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Celebrating the 500th Birthday of Andrea Amati:
The Secrets, Lives, and Violins of the Great Cremona Makers

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
July 1-4, 2005


Geary Baese, who lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado, became interested in violin making in 1977, focusing on the varnish mystery. That led him to Italy in 1984 for archival research. There he made his fi rst violin, aided by Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf. In 1985 he published his book, Classical Italian Violin Varnish. Since then, he has spoken at VSA meetings, at meetings of the Guild of American Luthiers and the Catgut Acoustical Society at the NMM and the Violin Making School of America, and at Vernix 2000, the International Conference on Violin Varnish in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has written for American Lutherie, The Strad, and the VSA Journal, and has taught varnishing at the Guang Dong Violin Making Factory in Guangzhou, China, Indiana University, and the Chicago School of Volin Making. He presently offers a small group master class, Artistic Varnishing for Violin Makers.

Robert Bein was born near Cincinnati in 1950, grew up in a musical family, and studied cello. He began to work in the violin business in Cincinnati in 1971. Then, in partnership with Geoffrey Fushi, he opened Bein & Fushi, Inc. in Chicago in 1976, at which time he also became a member of the Appraiser's Association of America. He is the co-author and publisher of The Miracle Makers:  Stradivari, Guarneri, and Oliveira and the editor of the revised edition of How Many Strads? Our Legacy from the Master by Ernest Doring, as well as numerous short articles and monographs. He is a regular lecturer at the Chicago School of Violinmaking, the Violin Society of America, and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. During the past 34 years, he has concentrated on the identification and cataloging of fine antique musical instruments.

Carlo Chiesa was born in Milan in 1962. He graduated from the Scuola di Liuteria in Milan and studied history and philosophy at the Catholic University. A few years later, he opened his own workshop, where he makes violins, violas, 'cellos, and viols. He is particularly interested in making and setting up Baroque instruments. In 2003 he was appointed conservator of stringed instruments at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan.

Following his interest in identifying early instruments, he has conducted extensive research about makers in northern Italy, primarily Milan and Cremona. He has lectured at many international meetings, including Bayonne, 1995; Dartington, 1995; New York, 1998; Cremona, 1999; Beijing, 2000; Baveno, 2003; and Maastricht, 2005. He edited the exhibition catalog,  .  .  .  And They Made Violins in Cremona from the Renaissance to the Romantic Era, 2000, and has been a member of scientific committees for several exhibitions.

He and Duane Rosengard wrote The Stradivari Legacy (London, 1998) and he is one of the authors of Guarneri del Gesù (London, 1998).

John Dilworth was born in 1954 in London. He began his career as an instrument maker in 1973, working with Gildas Jaffrenou, a harp builder in Kingsdown, Kent. Following his studies at the Newark School of Violin Making, he was employed as a violin restorer at J & A Beare, London, from 1979 to 1991, when he established his own workshop in Twickenham.

He is a prolific writer and contributor to projects relating to the history of the violin. He has been involved in researching and writing several important books: The Cambridge Companion to the Violin, 1992; Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, 1998; The Cambridge Companion to the Cello, 1999; and, The British Violin, 2000. Since 1984, he has been a regular contributor to The Strad, and has served as technical editor of that publication since 1998. He has also served as craftsmanship judge at the Violin Society of America competition in 1991 and the British Violin Making Association competition in 2004.

Andrew Dipper, born in London in 1949, studied instrument making with his family, worked for Tony Bingham in London (1966-1975), and collaborated with his brother, Colin, a maker, musician, and restorer of free-reed instruments.

In 1975 he went to Cremona, studied violin making, ran a shop, and was influenced by Francesco Bisolotti. He taught in Lombardy and at the International School of Violin Making, and he and Cristina Rivaroli translated Sacconi's The "Secrets" of Stradivari into English. In 1980 he moved to Taynton, Oxfordshire, to set up a restoration shop. He published pamphlets about varnishing, gilding, and dyeing, worked with David Woodrow to translate the notes of Count Cozio di Salabue, and edited the English catalog of the Stradivari collection in Cremona. He is now translating the notes of Nicholas Lupot, re-editing his book about the geometry and placement of sound holes, and producing books about the plucked stringed instruments of Antonio Stradivari and the geometry of the Cremonese violin. Recent restorations include a bass lute by W. Tieffenbrucker, 1601, a six-string violette by Grancino, 1701, a cello by A. F. Mayr, 1737, and a piccolo cello by the Kolmern family, ca. 1730.

