“Learning Trade Secrets”

LTS LogoA new company is offering a series of seminars on a variety of topics including varnish, bow making and repair, violin and cello setup, and aspects of restoration.  These 5-day courses are offered periodically over the year.

“Learning Trade Secrets” is operated by Bowmaker Rodney D. Mohr and offers a selection of high profile instructors from the making and restoring community.  They are based in Ashland which is located about 1 hour SW of Cleveland, Ohio.

Check out their current list of workshops here and I’ve added “Learning Trade Secrets” to my list of North American violin making schools and programs here.

Violin Maker Competition Notice – Violin Makers of Arizona Association

2017 Violin and Bow Competition – Tucson Arizona

October 10 – 13, 2017

Do you want to really know how good your violins sound ? Join us, at The VMAAI Violin Competition in Tucson. We sit together and listen to an open competition of our instruments being played by professional players. This lets us hear all the instruments made by all the other makers. It is a unique experience of all the other competitions in the US. Technical workshops are conducted after the daily competitions, and there is plenty of time to talk to other makers about techniques or ideas.

Competition categories:

  • Instruments: Cello, Viola,  Violin-steel strings, Violin-synthetic strings
  • Bows – Workmanship and Playability: Cello, Viola,  Violin

Visit our website,  or facebook, for more information and competition rules.

Please forward / share with other Violin and Bow Makers

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Petition: British Airways & Musical Instruments


At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on 4 June 2016, Cecilia Bernardini, a violinist flying from Amsterdam to London for a concert at the prestigious Wigmore Hall, was forced by BA staff to carry her 18th century Italian violin on her lap with no case, while her case (not designed for rough travel) containing three valuable bows was checked into the hold.

A change.org petition has been started to have British Airways update it’s policy with clear language around the allowance of Musical Instruments (and their cases) as carry on.  Sign the petition.


Maybe the greatest promotion of Classical Music in the Internet Age

Today, December 17th, Google updated their ‘doodle’ to celebrate classical music.    The doodle is the GoogleDoodle
‘Google’ graphic at the top of the google search engine.  In the past this has been variations on the google wordmark to celebrate various anniversaries.   This one is special for two reasons, it celebrates the 245th baptism of Ludwig van Beethoven (his birthdate is unknown) and it is also Google’s first interactive doodle.

Why is this big?  Google is the most used search engine in the US, and process about 40,000 searches per second, about 3.5 Billion per day.  Doodles are often country specific, but this one is worldwide.

The interactive google tells the story of Beethoven out on the town with his freshly written score.  A series of mishaps cause the score to get mixed up, and the viewer is played a melody and then has to correct the arrangement of segments of the music.  Getting it right moves you along in the story.

This is great exposure for classical music that will reach a broad audience.  Bravo Google!

Play the interactive Google Doodle here.