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Frank Nichols

Only the good survive

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32 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Let's see:

What sort of collectible or investment would look most appealing to a violinist? Well, it's probably not gonna be rare postage stamps! :lol:  Nor will owning an esteemed postage stamp collection add much to a player's marketability or perceived prowess, like performing on a Strad can.

Why do you suppose that most people who perform on Strads make this quite public, despite this exposing them to somewhat greater personal risk of theft or robbery?

You really need to stop adding to your posts later. :)   Complicates my life...  

That's easy to explain : they need MONEY ! :):):)  The public being what it is and interest being not what it used to be, one is looking for any advantage....

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41 minutes ago, carl stross said:

Paintings/property. Two things with a clear track record. Not Strads around the turn of the last century.

Actually, expensive antique violins have had a pretty good track record.

I know very little about paintings, but I'm quite sure that an audience will be a lot more interested in whether a performer is using a Strad, than in whether the player has some kind of expensive painting at home. ;)

Real estate has had its ups and downs. Perhaps you've heard about all the people who lost their shirts in the recent real estate collapse. Also, real estate can entail quite a bit of continuing management involvement and oversight. (I sold most of the property I owned, for that very reason). Violin ownership, not so much.

And it's not nearly as much fun to whip out your real estate titles at a party. Heck a Strad will even draw a crowd in a truck stop. :lol:

(I added to this one too after initially posting it, sorry Carl. I'm running back and forth between a number of different things right now) ;)

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20 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

A Cremona is a Cremona even if it is best suited as a wall hanger. To make a good violin is not that hard if you know how. 

Sure. Do you know people who know how ? 

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5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Actually, expensive antique violins have had a pretty good track record.

I know very little about paintings, but I'm quite sure that an audience will be a lot more interested in whether a performer is using a Strad, than in whether the player has some kind of expensive painting at home. ;)

Real estate has had its ups and downs. Perhaps you've heard about all the people who lost their shirts in the recent real estate collapse.

It's not impossible that you are right and I am wrong. In the end I interpret things through my experience and information pool. Neither are exhaustive or perfect. I see what you say as being more recent.

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7 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Clearly the humor in my question and comment was lost on you. My apologies.

No need to apologize - I'm not "sensitive". For a second or two I thought you believe Sarasate and some nowadays nymphet with unpronounceable name are in the same league.... :)  

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8 hours ago, carl stross said:

For a second or two I thought you believe Sarasate and some nowadays nymphet with unpronounceable name are in the same league....

Really? “Nymphet” Don't look now, but your sexism is showing, and it isn’t attractive.
And, yes, I believe that several of the female soloists alive today are among the best violinists who have ever lived, male or female. And they don't play Strads.

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Back to the initial question. I'd say the opposite: the good ones tend to get used and therefore tend to be the ones accidently sat upon or thrown over or something of the Kind. We are left with the Instruments that ended up on the attic.

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Regarding the survival of Strads, I'd say it's astounding that something over 50% are believed to still exist (as an aside, what % of Amati's violins are thought to have survived?).  Consider that they are wood, fragile, made for a utilitarian purpose, etc.  They were never made to be hung on a wall and just looked at.  And then consider the upheavals in Europe over the past 300+ years.  

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54 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

1. Really? “Nymphet” Don't look now, but your sexism is showing, and it isn’t attractive.

2.  And, yes, I believe that several of the female soloists alive today are among the best violinists who have ever lived, male or female. And they don't play Strads.

1. Sorry !!!! I didn't realize my "sexism" is showing. :):):)   

2. I don't know any who doesn't or didn't play a Strad , a DG or a Guad, or a Gagliano but there must be some. Somewhere... How large is the "among the best" pool ? :lol:  Anyway, women can very competent violin players, I don't think anybody denies that. 

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Really? “Nymphet” Don't look now, but your sexism is showing, and it isn’t attractive.
And, yes, I believe that several of the female soloists alive today are among the best violinists who have ever lived, male or female. And they don't play Strads.

While having no belief in the overall superiority of one sex or another, I must admit that the notion of a female nympho carries some degree of fascination and intrigue, for most heterosexual males. :)

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

While having no belief in the overall superiority of one sex or another, I must admit that the notion of a female nympho carries some degree of fascination and intrigue, for most heterosexual males. :)

I don't disagree with that at all, but a "nymphet" is not a synonym for "nympho," although a "nymphet" might be a "nympho." However, neither term is appropriate in referring to professional female violin soloists, particularly considering the rampant sex discrimination that occurs in the classical music world.

