Who has a Feng Jiang

October 17, 2006 at 06:15 PM · Does anyone have a violin by Feng Jiang?

Replies (36)

October 17, 2006 at 06:58 PM · does it sound different depending on which way u face?


October 17, 2006 at 07:38 PM · No... but I've sold several in the past. Visited Feng this morning to see what he was up to... He's a real gentleman and an excellent maker.

Why don't you contact the maker if you want references?

You realize, he's a maker who does actually have a waiting list (around 3 years at this point), right?

Pieter, I say this with all due respect... I am not picking on you... but it's what I'd advise.

There is a limit to what market research can do for you if you're looking for an instrument... and comments from public discussion board are going to be a mix of good, bad, and tainted (hidden agenda) information. You've asked more questions about more makers than anyone I can remember... in several price ranges... and on several boards... and rather than take the good advice, you seem to come back with more questions. After a while, those who offer good advice will simply stop responding ('cause you don't seem to pay attention). Those with an agenda, however...

There are many fine makers out there with excellent reputations. As has been suggested on the "other" website, why don't you get busy and try some? Not all makers have the lengthy waiting lists (that are often just effective marketing tools), and those that do have a list sometimes have an instrument become available due to circumstance.

Also, as I’m sure you know, just because “player X” owns one, or player “Y” likes one, does not make it an appropriate instrument for you. All that amounts to is brand recognition. It sounds as though you have artistic priorities in mind, or you’d be sticking with the violin you have. I’d suggest you put those priorities to work for you... and find an instrument that will perform to your expectations and requirements.

Good luck!

October 17, 2006 at 08:01 PM · Hello Mr. Holmes,

I spoke to him for about half an hour yesterday, and yes his waiting list is about 3.5 years. What I was hoping to get out of this was to see if there's anyone here who has had an instrument of his for some time, and could tell me their perspective as to how it has matured over time. Also, when you post things like this people typically offer you things for sale. Given his waiting list, this is one of the types of feedback I wouldn't mind as well. I'd love to commission but it probably won't happen like that. Maybe I can commission an instrument, because I really would like one (since an old teacher has a Feng Jiang), but 3 years is a long time to wait.

I asked about modern italians, people told me to try them, I did, I wasn't impressed. Once I asked about bows, I tried some, I bought 2. Now I'm onto contemporary instruments, and I'm having things sent to me. As far as I know, this is following the advice given to me by people such as yourself. Perhaps you need me to take pictures of my open violin case to see that I'm not just a window shopper? Everything I have has been acquired within the last year and a half.

I have been trying instruments and hopefully be meeting with some of these people, but despite what you might think is useless to you, I get a lot of private e-mails with incredibly useful information, and I end up finding out things I didn't know before.

My apologies for being tiresome. In recognition of your perpetually very good advice, I hereby absolve you of any responsibility of giving me any further advice unless I engage you professionally.

I realize that I ask a lot of questions, but the money I've spent over the last year or so is a lot for me, and without the advice of people like you I'd have been much worse off. Unfortunately in these kneck of the woods there aren't people I can engage on a consultant basis that I know of.

PS. I couldn't care less what famous players use what. I've found out that it doesn't really matter, and it seems as if soloists who are listed on some of these websites don't even use the instruments.

October 17, 2006 at 10:30 PM · As I said; "Good Luck!". Over and out. :-)

October 17, 2006 at 11:37 PM · I'll show you what I get, and like I said, a trip to Ann Arbour might not be out of the question. So hopefully you haven't changed your phone number.

October 18, 2006 at 03:14 AM · Pieter,

you must have read the other thread where I described what the SSO musicians thought of the FJ when Oliveira came to play and record with us.....................people were extremely underwhelmed and perlplexed as to why he didn't use his Del Gesu for the performance as well as the recording.

He sounded like he had 80% less sound with that instrument, eventhough it was very pretty.

Does that answer your question?

October 18, 2006 at 03:20 AM · Gennady,

I missed that post. Thanks for bringing it up. It could be different for me, but the varying criticisms are helpful.

October 18, 2006 at 04:02 AM · I find it hard to assess new instruments. Mine sounded very weak for a while but gradually gained strength. If I were to comment on it initally, I would give it a fairly low rating but now....massive difference, different instrument ENTIRELY, no comparison :)


October 18, 2006 at 12:34 PM · "you must have read the other thread where I described what the SSO musicians thought of the FJ when Oliveira came to play and record with us.....................people were extremely underwhelmed and perlplexed as to why he didn't use his Del Gesu for the performance as well as the recording."

