Dom Nicolo Amati cello Bologna 1721

This beautiful, robust example belongs to Tom Krainis – cellist of the Daedelus Quartet. This maker’s label is often put in questionable instruments as a catch-all for anything of obscure Italian origin. Though this one  actually appears to be the rare real thing. Its a noble example that has been through quite a bit – with many crack repairs – worm damage in the wood and  being dramatically cut down. Notice the photo of the upper back/button area. You can see the abrupt squareness of the outline where the body length has been reduced.

The arching is bold and suggests greater breadth than the cello now has (which can be felt in the photos of the c-bout areas)

My work is to cut a new bridge  and fit a new endpin and tailpiece along with inspecting and gluing any of the old crack repairs that need attention. This cello is an amazing example of the collaborative efforts of many luthiers (and players/owners) going to great lengths over time to keep it functioning on the great concert stages  in all the different climates that this cello  performs in. In fact the cello ( with the cellist) is leaving soon for an extended tour of Germany

Weather crack on a very nice French cello c. 1920

The difficult dry heating season always takes a toll on cellos old & new. This cello belongs to Minzo Kim – a talented young cellist at Peabody. In this case I opened up 2/3’s of the cello top – enough to get the crack clamp inserted to close the crack and it also provides enough room to be able to reinforce the crack with a few cleats  – which are crucial to keeping the crack tight. At this point the top is being glued – then the varnish work to make the crack disappear.

The black marking on the top is the transfer material I use to fit the feet of a new bridge to the arching of the top. This cello – like a number of French cellos tends to a big,bold rather bright sound. It now has a Belgian bridge which tends to exacerbate that sound – I am going to put on a French bridge – which has more wood in it ( More torso with less leg) which will lessen the brightness

A visit from Luigi Mazzocchi

Always a treat to have Luigi come by – either to work on his beautiful Antoniazzi violin….or in this case he selected a 3/4 cello for his son. He also can’t resist trying bows while here  and its always interesting to get his feedback. He treats me to his parts from his great Swan Lake solo that he belts out from his Concertmaster chair of the PA Ballet. His son will be studying with Jesus Morales – another great friend. Thats what I like about the string world – its tightly packed with great players that eventually become great friends.