The most respected modern bow makers?

May 27, 2007 at 02:53 PM · Who do you think are the most respected modern bow makers? In other words, the names who carry the most clout?

Notice I am not saying which is the best investment, or which are asking for the most money, or which are the best.

I think bows are very subjective, much more so than violins. The player’s style, preferences, and how the bow sounds with a particular violin, all come into play. So again I am not asking who is the best, I am asking who are the biggest names?

From talking to many this is what I have been able to conclude:

1. Espy

2. Roland

3. Clemmens

4. Le Canu

5. Fuchs

6. Thomachot

The next list would have:




What is your perception compared to mine?

Replies (101)

May 27, 2007 at 05:11 PM · You might also add Paul Siefried and Roy Quade to your list

May 27, 2007 at 05:28 PM · Natalie... I can honestly say that you're WAY better off just doing a search. These threads always go to hell one way or another. Also, it doesn't matter how much "clout" a maker has. What they make might not be right for you. Also, your list leaves out many people. Seriously, just do a search. It will give you enough names of bowmakers to keep you busy until rapture.

May 27, 2007 at 05:45 PM · Thank you Pieter. But you said, "Also, it doesn't matter how much "clout" a maker has. What they make might not be right for you."

But i addressing that in my post.

I knowing i could do search, but i do not want a list of all good bow makers, I want to see what most think are the biggest names right now.

Which big time names do you think i am missing? Not good makers, but big time names.

I know Quade and Rodney Mohr are big names too, as is Andersen and Malo. But it seems to me they are not as big as the names I mentioning.

In the end, it is the bow and how it mathcing yours playing style and violin, all players know this. But you have to start somewhere in your search of a great bow. I think better to start with the bigger names and keep going till find right stick.

What woud your list look like?

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 27, 2007 at 06:17 PM · Well if you care about brand name recognition then probably Rolland.

Also, Thomachot and Clement are sought after. I guess you could go by wait list.

May 28, 2007 at 02:02 AM · This general subject has been much discussed on Try these threads from the recent past (all are archived); in chronological order:

1. "Shopping for contemporary bow-Can anyone give me a suggestion of contemporary bows I can purchase for $3000-4000?” (6/17/2005)

2. "I'm looking around for a new violin bow, and am thinking of commissioning one from a modern maker." (8/14/2005)

3. “Contemporary bow makers-Who are some of the best contemporary bow makers and how much do their bows cost?” (6/4/2006)

4. “Looking for a great modern bow-Does anyone have any experience with great modern bows? Has anyone played some of the makers that I want to look into?” (2/27/2007)

Since I'm currently looking for a bow, I've been reading these threads very closely, and found a wealth of material among them, so you should definitely take the time to read through them.

May 28, 2007 at 07:10 AM · Natalie,

I again understand your question for I went through it a while back, as did a few players in philharmonics here.

When I was looking into buying a modern bow I first started by playing the bows of the most respected makers I knew of because, all things being equal, it makes more sense to buy from a respected maker (you may want to sell the bow later on, or as in my case, leave it for my talented daughter, etc.).

Over the last two years I have bought five modern bows. Three of them were from my “first list,” one of them was from my “second list,” and the other was from a maker that is not quite as well known as the others. I decided to sell two of the bows, and had no trouble selling them because the makers are so respected.

Very well, here is my list (I went over it with a few of my colleagues and they agree, so maybe it is the TSSO list! LOL).

My first list is like yours, but I would put William Salchow, Noel Burke, Raffin and Samuels at the top of the list with Espy, Clemens, and Rolland.

I play with a Fuchs, Samuels, and a Mitsuaki Sasano, which I love. But really that means nothing because bows are a very subjective and personal thing.

I would think that the Nher family, Zabinski, and Kanestrom have to be close to the top of the list, and Jose Dacunha, which I also own.

I have a few students, who are looking at bows right now, and I told them to do the same thing, and the first names I gave them were Salchow and Raffin, even though I do not own their bows.

Hope it helps.

Now a favor to ask: I saw that in one of the post you talked about playing a Needham violin. When I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago a few of my friends in the Philharmonic told me about how impressed they were with his violin. Do you know how I could get in contact with the players who own them out there (I will be there in a few weeks)?

May 29, 2007 at 04:29 AM · Natalie,

The issue is also affordability as well as status.

The most respected "MODERN" maker is J.J. Millant. But his bows have been collectables for a long time now, and they are not cheap.

Among the very top great modern masters (most of whom are living) are:

Thomachot, Rolland, Raffin, E. Clement, C. Espey, M. Andersen, P. Siefried and Keith Peck (d.1998) but they are not cheap either.

If one is looking at affordability as well as status, look at great younger modern makers, and that list is somewhat different:

Y.LeCanu, S.Bigot, G.Nehr, Tino Lucke, Daniel Shmidt, I. Salchow, R.Morrow.

As far as the 'biggest' names, I can only say that judging from the demand, I cannot have enough bows from LeCanu and Bigot. They are very HOT players are playing them, and spreading the news. This goes for Isaac Salchow as well.

Here is a list which I have posted before in a different thread 2 years ago.

Here is the full list:

JOHN ANIANO made his earliest bows under the guidance of William Salchow and he has worked for bow maker Yung Chin since early 2002. John¹s modern bows are made using a personal model inspired by Pajeot and Adam. Prizes: two certificates of merit (va & vc) VSA 2004.

STEVEN BECKLEY began making bows under tutelage of William Salchow. He worked for and studied bow making under Boyd Poulsen. He began making bows full time in 1986 and earned a Journey Man¹s Degree from AFVBM.

*SYLVAIN BIGOT studied bow making at Mirecourt 1987-1992 and then worked with Jean-François Raffin in Paris where he was workshop manager for nine years. Prizes:Concours Etienne Vatelot Paris 1999.

FRANCK DAGUIN studied and worked with Jean-Frederic Schmitt for ten years and then with luthier Daniel Scaffi before settling in Lyon, France. Prizes: mention spéciale Paris 1991; Grand Prix des Métiers d¹Art Lyon 1992; mention spéciale Paris 2004.

HUGO GABRIEL studied bow making with his brother, Josef Gabriel in Erlangen, Germany. He was awarded a certificate of merit (va) VSA 1994 and certificates of merit (va & vc) VSA 1996. His cello bows follow the Tourte model.

JOSEF GABRIEL has run his own workshop in Erlangen, Germany, since 1987. Prizes: silver medal Manchester 1992, a gold medal and tone award Mittenwald 1993, gold medal (vc) VSA 1996 and silver and bronze medals (vn & vc) Mittenwald 1997.

THOMAS GERBETH studied with Wolfgang Dürrschmidt and R. Herbert Leicht and worked with Richard Grünke 1991-1997 before establishing his own workshop in Vienna. Prizes: gold Manchester 1992, bronze Manchester 1994, 2 gold, 1 silver Mittenwald 1997.

