Yannick Le Canu violin bow

June 21, 2006 at 04:10 AM · Hi everyone

Does anyone know where I could try a bow by Yannick Le Canu in the NYC area? I contacted him but he doesn't currently have any bows in the US. Thanks for your help!

Replies (58)

June 21, 2006 at 04:34 AM · 3... 2... 1....

June 21, 2006 at 05:17 AM · Counting down when Gennady will respond?

June 21, 2006 at 01:41 PM · can anybody (f.e.gennady) tell a bit about the differences of a gilles nehr and a yannick le canu bow ? feeling, weight (more to the tip-frog) general impression...thnx

June 21, 2006 at 02:55 PM · I haven't tried (to my knowledge) a LeCanu...

Gilles Nehr's bows are inspired by the work of Persois and Tourte. They are supple, but not weak sticks. The work and materials are (mine is made of beautiful wood) exquisite and it draws a gorgeous sound from my violin (in fact, better than my other bow which costs 3 times as much).

My Nehr is not tip heavy so to speak, but it does sort of "sit" at the tip, unlike a Voirin or a Lamy for example. In my opinion, this is part of the reason that it is such a good sounding bow. The sense of balance and weight distribution for me, are quite ideal. Mine is just about 60g, and I think he probably goes a bit lighter than that. If you check his website, I think mine is #12 if you go look at examples of his work.

I'm not sure but I think LeCanu makes a more contemporary model.

June 21, 2006 at 04:37 PM · Thanks for thinking of me.

I am on my vacation now (in France).

If anyone is interested in ordering something, email me.

I will be seeing Yannick Le Canu and many others.

Yannick has his own personal model which is excellent.

Gilles's bows are very individual (one from the other).

He makes traditional bows as well as the new design of tete-beche bow which is quite unique.

Bigot likes to make bows in the style of the great old Masters like Peccatte, Maire, Pajeot.

These guys are the best of the new generation of French Bow Makers.

It is hard to say which is better, that is why I have a bow from each one of them. It is very personal.

June 23, 2006 at 01:05 AM · in the last 5 months, before I got hurt, I played many of the best modern bows. To me the Nher is the best. That is my five cents on the matter.

June 23, 2006 at 04:08 AM · Jon,

You are not providing the list of bows you compared it to.

Since I am the only one representing Bigot (in the US for example), I have not sent you any Bigot's to try nor any Le Canu for that matter.

So it is not a fair statement if you are talking about comparing etc.........

Besides, the criteria for making judgement on what each one of us likes in a bow is extremely subjective and as diverse as our opinions on the foods we like or don't like.

That is why I said that these guys are the best of the new generation of French Bow Makers.

It is hard to say which is better and that is why I have a bow from each one of them. It is very personal.

BTW, Yannick LeCanu was a Gold Medal winner at 2004 VSA and 2 months later in the Vatelot Competition.

Also won a special prize for best contemporary design/ creation.

S. Bigot won silver medal in 1999 Vatelot competition (he was one of the youngest participant at the time).

G. Nehr - Prizes: Certificate of Merit Craftsmanship BVMA London 2004.

He is an excellent maker whose work I like and I have represented him in the past and may do so again.

June 23, 2006 at 04:44 AM · Dear Gennady,

That's great. I want to try as many new bows as possible. Please contact me when you have any available. By the way, what does it mean to represent a bowmaker?



June 23, 2006 at 05:02 AM · Some shops have business relationsips with modern makers and represent them.

For example, there are some shops that choose to participate in the Cremona exhibit. Those who do participate, have an ongoing relationship with makers they choose to deal with.

I have known the makers I represent for a long time. I knew their work before they ever received their top awards and honors. I believed very strongly then that these guys are bound for a great future.

I am listed in the STRINGS resource guide as a business under Filimonov Fine Musical Instruments etc.

June 24, 2006 at 04:51 PM · I agree that bows are very subjective, much more so than violins. Could not agree more about it being subjective, which is why I said this was my five cents on the matter. As for the other two French makers: excellent! And yes I did play their bows when I toured in Europe. I could also list the great bow makers in the Washington area, of which the best is Espy (again only my oppinion). In the end a bow is only good if it fits you and your violin. And for me, after playing so many, I think the best is Nher’s. But when bows get this good, it really is just a matter of personal choice.

June 24, 2006 at 06:18 PM · The bows of Bigot and Le Canu are very consistent.

I used to represent Gilles Nehr, and every bow I received was totally different from one another.

The one I own, I like very much.

It also depends on what kind of playing one is doing etc.

Personally, I feel there is no one bow for everything, that is why my collection started expanding years ago.

And I use different bows for chamber music as opposed to orchestral playing and studio work.

