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What would you buy with Lottery Winnings: Instruments Version


violinnewb
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[Mostly a lurker here. Hi.] I live ~400 miles from the nearest violin shop and never have the opportunity to try another instrument than my Romanian amateur-level cello. Which I'm very happy with! But one can dream. (I take lessons via Skype, so I don't even get to touch my teacher's.)

Last month I went to a conference (I'm a scientist by day) that took place in a North American city with a reasonably large metropolitan area (1.5 Mio people or thereabouts), which has a well-regarded violin shop, as I hear by reputation. I sneaked off to the violin shop. Mostly to try some bows (and I bought the one I liked best in my price range, which was $600-900). So, bows are one topic I know very little about, which means I don't have a dream bow for the moment. But the cello I got to play on... sigh. It was so far above any I've ever played. It was a Russian cello they just restored (the gentleman who took care of me was their main luthier, with a particular interest in cellos), from the 1930s. I know from lurking around here that these attributions are to be taken with a helping of salt, and that labels are nearly always not to be trusted. I don't think it was just yet another Markneukirchen instrument (for once, there was old-looking writing visible inside, and it was in Cyrillic lettering, plus the way the sides joined together didn't look the way I've seen here; it also didn't look antiqued, just beautiful), but that's beside the point. It sounded BIG and refined, and smooth, but with some bite, and also not larger than what I could handle (mine is a "large 7/8") - it was about 9 quality steps higher than what I was prepared for. Even my incompetent playing sounded good to me. I did ask about the price, knowing I wasn't in the market even if I could afford it. The luthier said they had written to someone in the UK to get more information relevant to pricing, but the range was somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000. (I ended up asking for a cheaper instrument closer to mine in style for the bow evaluation, and played on two more - good student models, like mine, one very similar, one a step up, but huge and unwieldy. It did make a difference for the bow selection because the bow I liked best on the Russian cello sounded whiny - with me playing - on the two others. The one I got was super consistent and is fine with mine, too.) 

I joked that they had to tell me who they'll sell it to and I'll try to buy it from them in 10 years. 

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There is this Storioni in Tokyo that I covet...to copy as well as play.

When I have finally assimilated and copied the model, I have a poor concertmaster friend to whom it would be loaned, or if I had enough in lottery funds left, simply gifted.

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I really love my cello, and I really can’t imagine having another one, it’s like having two wives.

However… Played a magnificent Gand cello at a Robertsons exhibition a couple years ago, and I still think about the sound of that cello.

I think I Would spend the bulk of my lotto winnings on some great bows. Bein & Fushi Had an amazing Eury (Eulry?) bow on offer a few years ago, it was so nice it had an entire page on the website devoted just to it. It was in the case with a Techler cello that was being played by the principal of the Dallas the symphony. He did not even notice it until I was playing for him one day and mentioned it.

 “What bow is that?” “You know, I never noticed… Let’s find out…… It is a Eury.” “Can I try it?” “Sure.” And he handed it over, and the angel chorus began, Just holding it in my hands. Oh my god that was an amazing bow. Ammmmaaaaaaaazzzzing. 
Yeah, I might buy that…
 

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I would definitely commission a bunch of instruments. My teacher growing up had a fancy 3/4 size bow that she would award and a fancy 3/4 violin she would sometimes loan out.  I'd love to have a few fancy fractional size instruments.  Some people have a wine closet, I'd have a violin/viola closet.

I want a da Salo viola.  I want a Vuillaume.

But I would definitely buy some fancy bows and commission some fancy bows.  Have you seen bejeweled bows by Delphine Petitjean?

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On 1/14/2022 at 7:23 PM, Rue said:

Well...it doesn't hurt to ask again, especially if it's been sitting there. They may be more motivated to move it now. Maybe go in with a viable payment game plan. Worst they can say is "no"...and you still won't be any worse off.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." ^_^

I visited the shop and the violin was still there. His shop is actually closing in the next few months and said he would be willing to take a decent amount off of it because of that and may be able to work out a payment plan. It has apparently been there for eight years with not much interest. He said he would get back to me in a week or so! So fingers crossed! 

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Just now, MaryS said:

I visited the shop and the violin was still there. His shop is actually closing in the next few months and said he would be willing to take a decent amount off of it because of that and may be able to work out a payment plan. It has apparently been there for eight years with not much interest. He said he would get back to me in a week or so! So fingers crossed! 

Sounds like a good opportunity. I hope you are able to work something out.

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1 hour ago, MaryS said:

I visited the shop and the violin was still there. His shop is actually closing in the next few months and said he would be willing to take a decent amount off of it because of that and may be able to work out a payment plan. It has apparently been there for eight years with not much interest. He said he would get back to me in a week or so! So fingers crossed! 

Woohoo!  I am very excited.  Make sure you keep us posted! :)

(Living vicariously can also be very rewarding ^_^)!

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