KLAUS GRÜNKE studied with his father, Richard for three years and with Hans Weisshar in Los Angeles for two years. He won two gold medals (va & vc) VSA 1980 and a silver medal Kassel 1983 and has judged many international competitions.

RICHARD GRÜNKE studied with Edwin Herrmann and at the Pfretzschner workshop. He joined the Paesold workshop in 1957 and in 1975 set up his own business in Bubenreuth. He has been invited to judge numerous international competitions. In 1996 he formed a company with his sons, Klaus and Thomas.

THOMAS GRÜNKE studied bow making with his father, and continues to work alongside his father and brother, Klaus in Langensendelbach, Germany. He is also an experienced restorer of valuable antique bows and his new work is profoundly influenced by the work of Peccatte, Voirin and Sartory.

MARCIN KRUPA trained with Gregor Walbrodt 2001-2002. Prizes: Certificate of Merit (vn) BVMA London; Certificate of Merit (va) Paris 2004; Bronze medals (vn & va) Mittenwald 2005.

*YANNICK LE CANU studied with Bernard Millant, Gilles Duhaut and Eric Grandchamp. Prizes: youngest maker award (va) and mention spéciale (vn) Paris 1999; certificates of merit (vn & va) VSA 2002; certificate of merit BVMA London 2004; Gold Medal (vn) VSA 2004; 2 silver medals (vn & va) and mention spéciale Paris 2004; 2 Gold Medals (vn) VSA 2006.

TINO LUCKE studied bow making in Markneukirchen and then worked for Hieronymus Köstler in Stuttgart. He now runs a workshop in Berlin. Prizes: bronze (vc) and silver (vn) Paris 1999; gold (vn) BVMA 2004.

MICHAEL MAURUSHAT trained as a goldsmith in Alberta, Canada and studied bow making with Roy Quade and at the Oberlin bow making workshop 2001. Prizes: certificate for outstanding playing characteristics, BVMA London 2004.

ANDREW MCGILL trained and worked with the ex-W.E Hill & Sons bow maker, John Clutterbuck. He is now based in Banbury, Oxford and is particularly inspired by the work of Tourte and Pajeot.

*GILLES NEHR studied bow making with his cousin, Jean-Pascal Nehr in Marseille and then worked with Stephane Muller in Toulouse and Rene Morel in New York. He ran workshops in New York (1999-2002) Lisbon (2002-2004) and is now established in Rome. Prizes: Certificate of Merit Craftsmanship BVMA London.

JEAN-PASCAL NEHR, 'Meilleur Ouvrier de France', studied with Bernard Ouchard at Mirecourt and now works in Marseille, France. Prizes: Certificate of merit for workmanship Manchester 2001.

PIERRE NEHR studied bow making with his brother, Jean-Pascal Nehr 1995-1998 and then studied restoration 1998-2000. He worked with Gilles Chancereul in Paris 2000-2002 and now works in Marseille. ROBERT PIERCE was apprenticed to William Hofmann and also trained with John Clutterbuck and William Salchow. He worked with Pierre Guillaume for 10 years and established an independent workshop in Brussels in 1998. He is an elected member of Groupe des Luthiers et Archetiers d¹Art de France. Prizes: best playing bow Manchester on two consecutive occasions.

ROY QUADE trained with William Salchow in New York. His bows have won an unprecedented four gold medals (vn VSA 1996; va & vc VSA 1998; va VSA 2004) a silver medal BVMA London and fifteen merit awards at competitions in the USA and the UK.

BENOÎT ROLLAND studied at Mirecourt with Bernard Ouchard. He has received numerous international prizes for his pernambuco bows and also patented a carbon fibre bow which won the Musicora prize in 1994.

WOLFGANG ROMBERG studied bow making with Derek Wilson and Thomas Gerbeth and he has run his own shop in Munich, Germany, since 1999.

*ISAAC SALCHOW studied with his grandfather, William Salchow and now works with Salchow & Sons. His bows are close copies of originals by Tourte, Persoit and Pajeot.

STEPHEN SALCHOW was taught by his father, William Salchow and his nephew Isaac. He is currently making close copies of bows by Peccatte and Pajeot.

WILLIAM SALCHOW first studied bow making and repair under Simone Sacconi in New York and then at Mirecourt with Georges Barjonnet. He opened his own New York studio in 1960 where he has been making bows and inspiring bow makers ever since.

DAVID SAMUELS studied bowmaking with Stéphane Thomachot, and worked for Etienne Vatelot, Amnon Weinstein, Rene Morel and Jacques Français. Prizes: gold (vc) VSA 1992, gold (vn, va & vc) VSA 1994, gold Manchester 1994, and gold (vn, va & vc) VSA 1996. David has since has served on the juries of the VSA and City of Paris competitions.

JEAN-LUC TAUZIÈDE studied bow making with Jean-François Raffin and Stéphane Thomachot before setting up his own workshop in Anglet, France.

DAVID TEMPEST has been a professional viola player all his working life and has also been making bows for the last eighteen years. His cello bows are influenced by the work of Sartory.

GEORGES TEPHO works in Quimper, France. Prizes: gold (vc) VSA 1994, two certificates of workmanship VSA 1994 and bronze Mittenwald, 1991.

STEPHANE MULLER studied with Bernard Ouchard at Mirecourt and after travelling in Brazil to improve his knowledge of pernambuco, he established a workshop in Toulouse, France in 1984. Prizes: bronze (viola) Paris1999.

GREGOR WALBRODT trained with Jean-Marc Panhaleux and Stéphane Thomachot in France. Awards include: gold (vn) VSA 1996; two gold medals Mittenwald 1997; gold (va) VSA 1998; certificates of merit Manchester 1996 and 1998; two gold medals (vc & vn) VSA 2000 and bronze Manchester 2001.

JUTTA WALCHER was an apprentice with Garner Wilson and then worked with Matthew Coltman. Since 1995 her mentor has been bow maker Peter Oxley. Prizes: bronze Manchester 1998 and fourth prize (va) Paris 1999.

CHRISTIAN WANKA studied bow making for 3 years with his father and worked in Toronto before returning to work in the family workshop in Baiersdorf, Germany.

HERBERT WANKA studied bow making at Bubenreuth 1952-55 and worked for Gotthard Schuster for many years before setting up his own workshop in 1971. He now works in Baiersdorf, Germany.

*MATTHEW WEHLING studied bow making with William Salchow, Benoît Rolland and Georges Tepho, with whom he worked as assistant for 5 years. He now works in Minneapolis, USA. Prizes: Gold medals (vn & vc) VSA 2002 and certificate of merit (va) VSA 2002.

RICHARD WILSON was an apprentice of Garner Wilson and then established his own workshop in Cambridge where he makes, repairs and restores bows.