Raymond Erickson is Professor of Music at the City University of New York. As a scholar, he has made important contributions to computer applications in musicology, medieval music theory, Bach interpretation, and cultural history of the early modern period. As a musician, he has concertized and recorded as harpsichordist and pianist and will tour Germany and Austria in the fall. Much of his teaching is devoted to historical performance practices, and he has reintroduced the lost practices of improvisation into his public performances.

As Director of thirteen cross disciplinary Academies, sponsored by the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities with NEH funding, he created a unique environment for mutual exchanges between scholars and performing artists. Several of these academies and related public outreach programs have had Italian themes (including one about 17th century Venice held at the National Music Museum in Vermillion). The beautifully illustrated Schubert's Vienna (Yale University Press, 1997) is an outgrowth of another.

He is the founding Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

Joseph Grubaugh studied music at the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific and then started his apprenticeship with A. C. Muller. He met Sigrun Seifert at the shop of Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles in 1977, and they established a workshop in San Francisco in 1979. A year later, they moved north across the Golden Gate bridge to Petaluma, California. They began making violins jointly in 1982. Grubaugh and Seifert have received five gold medals and four silver medals, as well as a score of other awards and prizes for tone and workmanship—at Violin Society of America competitions—for their work together.

Ben Hebbert, after a three-year apprenticeship with a London auction house, took a degree in musical instrument making at London Guildhall University and his M.M. degree in historical musicology at the University of Leeds. He worked briefly at a firm of violin dealers in London, before winning a major scholarship to the University of Oxford. In his doctoral thesis (in progress), The London Music Trade 1650-1725, he examines the commercial rise of English musical instrument makers in the late seventeenth century. His interests extend to most aspects of stringed instruments. Beginning in September, he will be a fellow in art history at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Philip J. Kass is a respected expert, appraiser, consultant, and writer about classic stringed instruments and bows. From 1977 to 2002, he was an associate of William Moennig & Son of Philadelphia, where he handled many of the world's great stringed instruments. He has published numerous articles in The Strad and the Journal of the Violin Society of America, as well as in such other periodicals as Smithsonian Magazine and Strings. He was also a contributing author to The British Violin:  400 Years of Violin Making in the British Isles, published by the British Violin Making Association in 1999. He has spoken about these and other topics on numerous occasions for the Violin Society of America, The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, and the British Violin Making Association. A member of the Violin Society of America since 1975, he served as President of that organization from 1997 to the beginning of 1999.

Joshua Koestenbaum combines his career as Associate Principal Cello of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with active solo and chamber music performances. A member of the SPCO since 1980, he has appeared frequently as soloist with the orchestra and, during the 2001-2002 season, replaced Heinrich Schiff on short notice, playing Haydn's Concerto in C. He has also served as principal cellist of the Aspen Festival Orchestra; assistant principal cellist of the Yale Philharmonia, the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; and, principal cellist of the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, Pinchas Zukerman, Hugh Wolff, Jeffrey Kahane, and fellow SPCO musicians at home and at the Rolandseck Festival in Germany.

John Koster has been Professor of Music and Conservator at the National Music Museum since 1991. A leading authority on the history of keyboard instruments, he is a frequent contributor to major international scholarly journals and is the author of numerous articles in the most recent edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. His book, Keyboard Musical Instruments in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1994), was awarded the Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize by the American Musical Instrument Society for "the most distinguished English-language book about musical instruments published in 1994 and 1995." The recipient of major fellowships from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he is completing a major book, Early Netherlandish Harpsichord Making from Its Origins to 1600.

Sergiu Luca, a native of Rumania, made his debut with the Haifa Symphony at the age of nine. Following studies in England and Switzerland, he came to the U.S. to study with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute.

