I've been working at Machold Rare Violins for almost exactly a year now. I have to say the experience has been amazing -- being able to be around some of the greatest instruments in the world, and learning from one of the finest workshops in the world. I've learned more about the business in the last twelve months than in my previous ten years in other shops.
I can't say that it's all been wine and roses, but that's the life of a salesman. The general stagnation that the instrument market has been suffering from for the last few years seems to finally be turning the corner, and it's nice to see people coming in again.
People I talk to always seem to have this vision of a shop like Machold being like working in a museum -- soft lighting and reverential whispers. I've always thought, though, that the instrument business should be about openness, about playing our part to help the performer. Coming from the perspective of a performer myself, and knowing that so many of our customers are in the same boat as I am (or was a year ago), makes me want to get these fiddles into people's hands to be used. Of course, we are a business: it is my job to turn a profit. But there's an element of conservatorship, too -- these instruments will still be around long after we're gone, and we have a responsibility to the music world to make sure that these instruments are still around.
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