Eastern European Luthier’s


Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone!

Lurker here making their first post. I’ve enjoyed the knowledge and humour of you spicy, clever group of members so I thought I would join to gain a bit more knowledge and hopefully contribute some where I can☺️
 

I wasn’t sure if I should post this in PegBox or Fingerboard so I chose here as I’m looking for both players and luthiers opinions if they have any first hand experience with these luthiers instruments. 
 

I’m looking for a new violin and the idea of a bench made one really appeals to me. Having said that my budget would fall best in the Eastern European Luthier category if I look for one. Does anyone have experience with any violins made by the following people?

Ivan Stankov

Mitio Dimitrov

Angela Moneff

Due to where I’m located even if Covid wasn’t an issue if I wanted a substantial upgrade over what I currently play it would mean mail order or a bigger trip. Since mail order is my only option right now I thought I would gather as much info as I could before hand so I could hopefully narrow down what to try on an in home trial. 
 

Any thoughts/knowledge appreciated!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lula
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have personal experience of three violins made by Apostol Kaloferov from Bulgaria. You can see and hear his instruments here from a concert celebrating Apostol Kaloferov's  Jubilee in 2019. All three are very fine instruments, one in the hands of my teacher, who is Concertmaster with a solid regional Orchestra (having 'retired' from being a touring orchestral musician), one in the hands of an advanced student, and one currently for sale, back with the maker in Bulgaria. All three have plenty of colour and are plenty loud enough for a soloist.

I am just a  hacker, but loved the two I have actually tried, and would have bought the one that is back in Bulgaria if my cash flow had been better when I tried it. 

I have  no vested interest here, but his instruments are definitely worth a look.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies.

Brad, my budget would ideally be $7000 Canadian although I may be willing to go up a bit if my hair was really blown back by a fiddle. I’m currently playing an Eastman 305 and while it is a great violin for what it is....I’ve just become a little uninspired by its sound. Having a violin made by one artisan really appeals to me but having said that I realize my budget may not allow that so I’m not completely married to the idea and willing to look at other suggestions!

Televet, thank you so much for the first hand account! I will be listening to these clips with proper head phones soon. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Lula, I tried a couple of Bulgarian violins and did not like them. I tried as well a lot of Romanian violins and liked them even less. But this might not mean much, there is always a chance to find that super special one...  In any case I would buy a violin from a maker who's close to me, right around the block preferable. :)  The violin in the clip member Televet ( remote veterinarian in my language ) is pretty under-average though it could be "easy to play".  Of late I have seen a couple of wonderfully sounding Chinese violins for around $500 and that makes me think there isn't much value in new violins unless ( maybe ???? ) from a very reputable maker with proven sales to the "stars". I am quite sure you will be better off with a good, solid German violin re-worked by a competent maker. In the past many of my colleagues in quite reputable orchestras played exactly that. 

Only my two cents !!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Eugen Modri said:

Dear Lula, I tried a couple of Bulgarian violins and did not like them. I tried as well a lot of Romanian violins and liked them even less. But this might not mean much, there is always a chance to find that super special one... 

I find this type of broad brush comparison to be almost pointless without further info. Were the instruments you tried in the same price category as the OP is considering? Made by one person throughout?
Not liking a violin from a particular country, then writing off all others from there seems quite blinkered. Good and bad can be made anywhere. The skill of the maker matters far more than where they happen to live.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m really appreciating the reply’s so thank you! I hope my comments are visible soon so that I can partake in the conversation in a more meaningful way.

Please see my above comment I made yesterday regarding my budget in case this helps clarify or adds value to my question. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dave Slight said:

1. I find this type of broad brush comparison to be almost pointless without further info.

2. Were the instruments you tried in the same price category as the OP is considering?

3. Made by one person throughout?

4. Not liking a violin from a particular country, then writing off all others from there seems quite blinkered.

5. Good and bad can be made anywhere.

6. The skill of the maker matters far more than where they happen to live.

1. Nothing of the sort been done here. Please read my post.

2. I'll discuss when the OP asks

3. Same as above

4. Very true. But I did not write off all of the others. You are imagining things.

5. True

6. I do not know what "the skill of the maker" means. The results of the maker depend in my view of where he lives for many reasons I am not going to discuss with you.

I expressed an opinion in reply to OP's question. When I said "a couple" of Bulgarian made violins that was a severe understatement. As a professional player born and trained in Romania I tried a lot of Bulgarian instruments.  And a lot of Romanian ones. Many hundreds. And I witnessed quite a few bad experiences which made me suspicious of the ability of new violins to hold their initial quality.  Over 55 or so years of trying violins from the two countries mentioned I came across one excellent Bulgarian violin and maybe two or three Romanian ones. Quite a few good cellos ( I can play a bit ) and a couple of excellent violas. In other words, your opinion that I should not have an opinion carries zero weight.  I think most players can be very well served by a German/French violin which received proper attention from a competent maker. You may think differently and so may the OP - it is why we have separate brains.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Lula

Have you considered moving a bit to the west? I would like to recommend a great contemporary maker from Poland.

His name is Krzysztof Mróz and he lives in Wrocław - western part of Poland. He was mentioned there and there by Mr Blank face who I believe is one of our guru here.

Personally I have an experience with instruments and restorations by Mr Mróz and I can say that he is a very talented, charming and experienced maker and restorer.

He won 1st prize at Wieniawski Competition in 1996 ex aequo with Mr Simeone Morassi: https://www.wieniawski.com/9ivmc.html

He makes not only great violins but also violas, cellos and double basses.

One of his violas you can hear here:

Viola by Mr Krzysztof Mróz

Here is his website.

Best wishes!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lula, I would start local and then expand your search as needed.    If you are moving up from a 305, you will probably need some time to train your ear on the qualities of better violins;  playing lots of violins which are available within a day's drive will give you that experience, plus you might meet some interesting folks in the process.    I have no idea how complete or accurate this webpage is, but it gives violin makers in each province.

Canadian Violin Makers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.