ROGER ZABINSKI studied with Vaido Radamus, Martin Beilke, William Salchow. He was elected a member of the AFVBM in 1985. Awards include: gold (vn) VSA; numerous certificates of merit from the VSA.

ps: perestan pretvoryatsa chto ti iz rossiyi. skazhi pravdu chto ti amerikanski master pod etim imenyem. tvoy "angliski" tebya vidayot.....

May 29, 2007 at 01:18 PM · Hi,

Gennady - thanks for sharing your knowledge!


May 31, 2007 at 04:26 AM · thanks Christian :)

BTW, Joe DaCuhna is an excellent maker, and he certainly has made his presence known in NYC and elsewhere. I miss him a lot. When I lived in NYC, he was our "bow guy". He does great rehairs, and is a very fine bowmaker.

May 31, 2007 at 02:51 PM · DaCunha is still doing great rehairs and bows, just more relaxed in Miami.

June 1, 2007 at 06:49 AM · Does anyone have DaCunha's email?

June 1, 2007 at 04:02 PM · e-mail, no, but phone number, yes. (305) 270-3172.

June 1, 2007 at 07:47 PM · A very complete list from Gennady.

The only other people I would add would be Douglas Raguse & David Forbes (Both listed at

I recently tried a bow by Raguse which was among the best modern bows I've tried.

June 2, 2007 at 01:02 AM · Have you tried a LeCanu, Bigot,Clement, Nehr, I. Salchow, Morrow for example?

June 5, 2007 at 01:40 AM · I've had the chance to try a some modern bows by Fuchs, Sasano, Millant, Whehling, Forbes, Espey, & probably a few other names I can't recall.

The Raguse was actually bought by a student of mine.

June 5, 2007 at 03:41 AM · But have you tried a LeCanu, Bigot,Clement, Nehr, I. Salchow or Morrow??

I can tell you that I have compared all of the ones you mentioned and the ones I mentioned. I highly recommend you try the ones I mentioned.

BTW, J.J. Millant (round bows) is for those who like the feel of 19th century Peccatte bows.

June 5, 2007 at 06:00 AM · JJ Millant is a different price category though.. I don't know what his "regular" bows go for (aren't most gold mounted?), but his top end is around $15k us.

June 6, 2007 at 03:09 PM · No, most of his bows are not gold mounted.

Gold mounted bows especially those in G/T, are "limited editions".

June 6, 2007 at 04:38 PM · I'm bow hunting right now.....

Does anyone know how much Roy Quade's bows are going for these days? I've tried out a few of his bows several years ago now and remember quite liking them but I wasn't purchasing at the time and so didn't inquire as to price.

Also, I didn't read all of the posts fully but I would think Michael Vann is another top end bow maker working these days.

June 6, 2007 at 05:17 PM · read the whole post and other related threads, if you wish to know more about who's doing what and who's hot......

June 7, 2007 at 12:47 PM · My first time........

Yes Pieter is correct. JJ Millant only made Gold mounted bows during his last years as a maker. He confirmed this to me when I met him in Paris in 1992.

As for whom is the best maker now.....I cannot get past Noel Burke. His bows have technical perfection (and the finest wood)and having won every bow making competition the jury agrees with me! I have seen nearly all the makers bows mentioned......


Sean Bishop


June 7, 2007 at 02:12 PM · Rolland, yes, very very good.

Also a current Italian bow maker, D'Argenio.

June 7, 2007 at 10:24 PM · Sean,

if it is your first time posting,welcome.

Aside from producing bows in a variety of mounts (S/E, G/E, G/T, G/I) J.J.Millant, also produced a number of his own patented design bows, with that unusual frog (in variety of mounts). Due to lack of demand, he abandoned the idea. Yes, towards the end of his life, he produced bows mainly gold ebony mounted. G/T is more rare.

As far as N.Burke, yes he is an accomplished award winning maker.

Technical perfecrfection, is to be found in the bows of many of the names I have posted in my list.

As players, we look for bows beyond their meticulous finish.

The current group of young makers, is quite outstanding (in their own right). Their designs and crafstmanship are superb, that is why they are garnering the major prizes all over the world.

BTW Oliver,

Unfortunately I would not rate Enrico D’Argenio as many on my list of outstanding makers.

On some of his more interesting bows, he uses the same pseudo fleurs-de-lys design (on the frog and button) as the Chinese are producing in abundance (that sell on Ebay for very cheap). I hope he becomes aware of that soon.

June 8, 2007 at 12:30 AM · Sean,

I meant to point out that in regards to your statement of agreement with Pieter, with all due respect, the "grammar" shows that he is not entirely correct as you say.

Because as he was not sure, he did say:

"I don't know what his "regular" bows go for (aren't most gold mounted?)".

Your post affirms that no not all bows of Millant's are gold mounted. Only the ones in the last years of his life...... and he did not produce as many in the late period as in his younger years.

Hence my post in that regard earlier.

June 8, 2007 at 12:17 PM · Gennady,

As far as I am aware he (JJ Millant) only made Gold mounted bows from the late 60's .... he then worked for another 20 years!

But anyway.........your list mentions many fine makers.


June 9, 2007 at 01:07 AM · Sean,

Now that is unfortunately incorrect.

You realize that he passed away in 1998.

Millant's talent was celebrated in 1970, when he was awarded the title 'Un de Meilleurs Ouvriers de France'.

He made many bows in a variety of mounts. According to B.Millant and J.F. Raffin, it was not until the last years of his life, that he produced bows mainly gold/ebony mounted.......again, mind you, he did not produce as many bows in the late period as in his younger years.

I have seen many Millant bows in silver/ebony.

Filimonov Fine Musical Instruments

member of

June 10, 2007 at 06:51 PM · BTW,

the personal model of Noel Burke, which incidentally inspired his disciple G.Leahy, is very similar in handling to that of a Pajeot, IMO.

The issue with that is, not everyone is keen on that model.

It works for me just as well as a Peccatte model and others.

But it does not please everyone (and it does not have to).

June 13, 2007 at 11:40 AM · Gennady

I am aware of Millants dates. I too have seen many silver mounted bows but nothing dated post 1970. Does not the book L'Archet state that from then on (1970?) he only made bows mounted in gold? Perhaps I read it wrongly?

I have a few of his bows in my collection ....all gold and Tortoiseshell.


June 13, 2007 at 04:32 PM · Sean,

I was taken in by a gold tortoiseshell JJ Millant. I played it about once and owned it for about 3 months. At first I loved how it played, but the tortoishell kept me from using it seriously. It was a beautiful bow, but the octagonal stick was too stiff and didn't handle as well as I wanted, so I just put it on consignment. It was a prestine piece though, and a great pleasure to look at.

June 13, 2007 at 04:35 PM · Sean,

I replied to your earlier post when you stated:

"As far as I am aware he (JJ Millant) only made Gold mounted bows from the late 60's .... he then worked for another 20 years!".

After his 1970 award, he became part of the jury of same competition.