As far as Washington makers, the most popular with the locals was Keith Peck ( www.keithpeck.com ) who unfortunately died way too young in 1998. These days it is Paul Siefried and Robert Morrow.

I think Espey has become more like Thomachot, making only one style without much regard for the individual who is purchasing. I do like his earlier bows.

June 24, 2006 at 07:44 PM · jon,gennady, ....

just tell me,are your bows round or octoganal sticks ?

how heavy are your le canu´s and nehr´s?

where do you personally see the differences between round and octogonal sticks in sound and feeling, also specially gennady,since you have seen already more than one le canu bow...

i personally have two very beautifully edwin clement bows ...just need an addition...as you ,gennady,mentioned´, different occasions-different bows.

thnx for reply

June 24, 2006 at 07:50 PM · My Nehr is just 60g I believe.

I had a really nice octagonal ouchard... that design is generally a bit more strong, and brighter. Sometimes makers will cut it that way to "conceal" a bad piece of wood, but I wouldn't worry about that with that level of maker.

June 24, 2006 at 08:13 PM · Gennady et al,

I've noticed that some bows will bring out a zzzzz, or sizzle in the tone which I find very appealing. I wonder whether some makers have the ability to emphasise this quality when it is requested in a commissioned bow......Or is playing a huge number of bows before finding the one that does it the only way to get such a bow?

June 24, 2006 at 08:33 PM · Most bows of these makers are round sticks.

Unless there is a commission for an octagonal.

Both Le Canu and Bigot make very nice hefty sticks like that of the great 19th century makers. Nehr's is more slender on the whole, and is more like Persois.

Their materials are superb.

I will be seeing Edwin Clement next week, and other makers later on.

If anyone is interested, let me know.


Oliver S.,

I know what you mean.

I like a bit of ZZZZ/sizzle in my bows too.

Strangely enough, some players actually don't like to hear that under their ears.

It is one of the reasons that I like Bigot and Le Canu so much.

They also have a big pallette of colors (for a new bow).

June 24, 2006 at 08:27 PM · Jeremy

I also own a Clement bow which I think is fantastic. It's very strong round stick and weighs 61.5 grams modelled after Maire. I also ordered an octagonal Tourte model that he started making recently.

Which models are yours? Gilles Nehr is making a round bow after Tourte for me this summer which is going to be very interesting to play.

I think it's great that now you can have a small collection of excellent modern bows for less money than a mediocre french from the first half of last century!

Again I can only say: Try as many as you can get hold of and form your own opinion based on that.



June 24, 2006 at 08:49 PM · My Clement bow is a Francois Peccatte copy.

Really superb. And yes I agree that today's best makers have brought back the splendor of the great 19th century tradition of French bowmaking and are pushing it forward.


I forgot to say that my bows range from 60g-62.5g

June 24, 2006 at 08:58 PM · kristian,...

both of my clements are round sticks,..one is 60,2 the other one is 62.1....

i´m with both of them in love...

the lighter one makes a brighter tone, very alive ...you can see it already on the `nervous`wood..very beautiful...

the other makes a round ,darker sound....

both of them are superb in their way..

i already had bows from thomachot,noel burke, grandchamp - i sold all of themthough they very appreciated...

but the moment on i tried a clement bow from a friend i knew,that´s it, seriously.

i´also thinking about ordering an octogonal 61 gram version ....it would be my third clement then.....

but i´m also having already an eye towards nehr and le canu :-) ...getting a bit more of variety


June 24, 2006 at 09:07 PM · and yes ,before i forget.....

do you order in gold or silver ?

gold is a load of money to me...do you think there is a playing difference ?

June 24, 2006 at 09:17 PM · jeremy, some makers offer their best wood if you order gold. It also adds to the value, but in reality that probably shouldn't a be a big concern unless you have a lot of money to spend.

June 24, 2006 at 09:26 PM · G/T do cost almost double from their silver/ebony counterparts.

And yes they (the makers) do choose the best(est) wood for such bows.

June 24, 2006 at 09:56 PM · Gold or silver

Actually I discussed this with Edwin. The problem with gold is that then you need to leave less wood in the stick in order to compensate for the heavier metal and he advised me to take silver.

Personally I find silver a more beautiful metal than gold. I don't find that the extra price is worth it.

Tortoise shell is beautiful but also fragile. The problem is to travel with such bow. There is a considerable risk that some customs officer in some obscure country will confiscate it.

June 24, 2006 at 10:13 PM · Gennady et al, what is the price range for a LeCanu? Are bows by any of these modern makers under discussion available for $2500 or so? Thanks in advance,


June 24, 2006 at 10:32 PM · Anthony, none of these makers are in that range.

Some up and comming American makers can definately be had for those prices.

June 24, 2006 at 10:44 PM · Pieter,

Feel free to name names in that price range ($2500-3000). Your recommendations are welcome here.


