I am an expert in violin restoration and repair, living in Philadelphia, PA. I have done and hope to do more violin making in the future, but for now my business is solely dealing with older instruments. After earning a BFA in sculpture from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and making art for several years, I became an apprentice at the world-renowned violin shop of William Moennig and Son. Twenty plus years of working there under William Moennig III, and with experienced craftsmen such as William Moennig IV, Dick Donovan, Burritt Miller, and Wilbur Wamsley, allowed me to refine my skills and deepen my understanding of string instruments and become one of the leading luthiers in the company when the business closed in late 2009.
The excitement now is to bring this tradition that I have absorbed out into the wider world. Its a rare thing these days to have spent so many years with so many fine instruments and so many fine players in a day in and day out scenario where nothing short of your best would do. I vividly recall so many priceless learning experiences.From doing a soundpost adjustments with Roberto Diaz to working on Aaron Rosand’s amazing del Gesu, re-surfacing the fingerboard of the great Japanese violinist Toshiya Eto’s Pressenda violin, while Bill & Mr Eto chatted amiably at my side… watching everything I did very carefully.
Mike and his former colleague at Wm Moennig & Son, Dick Donovan have been chosen to be the craftsmen to repair, restore and maintain the string instruments in the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music collection. They will bring all their expertise to bear to make these fine instruments perform at their very best for some of the most talented young virtuosi in the world. This collection of classic string instruments includes illustrious examples by Andrea Guarneri. J.B. Guadagnini,Amati,Gagliano, Gobetti and J.B.Vuilluame to mention a few.