Believe it or not,
it has taken until March to finish wrapping up all the post-convention
With OCTET 2005 now concluded, newsletter
editor Robert J. Spear has been hard at work putting together the
special convention issue—and it’s a classic!
It's in the mail now but you have to be a member to receive it. If you
are not sure about your membership status, contact Sue Taylor at the
central office 603 569 7946.
NVFA Discussion Forums
We now have a discussion
forum section on the web site, thanks to the dedicated work of several
contributors. The following
forums are included:
Discussion, a forum in which any general discussion topic
relating to the New Violin Family can be used to start a thread.
This will also be a good place to ask members about the NVFA,
and, if you’re
not a member now, to learn about the benefits of joining. Open
to members and guests for reading and posting.
Lab, a forum that will deal with the increasingly relevant
world of acoustic research on stringed instruments with a view
toward practical application of scientific findings. Although
for instruments of the Violin Octet, most of the information should
be equally applicable to conventional stringed instruments. We
hope to have several prominent acousticians, including Carleen
herself, available periodically to answer questions. You’ll
find nothing like this anywhere else! Members; open to guests
for reading only.
Workbench, a forum for the violin maker that will include
both construction and design. Here helpful hints and techniques can
be traded back and forth, difficult problems addressed, and just about
anything else that relates to the construction of Octet instruments
beaten into submission. Members; open to guests for reading only.
4) Varnish Room. No discussion of stringed
instruments would be complete without the inclusion of the mysterious
and elusive varnish, which past lore always indicated was the secret of Cremonese violin tone. While that might
not be the case exactly , there is much to be learned from mutual discussion
and exchange on the topics of wood preparation, sealers, grounds, formulas, and methods of application.
Round Table, a forum intended for students and performers
of all abilities. Get needed advice from others on topics that range
from how to hold an alto or a contrabass, size and weight of bows,
where to find strings and cases, music, and to learn where others
are available to participate in chamber groups. You are not alone! Members;
open to guests for reading only.
and Arrangers Room, a forum intended for the exchange
of information on who’s writing what and where. We hope
this will become the central point on the web to both learn and
techniques and methods used successfully to show the special characteristics
and qualities of New Family Violins. Members; open to guests for
Only, a private forum for, well, Members only.
If have any other
suggestions for our new forum, send them to [email protected]
2006 VSA Convention
to include Session on Innovation.
The Violin Society
of America announces its 34th Annual Convention to be held from
November 6 to 12, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. A special feature of
will be an exhibition to encourage innovation in the design and
construction of violin family instruments, bows, and accessories.
Session Chair Fan
Tao welcomes exhibitions of New Violin Family instruments providing
they exhibit innovative developments beyond those found in the original
models. Tao notes “Our present definition of innovation has no
limits, so we’re not ruling anything out unless we run out of
space.” A small fee will be charged, and exhibitors must be
VSA members in good standing.
There will be a public
exhibition of innovative instruments, bows, and their accessories. Any
individual, group, or commercial company can submit an instrument, bow,
or related accessory. There will also be a day devoted to presentations
on innovation made by invited speakers and playing demonstrations of
selected instruments from the public innovation exhibition.
The VSA is an international
organization of makers and restorers (amateurs and professional)
of instruments and bows, players, collectors, dealers, music lovers,
buffs, conservatories and libraries. Other activities of the VSA
include publishing The Journal of the Violin Society of America and
Papers, scholarships for students of violin and bow making, workshops,
a library collection held jointly with Oberlin College, and a newsletter.
Membership information is available on the VSA website, <www.vsa.to>,
or by mail at Violin Society of America, 48 Academy St., Poughkeepsie,
NY 12601, USA. Fan Tao can be reached at <[email protected]>.
Guild of American Luthiers Convention to Feature Appearance by
Tim Olsen, founder
of the Guild of American Luthiers, has announced the Guild’s
18th Convention/Exhibition, June 21-25, 2006, at Pacific Lutheran
University, Tacoma, Washington.
The Convention/Exhibition serves to bring luthiers of all specialties and skill
levels from all over North America and the world together to meet and share
information and inspiration in a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie; to
give luthiers opportunity to show their work to, and receive feedback from,
fellow luthiers; and to provide stimulating educational lectures and demonstrations
on a wide range of topics of interest to the lutherie community.
This year, the Hutchins Consort will perform for the members
state-of-the-art Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russel Music Center.
Joe McNalley will lead a workshop on “The History and Practice of Matched
Violin Family Instruments” and New Violin Family petting zoo.
Hundreds of handmade instruments and the builders who created
them will be concentrated in the convention exhibition hall.
Olsen calls it “ the
ultimate lutherie show-and-tell.” There will also be a fabulous selection
of lutherie woods, tools, and parts for sale at the tables of the many
suppliers who will attend.
Most people, after attending their first Guild convention,
are overwhelmed by the openness and friendliness of their
fellow members, and by the wealth
of information, contacts, and new ideas they’ve experienced. Full
registration information is available at the GAL website: www.luth.org.
National Music Museum to Welcome AMIS, Galpin Society, and CIMCIM
The American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS) will hold its 35th annual
meeting at the National Music Museum (NMM) at the University of South
Dakota in Vermillion, May 19-23, 2006. This will be a joint meeting with
the Galpin Society and the International Committee of Musical Instrument
Museums and Collections (CIMCIM) of the International Council of Museums.
Papers will be presented on topics ranging from medieval drums to the
Instruments from NMM’s nine galleries will be on display, including a
viol by Antonio Stradivari. A variety of performances is planned, including
a festival of 18th-century keyboard music from Spain and Portugal. An international
gathering of performers will play three of the NMM's greatest rarities--the
grand piano by Manuel Antunes, Lisbon, 1767; the Portuguese harpsichord by
José Calisto, 1780; and Joseph Kirkman’s magnificent, two-manual
harpsichord, built in London in 1798.
Any NVFA members
who might be able to attend will also find a full Hutchins Violin
the museum’s holdings. If you wish to do research
in the NMM's collections, you must make arrangements in writing, well
in advance. Registration materials and detailed information are easily
accessible on the NMM's website, <www.usd.edu/smm>. Dr. André P.
Larson, local arrangements chair and a trustee of the NVFA, can be reached
by email at <[email protected]>.
NVFA Central Office Hours
The office is staffed four days a week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Our new office
manager, Susan Taylor, will be available during these hours to take your
calls and answer your questions.