June 25, 2006 at 04:37 AM · In your price range you should be looking at:

Roger Treat ($2,500), Jon Crumrine ($2,800), & Pierre Guillaume ($2,800).


The Best American top (award winning) makers are on par with their French counterparts in terms of price. (ranging from $3,600 - $5,000) for silver/ebony bows.

June 24, 2006 at 11:25 PM · Thanks, Gennady. Let the shopping begin.



June 25, 2006 at 05:40 AM · I'm selling my Retford Hill and Sons bow and will be looking for a new maker. Gennady, who do you think produces the most consistent superior sticks?

June 25, 2006 at 06:09 AM · I will email you.........

If you are interested in French makers, the list would include such big names such as Rolland, Raffin, Thomachot, Clement, Bigot & Le Canu.

June 25, 2006 at 01:29 PM · Hi,

Kristian - your comment worried me. The lapping is independant from the stick. I have never heard of a maker altering the wood because of the gold lapping. The weight can be adjusted by the quantity of metal used. I don't know... I am concerned by what that maker told you.


June 25, 2006 at 07:59 PM · Hi Christian

I think you misunderstand. I am not talking about the wrapping (Edwin always uses silk, no metal). I am talking about the metal mounts on the frog and button. If they are heavier i.e. the case of gold versus silver you have to compensate to get the same balance.

Using silk wrapping is true to the old french 19th century makers and you will se a lot of the current french makers using it. This way you can leave more weight in the stick itself. I don't know when makers started using metal wire. Perhaps Gennady can enlighten us?

Jeremy: Yes I agree I own/have owned bows by Voirin, Morizot, Grand Adam, Persoit and Tino Lücke. When I got the bow from Edwin I realized that it was better than any of the other. He is really special. I will probably also end up with more than two:-)



June 25, 2006 at 09:28 PM · Kristian,

It's great you like his bows.

I do too, and incidentally I am seeing him Tuesday.

Nevertheless, it is also not a fair comparison between old vs new.

The great old bows are great not only for their craftsmanship but thanks to the good wood used that is now over 150 years old. It is just the chemistry of the good woods + great maker(s) = great bow (formula).

Where do you think todays finest draw their inspiration from?

I also have a collection which includes D. Peccatte, Maline, Voirin, Martin, Thomassin, Sartory, J.J. Millant among others as well as the many great contemporary makers.

June 25, 2006 at 09:40 PM · Gennady

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not one of those people who find a good modern violin and cry out that it's better than a del Gesú.

What I meant was that Edwin's bow is better (for me) than the examples of the particular makers mentioned that I had. That says something but not all.

I still adore the fine examples of the great old French masters. Unfortunately they become more and more difficult to find (and to afford:-).

Enjoy France!

June 25, 2006 at 10:16 PM · Kristian,

It's great that you've found something that works very well for you. I contacted M. Clement, but he seems to be fairly busy.

How would you compare Thomachot's bow to the Clements you have?

June 25, 2006 at 10:28 PM · Pieter

I actually never got round to try a Thomachot last time I was in Paris, so I can't tell you how they play. Perhaps Gennady can.

I do know that the two have a completely different approach. Edwin is inspired by makers like Maire, Grand Adam, Tourte etc.

Thomachot seems to lean more towards the 20th century makers in style. Someone correct if I am wrong.


June 25, 2006 at 10:40 PM · Sorry, I thought you were the one who sold the Thomachot.

June 26, 2006 at 12:50 PM · Kristian, I think Pieter will benefit in formulating his opinion from his own experience.

June 26, 2006 at 11:32 PM · Kristian,

I am still somewhat puzzled by the silver vs. gold comment previously. Most makers (modern and past) used gold not just as a decorative material, but to distinguish a better piece of wood that was used in the making of the bow. Gold bows typically were made with denser wood that (should) provide better resonance, balance, and playing quality. While there are obviously fantastic sounding silver bows, Gold bows adjust for the slightly heavier weight of the gold by using denser wood and adjusting the balance point.

June 27, 2006 at 06:15 AM · I agree with you Angelo.

I think Edwin does too....things get lost in translation (interpretation) etc.

June 27, 2006 at 03:00 PM · By the way Gennady, I was up in your neck of the woods last week, weather was much nicer than here in Phoenix.

June 27, 2006 at 03:19 PM · sorry I missed you but I am on vacation in France.

It is quite hot and humid in Paris, sort of like NYC.

and the US$ (hits below the belt)...... very low against the Euro.

June 27, 2006 at 04:05 PM · Yes, sadly the euro vs. dollar affects poorly the pricing of older french factory bows (Laberte, Morizot freres, etc) that I normally get. Although I was up in Victoria B.C. recently and to see how the dollar has dropped against the Canadian dollar was a very unpleasant surprise. Hope you are enjoying the trip despite the weather.

