I have been making classical stringed instruments in Chicago for 15 years. My interest in the craft first came out of an obsession with fine, antique Italian violins and the desire to be around them as often as possible. After some formal training in set-up and restoration, I quickly learned that the rising cost of antique instruments was turning most modern musicians to contemporary instruments, and that there has been a renaissance in the violin making trade since the 1970’s.
Chicago has a deep history in the violin trade dating back to the early 20th Century. Many of the busiest shops in America have been here since, and many of the greatest modern luthiers reside here or received their training here.
A violin is the product of an old world, hand-made craft that was perfected hundreds of years ago by master Cremonese Italian luthiers, and very little has changed in the way they are built. I received my training as an apprentice to some of Chicago’s finest instrument builders, assisting in their construction, copying tools as I master them, and learning to build my own based on my own models, ideas, and taste.
I have also had the fortunate opportunity to study an endless number of 17th and 18th Century Italian instruments that come through Chicago frequently. Studying the styles of the greatest and most celebrated luthiers has shaped my philosophy.
In 2006, I opened my own studio in the Rogers Park neighborhood, and began building instruments that are now played by students and professionals throughout the United States.
As a craftsman, I get immense gratification from seeing my completed work go into the hands of another artist to become the tool for their expression.