Friday, December 28, 2012

Orch. Dork Vacations - Where to Travel to See Stradivaris, Guarneris & Amatis. Part 1- U.S.


A violin by Nicola Amati, Cremona 1669, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Written by Andy Fein, Violin Maker, Fein Violins, Ltd.

For hundreds of years, the best violins makers have been making exquisite works of art, and Music Geeks around the world can fully appreciate every detail of these fine masterpieces. But where are the best places in the world for us Orch. Dorks to gather and learn more about the finest violins ever made? There are fantastic violin museums all over the world.

The first place I would recommend is the The National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.

A viola by Andrea Amati, made in Cremona circa 1560

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why Do Instruments Have Names?

By Ben Schuneman with Andy Fein


Sometime in the year 1827, Luigi Tarisio acquired a violin from the late Count Cozio di Salabue and added it to his private collection. Both men were avid collectors of prized violins, and Salabue was well known for buying a large quantity of Stradivarius instruments.
                                                                                    The back of 'The Messiah' 1716 Stradivarius violin

In fact, the instrument was in such good repair and such high quality, that Tarisio would refuse to bring it out of his collection to show anyone, and instead just preferred to boast about it whenever given the chance. In fact, Tarisio was so well known for this perplexing habit, and he played the game for so long, that the famous French violinist Delphin Alard had joked, "Your violin is like the Messiah...One always waits for him, but he never appears!"