2 hours ago, carl stross said:

I don't know any who doesn't or didn't play a Strad , a DG or a Guad, or a Gagliano but there must be some. Somewhere... How large is the "among the best" pool ? :lol:  Anyway, women can very competent violin players, I don't think anybody denies that. 

Well, here are two: Hillary Hahn plays a Vuillaume , and Julia Fischer abandoned a Guadagnini  and a Strad for a modern violin by Philipp Augustin. 

And we are fortunate to live in a time where we have women soloists like Hahn and Fischer who are far far beyond "very competent," but are among the very best who have ever put bow to string.

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Just now, GeorgeH said:

I don't disagree with that at all, but a "nymphet" is not a synonym for "nympho," although a "nymphet" might be a "nympho." However, neither term is appropriate in referring to professional female violin soloists, particularly considering the rampant sex discrimination that occurs in the classical music world.

Well, here are two: Hillary Hahn plays a Vulliume, and Julia Fischer abandoned a Guadagnini  and a Strad for a modern violin by Philipp Augustin. 

And we are fortunate to live in a time where we have women soloists like Hahn and Fischer who are far far beyond "very competent," but are among the very best who have ever put bow to string.

Well, this is all a bit vague. Fischer did not abandon anything. That's a good one... :) Hahn made a choice she's got to live with - that violin is definitely not on a par with what others are using. I don't find Hahn to be among the very best who have ever put bow to string. I find her dull in expression and downright robotic. Fischer is musically very talented. Both are  very competent and draw an audience but to imply they are somehow in the same league with Oistrakh, Ferras, Grumieux, Kreisler, Enesco, Heifetz, Elman etc etc etc etc etc is plain ill informed. These are of course my opinions and you are welcome to yours. 

I spent a fair bit of time in classical music and I've never seen any "rampant discrimination". Definitely not in Europe. If I saw any there was the other way around in the sense that there was pressure to employ women because they were..women. 

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31 minutes ago, carl stross said:

I spent a fair bit of time in classical music and I've never seen any "rampant discrimination". Definitely not in Europe.

THAT does not surprise me in the least. How many female orchestra conductors have you seen compared to the number of male conductors?

And the percentage orders of magnitude increase in women players in orchestras in both the U.S. and Europe in the last 20 years is due to the introduction and use of blinded auditions, not because they have suddenly become better players or male sexism suddenly vanished.

And Hahn is every bit the equal of all the MEN you listed and better than many of them. For example, Heifetz, though great in his day, couldn't carry Hahn's bow today.

That is my opinion, and you are welcome to it. :)

Back to this thread, there are top soloists who are not playing old Cremona violins by choice and are still selling out concerts and getting rave reviews. Nobody complains about the quality of their performances or recordings being impaired by the violins they are playing unless they have some other axe to grind.

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12 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

There are plenty of people who know how. :rolleyes:

So they must be very famous indeed.  Care to share any names with us?

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3 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

... I believe that several of the female soloists alive today are among the best violinists who have ever lived, male or female. And they don't play Strads.

Right. They play del Gesus!

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15 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

In violins, form can greatly influence one's perception of function.

Not to a professional violinist!<_<

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

 particularly considering the rampant sex discrimination that occurs in the classical music world.

For God's sake, where do you come off with this kind of crap?

1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

 Hillary Hahn plays a Vuillaume , and Julia Fischer abandoned a Guadagnini  and a Strad for a modern violin by Philipp Augustin. 

 

Hilary Hahn is the exception that proves the rule.  Also, as we all agree, there are good instruments, inferior instruments, and extraordinary instruments, all from the same maker.  Additionally, the Vuillaume she plays was actually the instrument of her first teacher, so there's that.

As for Julia Fischer, even though I've played with her once*, I don't know details about her choice of instrument.  That said, there could be different reasons for choosing the instrument she did.  For instance, a lot of artists, especially younger ones, are loaned instruments by their owners, at least in part because the owner expects its value to rise.  (Do you suppose the appraised value of the Strad Yo-Yo Ma plays might possibly be enhanced by the fact he's made a stellar career on it?) The owner is usually free to demand return of such an instrument at any time he wishes.  In other words, maybe she didn't choose her instrument after all.

