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Bow Maker William Salchow, 1926-2014

Laurie Niles

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Published: May 14, 2014 at 5:56 AM [UTC]

New York-based bow maker William Salchow has died at the age of 88, according to The Strad.

William Salchow
Photo via Facebook

"Mr. Salchow is almost single-handedly responsible for the blossoming of bow-making in this country. He taught many of this country's premiere makers, and his influence as a maker and teacher extends much further," said American bow maker Josh Henry in program notes from a concert last October at Michigan State University, where Salchow studied cello with Alexander Schuster from 1947-48. He also studied cello with Georg-Ulrich von B├╝low and Leonard Rose.

Salchow taught many bow makers at the University of New Hampshire. Trained in bow-making by Georges Barjonnet in Mirecourt, France, Salchow's bows were used by a number of well-known performing artists, including Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, Leonard Rose, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Glenn Dicterow, Arnold Steinhardt, Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Ani and Ida Kavafian, according to the Strad.

Many know the Salchow name from the famous rosin that he developed in the 1970s. He also trained and went into business with his son, Steven Salchow, and grandson, Isaac Salchow, the three of whom formed Salchow and Sons Bowmakers.

Here is a discussion we had on Violinist.com about Bill Salchow from 2009. His personality comes through in descriptions from his colleagues: "If you get Bill on the phone, be prepared for a skewering sense of humor from a very warm-hearted man. He also might say strange things just for amusement at your reaction. If one has the clout, why be 'normal'?" David Burgess said. "Bill Salchow has been one of the strongest influences toward recognizing traditional French approaches versus modern 'machine-age' sterility."

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