June 28, 2006 at 09:01 PM · Hope some of you are enjoying the World Cup (soccer/footbal as it is called everywhere else), I know I am, especially the victories by France over Spain, as well as victories by Ukraine & Brazil. Awesome!

June 29, 2006 at 06:31 AM · It's great

June 29, 2006 at 08:17 PM · Being surrounded by Brazilians on a regular basis means that following the World Cup is pretty much a given. Seen some great games so far (go Italy)

July 3, 2006 at 06:21 PM · any predictions for the coming World Cup games now that Brazil andf England are out?...........

July 3, 2006 at 06:44 PM · Following the adage of never buy a French violin or an Italian Bow, and since my limited knowledge is stronger in bows, I should pick France. But the Angelo in me forces me to choose Italy. And you?

July 3, 2006 at 07:14 PM · I want France to win. I think finals will be France vs. Germany.

July 3, 2006 at 07:49 PM · my sentiments exactly Enosh.

July 3, 2006 at 09:53 PM · would be nice if france wins ...

on which side do you think is gilles nehr, living in rome ?

vive la france!

July 3, 2006 at 10:04 PM · Je pense: " Allez les Bleu" ...........N'est-ce Pas?! et c'est toi?!

November 23, 2006 at 02:36 PM · I realize that this is an old topic, but I feel it important to loudly disagree with Genady F. regarding his opinion of Mr. Espey's attitude towards bowmaking;

I have worked with Espey on two bows for me, and many of my New York collegues play his bows with great pleasure. I would say that maybe the most remarkable thing about his making is that he will happily, and astonishingly, make a bow to your requirements.... Quite the opposite from making "the same model..." regardless of the players desires..

Thank you

November 23, 2006 at 06:34 PM · Aaron,

With all due respect (and since you revived this old thread), I know all too well the fact that he will not deviate from his model (personal model that is). Unlike in the 80's and early 90's, when every bow he made was a different model (Sartory, Peccatte etc). The other thing is, if one gets on the waiting list, by the time your turn comes up, the price may have gone up dramatically. As it so happened to a friend of mine. He was extremely ticked off, since the price went from 4K when he got on the waiting list, to $4,800 when his turn came up. Obviously he was too upset to deal with him.

As far as playing wise, you try and compare his bows to that of LeCanu incidentally who now has won another 2 Gold Medals from VSA 2006........and then argue.

All this should not detract from the fact that Espey (like his mentor Thomachot) has been a major influence on a great many makers. He holds very dear the tradition of Great French Bow Making. His skills and workmanship are of the highest order.

November 23, 2006 at 06:39 PM · I thought that increase in prices came with the territory? Is it actually standard to have to pay for what you initially agreed on? $800 wouldn't really bother me that much to be honest, but it would be a slightly unpleasant surprise.

November 23, 2006 at 11:43 PM · Well it was a major surprise to him which he did not expect.....and hence did not buy from him. Kind of makes the waiting list redundant. Normally a waiting list allows you to lock in a price.

That's why in such cases, the easiest is to pay in advance (or at least a deposit), then there are no arguments.

November 21, 2008 at 07:29 PM ·

Hi can someone please advise on how to get in contact with Le Canu and Clement? How much are their violin bows now (silver/gold-mounted)?

November 21, 2008 at 09:33 PM ·

Yannick Le Canu is on the A.L.A.D.F.I. list. 



November 24, 2008 at 12:42 AM ·

Yannick is certainly having plenty of successes at competitions!  At the VSA November 2008 Competitions he has just been awarded the only golds given for violin and cello bows. These on top of his two 2006 golds and 2007 Meilleur Ouvrier de France award helps explain why you will struggle to find any of his work in Europe, America or Asia and the wait list grows longer each month.  See the complete bow results from 2008 VSA (Yannick does not usually enter viola):

Violin Bow

Gold Medal

Yannick Le Canu 6

Certificate of Merit

Long-Gen Chen 1

Eric Fournier 33

Shu-Sheng Kot 14

Chong Yu Liu 26

Robert Morrow 17

Pierre Nehr 9

Matthew Wehling 27

Viola Bow

Gold Medal

Robert Morrow 7

Certificate of Merit

Long-Gen Chen 10

Marcin Krupa 4

Paul Sadka 14

Ming-Feng Tsai 18

Matthew Wehling 16

Willian Zucolotto De Marc 2

Cello Bow

Gold Medal

Yannick Le Canu 20

Certificate of Merit

Eric Fournier 11

Robert Morrow 7

Matthew Wehling 23

Bass Bow

Certificate of Merit

Christophe Collinet 2

Susan Lipkins 10

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