I also know for a fact some modern makers are willing to "donate" an instrument to a well-known soloist in order to make a public "name" for themselves, etc.  A talented but as-yet-unknown luthier in the middle of America could ask for no more effective advertising for his abilities than to have Lynn Harrell praise his work publicly on YouTube.

In other words, you have even less information than is publicly available, and I hope people who read your posts take that fact into consideration.

* I've only played with Ms. Fischer once, but at least 4 times over the years with Miss Hahn.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

THAT does not surprise me in the least. How many female orchestra conductors have you seen compared to the number of male conductors?

And the percentage orders of magnitude increase in women players in orchestras in both the U.S. and Europe in the last 20 years is due to the introduction and use of blinded auditions, not because they have suddenly become better players or male sexism suddenly vanished.

And Hahn is every bit the equal of all the MEN you listed and better than many of them. For example, Heifetz, though great in his day, couldn't carry Hahn's bow today.

That is my opinion, and you are welcome to it. :)

Back to this thread, there are top soloists who are not playing old Cremona violins by choice and are still selling out concerts and getting rave reviews. Nobody complains about the quality of their performances or recordings being impaired by the violins they are playing unless they have some other axe to grind.

Well, the short answer is that I've seen exactly as many as I should've seen. No more, no less. You seem to be an ill informed amateur living in your own world ( Californee from the PC bend :) ). The REALITY was 40 years ago that there was almost no interest from women in becoming conductors. I've seen 3 or 4, maybe 5 and none were remarkable in any way. For some reason I won't discuss I remember two very well and they were a nightmare of insecurity and incompetency. I never saw a conspiracy against women becoming conductors but I saw substantial bias from the public when women were taking places traditionally occupied by men. Like horn players, "drummers" :) or conductors. I suspect this resistance eased quite a bit over the past two decades or so. The main difficulty women conductors face is not some imaginary conspiracy but the hard reality that interest in classical music is dwindling fast and the massive amount of recordings available for free.  Given that the national schools which gave artists identity are almost gone I'd say things are not looking good for classical performing artists. 

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58 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

For God's sake, where do you come off with this kind of crap?

It isn't "crap." The  extreme gender bias against female musicians in hiring of orchestra members has been well studied. It was only when orchestras began the practice of blind auditions that the number of women musicians in orchestras began to increase significantly. You can look it up.

58 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

I also know for a fact some modern makers are willing to "donate" an instrument to a well-known soloist in order to make a public "name" for themselves, etc.  A talented but as-yet-unknown luthier in the middle of America could ask for no more effective advertising for his abilities than to have Lynn Harrell praise his work publicly on YouTube.

So, are you saying that 'well-known soloists" are willing to risk there career by performing with an inferior instrument because some modern maker is "willing to donate" it to them? That is a bit far-fetched. However, if the donated contemporary instrument is, in fact, a very fine instrument like Fischer's Augustin violin, then it is perfectly understandable that a soloist would use it (and buy it). But that, of course, demonstrates the fact that fine modern and contemporary violins are as good or better than old Cremonese instruments; a fact that is an anathema to some people here.

And I am not going to rehash that old discussion on this thread.

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14 hours ago, carl stross said:

Any examples I could listen to ??? 

David Burgess, for one. Davide Sora, another.  If you happen to South America, Luis Manfio. ;-)  A past member of this elite board, Michael Darnton. :-D

Joseph Curtain, James McKean, Mario Miralles...Maybe Jeff Phillips? Some like G. Michael Fischer (also LA).

I am sure I left off some very deserving luthiers, but I have played on all of the above (last 3 years) except Manfio and Phillips.  If they were available to me, they should be available to you.

This was just a short list of some people who have graced these pages in one form another; the real list of extremely competent luthiers (still living) is very large.  You know that.

 

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On 8/29/2017 at 6:14 AM, GeorgeH said:

In violins, form can greatly influence one's perception of function.

 

8 hours ago, AtlVcl said:

Not to a professional violinist!<_<

AtlVcl, my own experiments have demonstrated otherwise. Not 100 percent of the time, but plenty often. It's interesting what can be revealed with access to some fake Strads or copies, but with Strad labels. And with horrible-looking instruments which sounded quite good, as long as the player couldn't see them. ;)

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