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GoldenPlate

Contemporary Italian Violin Makers

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When I think of Contemporary Master Italian violin makers, names like F.Bissolotti, GB Morassi, S. Conia immediately popped out of my mind. All of them are students of P. Sgarabotto. I realized these names are not so popular in the US than they are in Asia. Has anyone played the violins made by these makers? What are the comments and thoughts? Any names missing here?

 

Thanks for the input!

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I played a very disappointing Morassi.

Stefano Conias are uniformly terrible. Stefano Conia changed his name from Stefan Konja, his brother Lajos is a Hungarian maker.

Pietro Sgarabotto - never played one that didn't sound like this : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=570183616359615&set=a.307574629287183.77316.195442183833762&type=1&theater

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Bissolotti has a great sounding violin in his shop for display, one of the best or the best violin he made.

What the customer gets in the end doesn't necessarily sound as good.

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A stand partner of mine had a really nice sounding Bissolotti viola. But I think many of the newer crop of makers in Cremona are doing better, and are more affordable.

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When I think of Contemporary Master Italian violin makers, names like F.Bissolotti, GB Morassi, S. Conia immediately popped out of my mind. All of them are students of P. Sgarabotto. I realized these names are not so popular in the US than they are in Asia. Has anyone played the violins made by these makers? What are the comments and thoughts? Any names missing here?

 

Thanks for the input!

How about me?

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How about me?

 

Bruce,

 

Because of the abundance of instruments you service, I thought you were working full time on repairs and restoration. 

 

Can you fill us in on what you are doing in terms of new making?  Models you use?  How many a year?  Is your making exclusively on commission, rather than on spec for an indeterminate buyer?

 

Have you thought of what the Italian version of your name might be? (Just kidding about that, but the above are sincere questions.)

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Laura Vigato is a wonderful maker.. I heard that Itzhak Perlman uses one as his teaching violin. Other names that come to mind are Vittorio and Marcello Villa, Eric Blot, and Riccardo Bergonzi.

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Laura Vigato is a wonderful maker.. I heard that Itzhak Perlman uses one as his teaching violin. Other names that come to mind are Vittorio and Marcello Villa, Eric Blot, and Riccardo Bergonzi.

Wow, when it comes to name dropping it doesn't get any bigger than Perlman.  I'm sure, if you heard correct, it's a great fiddle.    

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Bruce,

 

Because of the abundance of instruments you service, I thought you were working full time on repairs and restoration. 

 

Can you fill us in on what you are doing in terms of new making?  Models you use?  How many a year?  Is your making exclusively on commission, rather than on spec for an indeterminate buyer?

 

Have you thought of what the Italian version of your name might be? (Just kidding about that, but the above are sincere questions.)

I was only kidding, but my Maestro in my first year at the school was Pietro Sgarabotto, His assistant was G.B. Morassi. That was  in 1972-73.

 

You are correct in that almost all of my time is repair and restoration.

 

One cello 'forma B' is used by David Geringas for teaching and another was chosen by Young Chang Cho. Neither are using them as their solo instrument. I am most proud of the cello purchased by Alexander Ivashkin who regularly uses it in concert alternating with his Guarneri. Interestingly enough, all three studied with Rostropovich.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young-Chang_Cho

http://www.alexanderivashkin.com/ 

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I was only kidding, but my Maestro in my first year at the school was Pietro Sgarabotto, His assistant was G.B. Morassi. That was  in 1972-73.

 

You are correct in that almost all of my time is repair and restoration.

 

One cello 'forma B' is used by David Geringas for teaching and another was chosen by Young Chang Cho. Neither are using them as their solo instrument. I am most proud of the cello purchased by Alexander Ivashkin who regularly uses it in concert alternating with his Guarneri. Interestingly enough, all three studied with Rostropovich.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young-Chang_Cho

http://www.alexanderivashkin.com/

 

Nice Cello in the book "Contemporary Cremonese Masters".......

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One cello 'forma B' is used by David Geringas for teaching and another was chosen by Young Chang Cho. Neither are using them as their solo instrument. I am most proud of the cello purchased by Alexander Ivashkin who regularly uses it in concert alternating with his Guarneri. Interestingly enough, all three studied with Rostropovich.

 

 

So, you're not doing a lot of making, but in your spare time you make cellos.  At the risk of my exaggerating only slightly, that's like saying one isn't into boat building but in one's spare time builds yachts.

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Have you thought of what the Italian version of your name might be? (Just kidding about that, but the above are sincere questions.)

 

How about something like "del Abruzzo Carlo (filius)"?

I think the "Carlson" bit is good (filius=son), not so happy with the "Bruce" - still working on it

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How about something like "del Abruzzo Carlo (filius)"?

 

That won't work, because when Bruce goes home to Lake Fenton, Michigan, the folks there won't know how to pronounce it, and will think it's some kind of fancy fish fillet at an uppity restaurant. :o

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years ago when I showed some instruments to a prominent but rather dull musician he declared 'you'll never succeed because your name isn't Italian enough'

 

I find it especially heartening and amusing that one of the more successful violinmakers working today is Sam Zygmuntovitsz. 

 

I think that regional distinctions are mostly irrelevant and barely exist anymore. Perhaps who you studied with and where you've worked is more important than the number of vowels in your name.

 

Oded

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years ago when I showed some instruments to a prominent but rather dull musician he declared 'you'll never succeed because your name isn't Italian enough'

 

I find it especially heartening and amusing that one of the more successful violinmakers working today is Sam Zygmuntovitsz. 

 

I think that regional distinctions are mostly irrelevant and barely exist anymore. Perhaps who you studied with and where you've worked is more important than the number of vowels in your name.

 

Oded

 

Oded, I wish you were right but an Italian name on a label matters a lot - it rings the right bells in the mind of the common buyer. 

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I think the "Carlson" bit is good (filius=son), not so happy with the "Bruce" - still working on it

How about if we draw from a common Italian-American theme, interwoven with a reference to his craft?

 

He could be called, “Bruce the Knife”. :lol:

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