The violinists of the Dali Quartet

Simon Gollo and Carlos Rubio stopped by before the quartet leaves for a tour taking them to  North Carolina, Texas and other places in the south.IMG_0029

Carlos is considering a beautiful Leon Mougenot Paris 1930 which I have done a lot of work on inside & out….and is owned by a Philadelphia Orchestra member. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to adjust the post etc with him and we are working on getting the violin clear and focused for his upcoming concerts. I want him to push Simon with this great fiddle!

Simon plays on a fine violin by Claude Miremont that dates from the mid 1860 -1870 ‘s. Sadly it no longer has its original labelIMG_2476. The instrument has a stunning one piece back. I had to remove the top to repair a long crack on the top a month and a bulging rib at the chinrest area  or two ago. While he was here I tightened the post on Simon’s violin as well ….so now they will both be filling the halls with their great sound…..and holding their with Adriana and Jesus …who generate a lot of sound in the bottom half of the quartet!

A beautiful Nicolo Gagliano

IMG_0024This is a stunning Nicolo Gagliano from the 1760’s. Its a marvel of sculptural power and subtle craftsmanship with a timeless feel of  human hands …both those that made it and those that have used it.IMG_0028

Nicolo , son of Alessandro, is the pinnacle of Neapolitan violin making. He passed on the tradition to his four sons – Ferdinand, Joseph being the most prominent makers of his next generation. Giuseppe (Joseph) passed the tradition onto his sons Raffaelle and Antonio – often called “the brothers nGagliano” and they brought the fine story to a close in the second half of the 19th century.

This violin, though small in size at 35.2 cm body length, has great power and clear focus. It is also quite dazzling with its luminous varnish over a shimmering ground.

It justly commands the stage at the concert master position of a mid-western orchestra

Summer holiday with a legendary composer

IMG_1932IMG_1931IMG_1930My wife Rachel’s uncle is the noted American composer Ned Rorem and we will often make a visit in the summer to his charming home on Nantucket.

Nantucket is a fascinating mixture of a meticulously clipped, old village spatchcocked onto a wild island 40 miles out in the Atlantic. A typical day involves a bike adventure out to a remote beach – where you are left with the fascinating choice of the placid,Sound side – or the tumultuous ocean side. Either way there is plenty of room to let the frenetic density of  city-living dissolve.

Ned is  a thought provoking host …and another fascinating mixture. He is both a eloquent,incisive author of diaries , essays on music ,art  and many other topics and a moving composer of art songs,operas,  chamber music and many other genres of music.

All his linguistic ability and creative spirit can all  come together  to produce  a daring and scintillating game of Scrabble on a quiet summer night.