Soon after his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965, he was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to play the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic for a CBS-TV tribute to the Finnish composer. Since then, he has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, Israel, Latin America, and the U.S., including Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Rochester, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, New Philharmonia of London, and the Zurich Tonhall Orchestra.

An early exponent of period tunings, bows, instruments, and practices, his recordings of the complete unaccompanied works of J. S. Bach were the first done with a period instrument. Subsequent recordings of music by Bartók, Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tartini, Janacek, and William Bolcom earned wide acclaim.

He also collaborates with such keyboard artists as Emanuel Ax, Albert Fuller, Peter Serkin, and Malcolm Bilson.

Christopher Reuning, violin maker, restorer, and expert, grew up in a musical family and began playing cello at the age of seven. At the age of twelve, he became a violin-making apprentice at the House of Primavera in Philadelphia. For the next six years, in order to supplement his Philadelphia training, he frequently traveled to Cremona to work with Virgilio Capellini.

He has been director of Reuning & Son Violins since 1978, and purchased the business from his parents in 1984. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, an advisor to the violin-making department at The North Bennett Street School in Boston, and on the board of The Boston Chamber Music Society.

Duane Rosengard studied double bass at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has played in orchestras in Veracruz, Buffalo, Rochester, and, since 1986, in the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The results of his research in north Italian archives have been published in The Strad and Strings, the journals of the Violin Society of America and the International Society of Bassists, and Liuteria, Musica e Cultura. His first book, Cremonese Double Basses, was published in 1992. With Carlo Chiesa, he co-authored The Stradivari Legacy and contributed to Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. Other collaborative projects have included The Late Cremonese Violin Makers with Dmitry Gindin, the English language edition of Annibale Fagnola, Annibalotto Fagnola, Stefano Vittorio Fasciolo, Riccardo Genoveso, and updated entries for MGG and the Grove Dictionary. His book, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1711-1786):  The Life and Achievements of a Master Maker of Violins, was published in 2000. In recent years, he has been working with Charles Beare and others on a study of Venetian stringed instrument makers. He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey, with his wife, Sara, and their two children.

Andrew Ryan is a graduate of The Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City and Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has attended and lectured at the violin making workshop at Oberlin College, and is a member of The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. He worked for Peter Paul Prier Violins in Salt Lake City and Edward Withers in London, prior to becoming shop foreman at Reuning & Son Violins in 1994. In 2004 he was one of eight violin makers invited to the first Amiata Summit in Potentino. He lives in an old house in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and two children, and likes to be found in the garden.

Byron Schenkman, harpsichord and piano, performs internationally as a concerto soloist, in recital, and in duo concerts with Ingrid Matthews, violin. His CD, Harpsichord Variations by Handel was called "dazzling" by American Recorder Guide; Harpsichord Suites and Transcriptions by Jean-Henri D'Anglebert was "strongly recommended" by Fanfare Magazine; and, The Bauyn Manuscript was hailed as "overall one of the best harpsichord CD's I've come across" by Early Music Review (UK).

Schenkman's intense and commanding live performances have inspired comparison with musicians as diverse as Vladimir Horowitz and Jimi Hendrix. He was described in the Boston Globe as "a superb and imaginative instrumentalist," following his solo recital at the Boston Early Music Festival. Recent releases include Harpsichord Concertos by Bach with Seattle Baroque, and Solo Sonatas from the "Essercizi" by Domenico Scarlatti. Limited copies of two early CDs by Schenkman and Matthews, In Stil Moderno:  the fantastic style in seventeenth-century Italy and Canzoni da Sonar:  Early Italian Violin Music on Vocal Models, both recorded at the NMM with the Museum's harpsichord by Giacomo Ridolfi, Italy, ca. 1662-1682, are available in the NMM lobby.

James Warren began working at Kenneth Warren & Sons in 1975, following his studies in business administration at the University of Notre Dame. In his first year at the firm, he was actively involved in the start up of the Kenneth Warren & Son School of Violin Making. During the last ten years, he has sponsored several important research projects involving fine Italian violins, including Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1711-1786):  The Life and Achievements of a Master Maker of Violins by Duane Rosengard. He is currently involved in a project to co author a book about François Xavier Tourte.

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