It was during this time that he invented and patended his new design (which was very cool but due to lack of demand, after some years abandoned). This is where B.Millant & Raffin state that from this point on, Jean Jacques made bows mounted only in gold/ebony with normal underslides.

My J.J.Millant (stick of round pernambuco) is also mounted in G/T and is the brother of bow #9 made in 1975 illustrated in "L'Archet".

My bow is featured in "Goldebows" by D. Bruckner.

June 13, 2007 at 04:35 PM · ok, who cares. I was wrong. Someone told me he made a lot of gold sticks. He didn't. The world still turns.

June 13, 2007 at 05:05 PM · dude, your attitude sucks.........Pievi

you are getting some education, afterall, you knew a lot less when you started visiting this site a few years back.

I remember when you would not stop asking questions....

now it is "who cares".

BTW Sean,

If you look in "L'Archet" under J.J.Millant, bow # 12 is circa 1985-1990.

June 13, 2007 at 07:55 PM · Nevermind... what's the point.

June 13, 2007 at 08:19 PM · you're "sometimes" welcome.....that's the point.

keep learning & your case, nevermind.

June 13, 2007 at 08:30 PM · It's not necessary to say the same thing over and over. I believe you corrected me on this over a week ago.

June 13, 2007 at 08:38 PM · .......

June 13, 2007 at 08:33 PM · if you did not notice, since then it was more of a discussion with Sean.

ps: tu peux etre têtu comme une mule....

June 13, 2007 at 08:58 PM · I'd reply in french but you wouldn't like what I'd say.

Anyways Genady, you know I like all these interesting things, and I certainly did not say anything disparaging until I thought it had gone too far. I have hardly been involved in this thread at all, and like all the other ones where bows are discussed, there always ends up being some big heated debate. I was just suggesting that maybe it's not such a big deal, and we don't need all this commotion over some bows.

June 14, 2007 at 04:14 PM · I did not see any comotion here actually.

Sean seems like a nice guy, and we have had some nice posts regarding a maker we all like.

Feel free to get back on topic of the original post above.

ps: incidentally, I (and family) was at Whistler, BC a few weeks était superbe!

Getting ready for the winter games for sure...

BTW, bow # 12 is circa 1985-1990 (showing that Millant made bows into 1990). And most of the Millant bows that I have tried, have been excellent.

June 14, 2007 at 10:16 AM · Hi Guys!

Pieter....yes I too have found a lot of JJ Millants sticks hard and not so great on the playing side. But I am a sucker for Gold and Tort bling!

Gennady....not quite sure what you mean about pointing out the gold bow number 12 in the book? Is this your bow?


June 14, 2007 at 01:56 PM · We got a couple judges for a reality bow-making show...

June 15, 2007 at 08:53 PM · wouldn't they BOTH have to have a grip on reality though........?

June 18, 2007 at 11:48 PM · I have a question for any and all bow "mavens". In the VSA Journal, Vol. XX, no.1, there are excellent articles on FX Tourte, Sartory, etc. There is also a section at the back on the 2004 VSA competition winners. Gold-medalists include Fuchs, Quaide and Morrow. One thing the violin and viola bows all have in common, which seems unusual to me, is a backward tilt to the head - in the direction of a cello bow. This is so different from the Sartory pics, and indeed most traditional and modern bows I've seen. Is this a new trend? What's it for? Greater strength? An aesthetic experiment?

June 19, 2007 at 01:10 AM · Hello,

I am new to the place here.

But I wish tosay about Y.LeCanu. He have 2 Gold medals in last VSA 2006 concours. I notice many american archetier, manufacturing bows in similar fashion. It has been this way for many years now.

I read about many archetiers, they enjoy old style from 19 century more now.

Many archetier, prefer Peccatte style, Pajeot, Grand Adam.

June 19, 2007 at 01:11 AM · Bonjour Céline,

Merci pour ce commentaire et cette observation. J'observe la même chose aussi, mais j'ai pensé qu'en le disant en français, cela aurait moins d'effet sur la masse des gens!


June 19, 2007 at 01:13 AM · I think LeCannu is one of the top makers in the world today. and I agree with Raphael about Fuchs too. Fuchs has won so many comps, not only in VSA, that he seems to own them.

And I agree about how good Samuels is. In our orchestra many have bows by Samuels, Fuchs, and a few have some very nice LeCannus. These guys are really hard to beat.

But as we all know, bows are subjective and they must be matched to the violin.

The value of this thread is its statement. The thread seems to say, if you are going to look for a great modern bow, and are going to spend a lot on it, then where do you start.

And the community has done well. If you read the names that were suggested then you end up with some of the best makers in the world.

I will be looking to add another stick to my collection soon, and I will start with four makers: Whelling, LeCannu, Sammuels, Fuchs. The only thing that scares me about trying these four makers is I may end up with 4 bows instead of one! LOL

Great eyes and questions Raphael!

June 19, 2007 at 01:28 AM · Hi,

Mr. Klayman - I could be wrong, but could I venture a hypothesis? Could this be related to the new trend for greater weight into the string demanded by many of the newer type strings on the market and the general trend towards greater weight in playing in general as a primary means of sound production (not necessarily expression) with the bow???


June 19, 2007 at 01:33 AM · Translation of Mr. Vachon's first post (so Mr. Vachon does not get in trouble for posting in another language other than English):

Thank you for the commentary and observation. I have observed the same thing too, but I think that it will affect people less (or cause less of a reaction) if I write it in French.

Mr. Vachon, it would have affected less people because of course few would have understood it! LOL Seems I ruined your plan. LOL

But really, the members are very academic, I think they know languages well.... so not sure that it will affect people less.

BTW I too think Celine is correct. Should I write it in Greek?

June 19, 2007 at 01:51 AM · Greetings,

I said in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,

I said it in Latin and Greek.

But I wholly forgot,

At the end of the day,

English is the language we speak.



June 19, 2007 at 02:21 AM · Salut Christian,

Merci pour votre message en français.

About style of bows, I feel that many archetier today, make fantastic bows for playing and they are not so hard like many think.

Pour example, bows of Edwin Clement, LeCanu, Bigot, Raffin, Thomachot are fantastic in feeling, balance and sound.

They have nothing doing with Sartory.

When I was in Germany some months ago, I tried very beutiful one bow of Isaac Salchow.

I feel he is also very good maker in French style.

June 19, 2007 at 02:33 AM · She is French and she sticks with the French makers, makes sense.

Those, besides Roland, are the biggest names in France today. I have heard good things about Bigot, but to be fair to this thread, which is about reputation and clout, he does not have the name that the others have.

A French name that has been missing is Grandchamp, who has a 2 year wait.

The Nher family is also very well known, not just Gilles.

Would I buy a Bigot? Of course I would! I would buy the best bow I could find, but the point of this thread, if I understand it correctly, is where to start...what names are the biggest names, to start out with. And while it makes sense to me to honor tradition and go with the French makers, I do not think that Bigot has the name of the others just menitoned, or the name of Grandchamp.

