F in this business that one cannot find fault with, and find others who revere the establishment.

While I personally feel that the discussion of the aspects of any important shop's dealings and procedures has the potential to be an important learning experience for others involved in the industry (on all sides; sellers, restorers and clients), I am also sensitive to the timing. We who are participating here still have the gift of time, and can afford to be sensitive to the family. Indeed, I think a discussion of pros and cons of past practices of the shop would be more productive, and accurate, after things have settled... and even more productive if it involved some of those who worked there. May I request that if those here wish to take up that discussion, we do so later on?

Best to all,

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