I don't doubt the story, Gennady, but I'm sure you know that that might be the case with only a single sampling of any maker's work; contemporary and/or classical.

October 19, 2006 at 03:45 AM · I heard that some violins take a while to open up, and once they do, they produce enormous volume. I play mostly older violins, and never have that experience. But today I just tried a new bow on my violin, gosh, the secondary violin sounded like powerhouse--I have to put a mute on it to reduce the volume. It was loud, but not this loud.

I wonder Olivera might have use a different bow or the violin had not opened up or the violin was too shy to shout in public???

October 18, 2006 at 11:54 PM · it took 2 minutes to open mine up...


October 19, 2006 at 12:21 AM · you may have some problems with empathy...

October 19, 2006 at 01:06 AM · [quote]

it took 2 minutes to open mine up...



I think you should return your violin. Apparently, the maker skimped the glue on you. Just kidding. :-)

October 19, 2006 at 04:20 AM · if he had it would've taken me about 30 seconds.


October 19, 2006 at 06:01 AM · my my Ilya... still getting through things a bit too quickly eh?

October 19, 2006 at 03:36 PM · trust me, Elmar can make any fiddle sound.

But in this case, that fiddle was just underwhelming and closed (but pretty).

October 19, 2006 at 05:06 PM · I like the too shy to shout in public idea... Cute. :-)

On any day, a violin has the potential to be working well... or not. Some instruments vary quite a bit between "well" and "not", others vary little. Some are weather sensitive, others aren't. You get the idea.

As I said, I don't doubt Gennady's story, but it's not been my experience (and I've seen more of Feng's instruments than he has). I certainly have liked the sound of some more than others. Same thing goes for Vuillaume, Goffriller, Strad, Sam Z, etc., etc.

October 19, 2006 at 06:38 PM · Pieter,

Too quickly?? I am still trying to break that 8.1 second record...



October 19, 2006 at 07:38 PM · Ilyusha,

So where are you playing this month?

October 19, 2006 at 07:50 PM · Gena,

Rio tomorrow. Can't wait:) Cachaca, cachaca, cachaca


October 19, 2006 at 07:56 PM · so do you perform on a Joe Curtin fiddle or other?

BTW, have fun in RIO.

Just be careful, some pretty girls are not what they seem to be.

October 19, 2006 at 08:06 PM · personal experience?:)

And why Joe Curtin? Never tried any of his


October 19, 2006 at 08:18 PM ·

October 19, 2006 at 08:15 PM · someone on this site posted that you use a Curtin fiddle?????

October 19, 2006 at 08:25 PM · liar liar


October 19, 2006 at 08:49 PM · I thought you played on some Russian violin when you're not stealing fancy violins from rich people.

October 19, 2006 at 08:52 PM · well, right now I am stealing


October 19, 2006 at 09:00 PM ·

October 19, 2006 at 08:59 PM · you should come to Seattle to borrow one of Dave Fulton's fiddles.

October 19, 2006 at 09:00 PM ·

October 19, 2006 at 09:31 PM · any time:)


October 19, 2006 at 10:49 PM · when are you back in NYC?

October 19, 2006 at 10:58 PM · Gena, email:)

October 20, 2006 at 02:46 AM · ilya




December 23, 2010 at 08:20 PM ·

I know I'm late on this, but I have a Feng Jiang from 2000, actually the one that he made before the one that won the silver medal.  Anyway, I LOVE it, and have loved it since I played it the very first time.  It took me 5 years and many states, many violins to find THE ONE and this is it.   I think it has 'opened up' over the years, although I may be biased because I thought it was almost perfect when I bought it.

I hope you did get on the waiting list for a Feng Jiang.  Now I'm curious, what are his violins going for right now?

Good luck to you.


December 24, 2010 at 06:45 AM ·

Nancy Zhou, 17-year-old violinist from San Antonio, Texas, plays a Feng Jiang.  She was one of the 6 finalists in the Sibelius Violin Competition 2010.  You can watch her play the Sibelius concerto on the following web page (which also contains links to other pieces).  Very good audio and clear view of the violin.


As of this writing, the competition videos are still accessible online.  Don't know how long they will remain.

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