I say this from years of being in Europe.

Having said all this I think I will probably run into a great Bigot and end up buying it! LOL

(again I am not saying Bigot does not make good bows, I am sure he does, and i have not played one, so hard for me to say more).

But almost all the names that have been mentioned so far have won a lot of comps, Bigot has not won anything that I am aware of.

Does anyone know what Grandchamp and Clement ask for these days?

June 19, 2007 at 03:17 AM · I think you have agenda here?

Just so you know, Bigot is one of top respected names in Europe, for making, repares and expertise.

As Mr. Gennady show before, Bigot was winner in 1999 Concours Etienne Vatelot

Many top players, waiting for bow from him, including your Elmar Oliveira.

Grandchamp is excellent too, he makes personal styel bow, he is older like Thomachot.

If we see great bows here (American, French, anything) and I can try compare, I can say my opinion, honest.

I am say my opinion about makers I try alredy, and Bigot make fantastic bow now like also LeCanu do.


I also want to say, I try beutiful bow of Tino Lucke and Thomas M. GERBETH (both from Germany :)

June 19, 2007 at 04:11 AM · Ok, celline. If you think Bigot is as well respected in France as the others you mentioned, than so be it. I guess we all run in our own circles and that affects our perspective.

As for Lucke and Thomas M. Gerbeth, great makers, and also well known. I just played a Gerbeth a while back and loved it. I did not end up buying it, but it was a good bow.

BTW Bigot did not win the comp you mentinoed. He earned 2nd in the bass bow category. As far as I know he has not earned anything in any violin bow comp. How much that means I do not know. But comps do a lot for a reputation. Having said that some of the biggest names in violin-making have not even entered a comp. So, what do I know? LOL

A name that has been missing is Sasano, who has won a ton of things. And what about Burke? Has anyone played a bow by these two?

June 19, 2007 at 04:20 AM · I borrowed a gold mounted Thomachot that my stand partner has. Wow. I simply held on and the bow did all the work.

June 19, 2007 at 06:58 AM · Andreas,

Bigot is very important maker, expert, and restorer. His experience for working as manager of shop for J.F.Raffin for 10 years, is nown to every person (I think?). His work speaks to the soul.

Concours is not everyting. Silver medal in Concours Etienne Vatelot is very big deal (I think).

From reading for a long time, many like Bigot there (in your country) too.

I hear, many players in Japan, Taiwan and Korea want Bigot too. So it is global (the feeling of opinion).

Mr. Gennady said many great things about Bigot, and it look like many wait for his bow now.

Oui Ray,

I like very much Thomachot.

A grand maker!

and about Burke, I try his bow too. Very nice for player who like the Pajeot kind bow.

For me, Sasano is similar like his teacher - Thomachot.

I like more originals!

Tell me, you see Gilles Nehr tête-bêche bow?

that is very new idea!


I want to make point, that I not only like bows from France, but I very much like older violins from Italia too.

Also, like Andreas said to be fair about this discussion who is most best maker in Europe, players do not see or play bows made by Espy, Fuchs, Samuels, Wheling and Morrow.

But we (sometime) see work of Isaac Salchow (he never win any prize, because he never enter any concours). Please keep the perspectif...big name also depend on local advertising.

What is big for you, may not be big for Europe.

But if you show us the work to some place like Musicora, then we can see and tell after.

Please understand, is very international now.

Merci mille fois Laurie!!

June 19, 2007 at 09:59 AM · Hi,

Andreas - thank you for translating my message. I guess that as I normally function in French, I wanted to jump on the occasion to use it here.


June 19, 2007 at 11:27 AM · From Celine P:

"here in Europe, players do not see or play bows made by Espy, Fuchs, Samuels, Wheling and Morrow.

But we (sometime) see work of Isaac Salchow (he never win any prize, because he never enter any concours). Please keep the perspectif...big name also depend on local advertising.

What is big for you, may not be big for Europe."


While it's true that many reputations have come from advertising, I don't think that's the case with most of the names you have mentioned.

If an American maker has enough business in the US, there is little incentive to go after the world market, and plenty of reasons not to bother.

Shipping to Europe or even Canada involves a lot of paper work, and the recipient often needs to pay the government a deposit equal to the "value added" tax just to receive and try the item.

Selling in a foreign market can be easier if a maker has a foreign representative, but then the maker must be able to make and sell the bows or violins for much less so that the dealer can make a profit.

For an American maker who has plenty of business, why bother, other than for ego reasons?

Many of us are makers because we love what we do, and anything which takes us away from the bench is avoided (especially paperwork; yuck!) The last time I shipped a violin to Europe, I spent at least half a day making phone calls and filling out complicated forms. Domestic shipments take about 15 minutes. Given a choice between the two, which do you think I prefer?

David Burgess

June 19, 2007 at 08:48 PM · if I understand you inwhat you say, then name of this discussion must follow:

The most respected modern bow makers in the USA?

like many other work in life, people around the globe like French perfume, wine, Fromage frais, many thing like that.

We see that many plyayer around in many country love bow from France.

From sometime, I see that there some here who say funny things for reason??

I read many discussion here, and I see how many player love bow from many great maker French.

I hoping that you understand what I say, and I don't putting down any here.

If I see good bow I like, I tell you.

I also agree with earlier post by some that most exciting maker here now (in Europe) is Thomachot, Raffin, Clement, Y.LeCanu, S.Bigot, G.Nehr, Tino Lucke, Daniel Shmidt, Gerbeth, P. Oxley, Noel Burke, Jean Alexandre Narros, I. Salchow (we see Hilary Hahn bow).

June 20, 2007 at 12:40 AM · My apologies if I mis-understood your post. Many of the bow makers in France are among the very finest, and American makers don't hesitate to credit their training in France.

My concern was that someone might think that a maker of the quality of Espey got his reputation through advertising, or that a low number of bows in Europe might be interpreted to mean that they are not good.

June 20, 2007 at 01:23 AM · from things I hear and read, Espy has reputation because he was learning with Thomachot (like many many other maker), bien sûr.

June 20, 2007 at 01:42 AM · The late, great Mike Royko vigorously protested against the degradation of one of the world's most beautiful languages, Chicagoese, through the misuse of the word "clout". In Royko's words:

[W]hat clout is in Chicago is political influence, as exercised through patronage, fixing, money, favors, and other traditional City Hall methods.

The easiest way to explain clout is through examples of the way it might be used in conversation.

“Nah, I don't need a building permit—I got clout in City Hall.”

“Hey, Charlie, I see you made foreman. Who's clouting for you?”

“Lady, just tell your kid not to spit on the floor during trial and he'll get probation. I talked to my clout and he talked to the judge.”

“My tax bill this year is $1.50. Not bad for a three-flat, huh? I got clout in the assessor's office.”

“Ever since my clout died, they've been making me work a full eight hours. I've never worked an eight-hour week before.”

“My clout sent a letter to the mayor recommending me for a judgeship. Maybe I'll enroll in law school.”

Get the idea? Clout is used to circumvent the law, not to enforce it. It is used to bend rules, not follow them.

Royko was wonderful. I still mourn him.

June 20, 2007 at 02:28 AM · "I can be misunderstood in several different languages" - Oscar Levant

June 20, 2007 at 02:38 AM · Clout, good or bad is also earned. I liked the bit about clout, but this thread has little to do with rules and law. The premise was, when starting to look for a great bow you start with the people with the most "clout," or the best reputation. That makes sense to me. If that is the starting point then the question is, "who are the makers with the best reputation?"

It is a strange thread, however, because we seem to haggle a bit while in full agreement. LOL

June 20, 2007 at 04:33 AM · Can I tell you, that if you want know, the Grand Master French Archetier many want in many countrys (USA, Japan, Asia).

That is count very much so, "CLOUT"!

If you visit Rue de Rome in Paris (or Musicora), you see what I am speaking, many come from all countrys to have French bow.

Americans we like en France is Jonny Depp, Tom Cruise, Peter Boyle pardon me :)

We never see and hear maker you talk about.

In the internet also, players in Asia and Japan talk about French grand masters. c'est réalité..

also Andreas, I want say you that it is not nice how you make things in your post.

You not know Bigot (maybe others too), but you say bad things and you never see or try work of him.

Many friends of me in France, Suisse and germany come to him for service and for bow from him. He is fantastic!

I like very much too LeCanu, Clement, Raffin, Thomachot, Rolland (but he now is more American in Boston).

I read before and Mr Gennady saying very correct that it is difference in older and younger generation maker. The price is different too.

June 20, 2007 at 07:28 AM · I own a Bigot. I like it because it gives a very clean, immediate response.

June 20, 2007 at 09:19 AM · Celine, I never said bad things about Bigot. In fact, I repeatedly stated that he is a good maker. What I did say was this thread is about who the most well known makers are, and I said I do not think he is as well known as the others mentioned, who have won so many more comps. This is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact. But does that make him a “lesser maker?” No, I do not think so. He is regarded as a world-class maker. Is that saying bad things about him? I even went on to say that I would certainly play his bow and if I loved it I would buy it.

What is this business about having said bad things about him?

Miss Grossman, you play on a Bigot, and I thank you for your comments on the bow (it helps us all know more about him). Do you think I have in anyway put down the maker you must esteem dearly?

It is a very strange thread! LOL

June 20, 2007 at 01:43 PM · Celine;

I one wanted to try some of these fine French bows and travel is not a problem, would you recommend visiting the makers in France, or contacting Mr. Filimonov?

June 20, 2007 at 04:05 PM · I read many discussion before, and if I understand, you David is a maker of violons?

If you want try many good bow in same time, come to Musicora.. :)

to Andreas,

you say: "This is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact. "

Pardon me, BUT it is fact that S.Bigot is one of the best yuong maker in Europe, and he in near future is like Raffin for expertise and repairations.

Do not try make his name anything else. He is the same popularity like LeCanu here (Europe) and Asia and Japan (fact!).

Again I say the name well nown to you (what you think) is not Known completely (not nown) in Europe.

The name I say before, is nown to player in many countrys encluding USA.

June 20, 2007 at 04:34 PM · Mr. Burgess: LOL

Celine, what I meant by fact is that he has won little in comps. This is a fact, and that most (not all) of the others we mentioned, have won a lot in comps, this is a fact. That is the fact I was talking about, nothing more.

As to him being as popular in Europe and Asia, as the other makers, that is not my perception and it is not the perception of the players in France that I know of (I have played with many and keep in touch on a pretty regular basis), but if you say so, then so be it. It is not worth arguing.

BTW, Mr. Burgess: I could not agree with you more about how shipping has affected the market. Players in Europe play European instruments and bows, and vice versa, because of the shipping distance between the two continents

The irony in your comment is that the shipping distance between us has not affected your reputation in Europe. In Europe you and Sygmuntowicz are nevertheless the most well known modern makers from the U.S. Many I know in Greece would love to try your violins because they are incredibly well spoken of all over the world.

June 20, 2007 at 05:33 PM · Yea I was about to say, the only guys my European friends know about are Burgess and Zyg (probably just because he's so expensive).

The Europeans have their own Curtin/Alf/Boreman rat pack so it seems they stick mostly to that.

June 21, 2007 at 04:01 AM · I see Andreas realy not live in Europe but want you and me to think this.

Again, not nice speaking about him (Bigot) like such.

Because you say: "As to him being as popular in Europe and Asia, as the other makers..."

The "other makers" you say (from USA), are not know in Europe, and not known in Asia. I have friends from Japan, Korea, Taiwan who learn in Paris Coservatoire. They tell me who most popular is.

In bow, it is how I say before.

It is for this reason I explain that the name of discussion must to be: "The most respected modern bow makers in the USA" if you want many think your way.

If you speaking about new violon, here (Europe) we never see violon of Burgess and Alf.

My friends see with me instrument from Patrick ROBIN, Ravatin, Greiner, Isabelle WILBAUX, J. Spidlen, Levaggi, L. Salvadori, Heyligers, Luca Primon.

I do hear Vengerov on the Viola from Zygmuntowitch, it was magnifique.

But many young player, like very much old violin too. Ces't La Vie :)

June 21, 2007 at 04:08 AM · "Americans we like en France is Jonny Depp, Tom Cruise, Peter Boyle pardon me :)"

If we can produce more of those the French will finally like us. That's the secret! nothing else works...

June 21, 2007 at 04:10 AM · tell me how true that in USA, you like Pommes Frites, but many call "Freedom Fries"????

June 21, 2007 at 04:21 AM · LOL! I knew it!

but U.S.A. really <3 France anyway ;)

June 21, 2007 at 10:11 PM · Bon Jour, Celine. It's good to try to clear up some confusions from accross the Atlantic. We usually call them 'french fries', or just 'fries'. Almost nobody says 'freedom fries'. Not to get into politics, but it was just a very silly idea that never really caught on. But now I have a cross-cultural question, which confuses me and astonishes me more than any irregular French verbs that I tried to memorize in high school: is it true that in France many people think very highly of Jerry Lewis?? :-)

June 21, 2007 at 10:12 PM · Bonjour Raphael,

OK, merci for explain to me.

About Jerry Lewis, my parents do like still and many of their generation. For me, it is silly!

Mr Gennady, I understand point you make.

It can to be interesting and see such bow in Paris.

À Bientôt

June 22, 2007 at 05:41 AM · I want to buy, or commission, a really great bow as a gift for my nephew who has just been accepted to a very high profile music school. I talked to his teacher, but his teacher said I could not find the kind of bows that are being mentioned on this thread at L.A. Violin shops. He said I should contact the makers in Portland and a guy named Wheling and see if they have anything to try, if not, commission a bow.

So I went to many shops in L.A., anyway, and I saw that he was right. Should I follow his advice? If so, where do I start? Do we really need to go to France to find a great bow?

June 22, 2007 at 07:41 AM · It is many thing involved to make great bow.

Great pernambuco, grand archetier make great bow.

Not all know secret of great camber system.

Later, if French grand maker made bow, it has great value like other old great French bow.

June 22, 2007 at 11:10 AM · From what this teacher says the guys in portland are just as good as anyone. But which would you contact first?

I just looked at the VSA results and Morrow and Welhing win everything, along with a guy named Fuchs. I see that Morrow and Welhing are in the US, where is Fuchs? Is he French? LeCannu must be French too, right? This seems obvious from the thread.

Who is Espy and Sammuels? Are they US?

June 22, 2007 at 12:53 PM · A bow, like a violin, is a very individual matter. It must go well both with the player's hand, and with his instrument. Whomever you choose, make sure you get the bow, or bows on approval, or with a return guarentee.

June 22, 2007 at 12:55 PM · Charles Espy lives in Washington (state) along with Robert Morrow (his former student) in the same city also, along with 3 or 4 other very good bow makers. Not sure why you were sent to Portland. Granted David Kerr has a very good shop and Paul Schuback has a shop (and Paul was trained in Miracourt) and is very knowledgeable about bows, especially French bows, but as far as finding top French bows, I would think LA shops like Robert Cauer would have as much selection as David Kerr, plus usually shops don't sell too many modern bows from top makers (wholesale vs. retail & margins etc.). I've seen Gennady's collection of bows from French makers he represents, that might be a path to take, but he's not in Portland either. Pierre Fuchs is in the US as well as France during the year, I know I always see him at the VSA and he does a lot of work for US customers.

June 22, 2007 at 04:03 PM · John, when you look at VSA competition results, bear in mind that many good makers won't show in recent results. The VSA has a policy which only allows a certain number of wins before one can't compete any more. Some of the better makers haven't been able to compete for a long time.

David Samuels lives in Israel. The last email I have for him is

Charles Espey is in Port Townsend, WA, along with a gaggle of other good makers.

Phone: 360 385-7884

Also there are:

Paul Siefried 360 385-4552

Ole Kanestrom 360 385-9749

Robert Morrow 360 301-2137

Morgan Andersen is now in Rosalia, WA 509 523-3628

If you find that any of this information isn't current, let me know and I'll dig deeper.

No, I don't have any kind of business relationship with any of these people.

Oh, Andreas and Pieter, thanks for the kind words.

David Burgess

June 22, 2007 at 02:57 PM · OK, interesting.

Now I make and say observation.

Is funny but reality is that many maker (from USA and others) come to Thomachot, Raffin, Gruenberg to be assistant. is much international today, please have corteous.

If I can see game here, many other see too :)

June 22, 2007 at 04:40 PM · Celine, was directed toward me?

There is no national favoritism on my end, and I admire your patriotism.

I was just trying to answer Mr. Platen's questions about where people are located, particularly those in the Northwest USA. I have already agreed in a previous post that many of the better US makers have trained in France. William Salchow was one of the first, and he has had a part in the training of a great number of American makers. So if you wish, we can say that US bow making owes a great deal to France, just as US violin making owes a great deal to Italy, Germany, France and England.

If anyone has questions about how to contact specific French makers, I can try to provide that as well, although my resources for European makers are not as good.

David Burgess

June 22, 2007 at 03:54 PM · Surprised that Noel Burke only gets mentioned in passing. Several VSA gold medals including a "grand slam" viola/violin/cello in 96. I believe his work is even better now than it was then........

June 22, 2007 at 04:06 PM · ha ha, you make much problem for shop who representing for maker. After you have problem with them?

If you have represent shop of you instrument in Europe, what they do in situation as such?

If you to have big career in making, why you not make instrument but always here?

Example - Raffin and Thomachot, are too occupide to make time on thing like forum. Pardon me, just it is my observation.

June 22, 2007 at 04:59 PM · Celine, I'm not represented by any shop. I'm aware of the valuable role that shops play, but I'm more interested in makers and players.

Still, I'm not trying to short-curcuit any exclusive relationships. For example if anyone in the US would like something from Thomachot, my understanding is that he only deals through Gael Francais in New York. Gael's number is 212 977-4820.

Typically, I come on here when I'm taking a coffee break or when I'm "holding" on a phone call. Hope that's OK. ;)

May your future be filled with peace, joy and contentment.

June 22, 2007 at 04:15 PM · if I make discussion of who is best Maker of Europe, probably I see same game? nous ver·rons ce que nous ver·rons

June 22, 2007 at 04:24 PM · Celine, you don't seem to be aware of the fact that David B is one of the finest violin makers in the world. It's not his fault he isn't French!

June 22, 2007 at 05:54 PM · Thank you for the info Mr. Burgess! One day I will go further and buy him a great violin, and you will be the 1st I talk to! (I know of your reputation, many say there is none better).

When he told me about Portland, he meant find the makers there, who are world famous. I do not think I made myself clear.

And thank you Raphael, yes I know that a bow is a very personalized it must be with the kind of agreement you mention.

Thank you Angelo, I have found Fuch’s, who has his bows in a shop in Boston. Don’t think I want to try the French connection, however. Again thank you.

Thanks to all, now I have great stuff to work with. Does anyone know anything about a guy named Quade, and another named Kanestrom? Are they both Portland guys too? What a Mecca there?

Burke is Europe, right? How would someone get a hold of his bow here?

June 22, 2007 at 07:02 PM · Noel Burke is based in Ireland, probably the best way to try one of his bows would be to contact him directly and he may well be able to let you know where in the States you could try one …or even possibly he could send one over.

If you need his contact details I can e-mail them to you.


June 22, 2007 at 07:23 PM · Ah yes, the Portland connection. The major bowmaker in Portland now is Michael Yates who has a great reputation for workmanship and especially playability. He started out in Portlnd but got his reputation in NYC with Salchow. Kerr Violins usually has one to try. He doesn't enter competitions.

Ken Altman live near here in Silverton OR. and is and getting more recognition all the time.

I've been in the "scene" here for quite some time and have been good friends with so many bow makers they must have something in common. Peut-etre c'est le gouter des eau-de-vis. (that's probably terrible French).Tant pis!

There have been many bow makers that have lived and worked here for periods of time. When I had my guitar shop Charles Espy and Robert Shallock worked upstairs. Bob now lives in France (he won the first ever City of Paris competition in the Hotel de Ville in the 80's). Chris English worked here also.

Martin de Villiers worked for Schuback and taught Bob, he is also a friend and lives in Grenoble France. He's judged many competitions. Both Bob and Charles not only worked with Stephane Tomachot but were great friends and I consider myself one also. We have all spent many times together in Paris and other places enjoying being together.

The bowmaking community is a very tight knit thing and it seems to me from outside that they are all helping each other get better without the competition and jealosy that one often sees in other professions. It is more like a guild than you are used to, and I never saw Nationalism rear it's ugly head in the relationships bretween the bowmakers. The French style in making has dominated the scene as has Italian style with making violins, but there are other styles including French and German. John Dilworth is a great maker but he makes in the Italian style as opposed to the English, where he lives.

It's a big world, and communication of ideas has made distinctions of nationality mute as opposed to talent and vision. The fact that objects are harder to send around the World than knowlege is why Europeans tend to see European work. The work needs to stand on it's own whoever makes it. You take a piece of wood look at it for days and craft it into something that looks beautiful and works. The first person to accomplish this could be from Greenland and the style developed there but it isn't important. The work is.

As I read this discussion I can't help but think of bar room discussions about favorite baseball players. They are all good, it's tough to do. If it wasn't difficult they wouldn't get payed to do it. I've tried making bows- it's REAL tough.

BTW if you can hold off a year why not come to Portland for the next VSA competition? You can see hundreds of great bows and play them all.

I'm going back to work now.

June 22, 2007 at 07:30 PM · Thank you Neil! I just sent you an email. I just talked to his teacher and he meant to say, Port Townsend, WA, not Portland. So you guys were right. I did more work on goggle, and it really is amazing that so many of the great bow makers are in that area.

And Mr. Meyer, great post!

I also sent just learned that Sammuels will be in the USA soon, so it should be easy to contact him.

Amazing how well this forum can work if you just ignore a few unwanted emails, and resist the urge to haggle with a few disrespectful people.

June 22, 2007 at 07:53 PM · Last I heard, Noel Burke was in Carlow, Ireland. I don't have contact info for him and haven't seen him in many years. He worked with Espey and subsequently with Thomachot, I believe.

Roy Quade, Calgary, Canada: 403 277-9373

Kanestrom is listed among the Port Townsend makers in my previous post. Port Townsend is on the Olympic Peninsula on Puget Sound in Washington, northwest of Seattle, perfect for people who want to leave the rat race behind. Siefried move there because he'd had enough of Los Angeles. He spends some time kayaking in Puget Sound, almost daily last time I talked to him.

Espey moved there from Seattle, hand-built a wooden sailboat (large enough to live on)apprenticing under a Norwegian(?) boat builder, and spends quite a bit of time sailing. Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands are a sailors paradise.

Edit: Hi Eric! Great suggestion about trying bows at the next VSA competition in Portland. After the judging is completed, all the instruments and bows are available for people to try.

Eric Meyer makes cool, custom high-end accessories (pegs, tailpieces etc.)

June 23, 2007 at 02:44 AM · Esther,

really, this very very funny.

No body know David here, pardon.

We laghing here because after I post, you people try so hard tomake American maker look good.

Very funny game!

You forget,t aht to make great bow, you have need for best wood.

Best old wood, is much still here in France (with person like B.Millant, Raffin, Vatelot, who sold some of same old wood to person like Thomachot, Clement, Bigot, Lecanu and other. Nothing doing with new pernambuco from Brazil :)

and please, I have respect for all maker, but realite is different around globe who is best.

À Bientôt

June 22, 2007 at 08:32 PM · Celine, I should thank you for all the publicity you've stimulated!

May I send you a gift......maybe a pair of cowboy boots? ;)

June 23, 2007 at 01:53 AM · Francais prices for Thomachot bows are a joke. My advise to anyone who wants a french or whatever instrument is to go directly to the maker. It's amazing how stupid dealers think regular consumers are... making you pay as much as twice the value.

Celine... ta guele... I bet no one has heard of your friends. At least many europeans know Mr. Burgess. All the wood comes from Brazil, and that wood goes wherever the money is. Therefore, USA wins, you lose. (Haven't you noticed the best European makers move to the USA?) My favourite bowmaker, Gilles Nehr, only moved back to Europe because of 9/11.

Kristian, if you care about fame, Rolland has the most famous clients. It's just a fact. Also, Gilles is as good as any bowmaker. I have had a few good bows (and have gotten to try the very best), and I think his compares to any modern (in fact my last modern, was from the best modern maker, JJ Millant). It was even better than my $15,000 Millant, so saying he isn't in the top 20 is a little interesting.

The point is, the guys in the states can get all the good wood they want. They have the money. I think most of the great bowmakers had French training, since that is where it all comes from. Thomachot sort of revived things, and of course, he is French.

I just don't think it's necessary to be French to be a good bowmaker. The wood issue is also retarded. Anyone can get good wood. You think it depends on nationality? That's like saying only Africans can get diamonds. O wait, no, it's people who have money who get the best. Where's the most money? ding ding ding. Thanks.

June 22, 2007 at 08:58 PM · So if a great (fill in) bowmaker moves to France after training with a French bowmaker, does that make him a great French bowmaker? Or is it something in the Mothers milk?

June 22, 2007 at 09:38 PM · Pieter, the best makers move to the US from Europe? The best wood ends up in the US?

I most certainly don't agree. Im glad that you like your Nehr bow. The ones I have seen and tried did not qualify for a placement in a makers top 10, not even a top 20. Who else? Rolland?

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen an add from Thomachot, Clement, Burke, le Canu or Bigot in the Strad magazine? I have not. Whenever you open an issue now, you will find an add for Rolland. Why?

There are great American bow makers that I admire though: Espey and Bill Salchow. May I add that they have french training?

June 22, 2007 at 09:50 PM · Oh, by the way Noel Burke used to live in Portland. He and his brother helped us move into our house twenty years ago. A good friend and a splendid chap indeed. His brother Kevin lives here and is debuting a new CD tonight in town.

June 22, 2007 at 10:09 PM · I'm glad that is getting more international attention. But I'm belaboring the obvious when I say that David Burgess is one of the most respected and, certainly in the U.S., one of the best known contemporary violin makers today. He has also been very helpful to us by contributing a number of thoughtful and informative posts on various aspects relating to the violin and violin making. This is no "game" on my part. I've no hidden agenda in this regard. I do not own a Burgess. Let's appreciate what various artists from around the globe have to contribute, but let's not get jingoistic. (I live in Brooklyn's Coney Island section, near the original "Famous Nathans". Their fries taste really good. But they're hard enough to digest. I'd hate to have to call them "freedom fries", as well! ;-) )

As this interesting (and occasionally odd) thread draws to an end, I would, indeed, like to promote the name of a bow maker, clout or not, whose bow I do own - though he won't give me a commission, even if someone here runs out and orders one! I'm referring to William Halsey of Main. His bow is currently my favorite in a collection that includes a lovely FR Simon. It recently - for my taste - bested two good Sartorys. He holds two VSA gold medals, numerous certificates of merit and the Bernard Moller award. He may be reached at

That said, I'm completely open to trying bows of other makers, and from any country. Who knows? Maybe next year at this time I'll be extolling the virtues of some other fine maker from one of the lists above!

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