Buying a violin from Cremona, Italy
My 9 years old is currently using a 3/4. We intend to go to a music summer camp in Cremona, Italy in 2019 summer and to buy a full size.
My budget is $30,000 Euro.
I have been researching on violinist.com and I see a lot of good reviews about Vittorio Villa. I am thinking to have him to make one to suit my son’s skill level. But I wonder what if the violin is not suitable for him when we try it there.
I don’t know anything about violin. We don’t have enough time and sufficient knowledge to go to shops in Cremona and I am afraid the vintage I buy is a replica and that’s why I am thinking to go to a reputable luither.
I appreciate all recommendations.
I would visit Davide Sora's shop.
Personally, I would not recommend buying a 9-year old a 30,000 Euro violin.
Sou Wei Mui, I agree with George, that you should spend more time to learn, before spending that much money, unless you are in a position that money doesn't matter to you.
If you walk into any luthier's shop or any dealer for that matter and announce that you have 30K Euro to spend on a violin for your nine-year-old, you are ripe for the picking.
I'm not sure what you will find in Cremona. I'm pretty sure all the makers there trade on the current reputations of a few makers, long gone, that were in the town 300 years ago.
Where in the world are you based? And at what level is your son playing? (i.e., as noted, is he at the level where he's likely to enter the junior Menuhin?)
Follow the good advice given here, and check the winners of violin makers competitions including the Cremona triennale. You'll find out that most of them aren't neither from Cremona nor Italian.
Vittorio's instruments are significantly less than $30,000 euros. We have two in the family that we are very happy with. Both commissioned in early 2000's.
Two points you might consider:
Since your son is going to Cremona for summer camp, rent one from a luthier of your choice in Cremona. I believe Italian luthiers are quite happy to loan you their instruments for a fee. This way you dont have to lug a new violin to Italy and it will give you some ideas about what kind of vilions you may want to buy.
Is anyone else sleepless over the expression "$30,000 Euro"? Is that USD 30,000 converted to Euro or 30,000 Euro?
how many 9 year olds are ready for a 4/4 size, I just sized a 9 year old, needed a 1/2 size, I know kids come in different sizes but a 9 year old would have to be pretty tall to fit a 4/4 wouldn't they??
Whether it's $30,000 or €30.000, it's far above what any 9-year-old needs for anything short of the junior Menuhin competition.
Height has nothing to do with it - it is arm length!!!!
I recently tried a big-name living Cremona maker. It could have been a Vittorio. Can't remember.
Admittedly guys, OP said their budget was 30,000, meaning that is the MAX they'd be willing to spend, not that they're looking to spend in that range.
In any case, if you're buying a 4/4 for a nine-year old it's an investment that will only come out of its case three or four years down the line. If the kid is still playing the violin at the time (the 3/4 > 4/4 age is usually the "I'm quitting" age). Big if.
Hi Sau Wai Mui,
Andrew Victor said :
Ah, Davide Sora, I didn't know you were on this site. I've spent countless hours analyzing the tone of your violins (the Yokoyama vids). How do we get a hold of one of your instruments? I havn't found a way, short of flying to Cremona.
I kinda see Sau Wai Mui's plight. You want the best for your kids, even if she can't hold a full sized violin just yet. Personally, my son is 10 months old, but there's a couple fancy, full sized violins waiting for him when he's ready. Lots of fancy bows too. i'm using them all myself until he's big enough, so I'm having lots of fun in the process.
Some amateur thoughts on the new Italian instruments since this was stroked up:
I couldnt edit my previous post but just to clarify, amateur thoughts not on Italian violins per se...but on attitudes towards them.
The finest violins can be made anywhere, but the best tone wood tend to come from certain regions of the planet. Spruce from Northern Italy and maple from the Balkans. That's the old world formula. I got that from a lecture by Sam Z.
Instruments for children, especially those headed towards pre-professional studies and competitions (which presumably is likely the case for anyone contemplating spending $35k for a 9-year-old) should be carefully chosen under the guidance of a teacher. The teacher will want an instrument that can optimally guide the student in their learning of professional tone production. That's more likely to be an older instrument that has a stable and predictable tone, than a brand-new commission whose development requires an already-skilled player and whose tone will change over time.
I don't think a teacher will go to Cremona to help choose an instrument. Or maybe they will for a free trip.
Tom Supakorndej wrote :
The poster did not make it clear if the intent was to buy the best violin for playing on the market or the best violin as an investment - the two sometimes convergent but too often divergent means to assess value. I would love to have a clarification if the objective of buying an Italian Cremona is to ensure value as well as to ensure quality.
I agree with what others have said above: buy him an instrument that will get him to high school level, then if he decides on music as a career you will have enough saved up for a good professional instrument.
Hi. Just on a brief and now-a-days very occasional visit here I came across this thread. I don't want to get bogged down here, so after the following I will not come back to this thread. Anyone is welcome to pursue this further with me directly at my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Klayman wrote:
*sigh* Just when I thought I could step my big toe back for a moment into v.com and not get mired, the quicksand does its work. I wanted to come back just to double-check my earlier post for any small errors that I might have wanted to edit - and here we are.
Because Sou Wei Mui has not responded to any comments here, I suspect that the original post may have simply been a troll.
"As a busy violinist I wouldn't mind someone similarly looking out for me if they heard about engagement possibilities - and some have, and I've appreciated it, whether it came to fruition or not.
You never know. There was a kid locally playing an old Italian half-size that must have been worth over $100k (Gagliano, I think). AFAIK that kid is now a major symphony pro.
"I think it's a mistake to commission a violin for a child, ..."
I think the question isn't so much cost, if the OP has the means it could be pocket change for all we know, but rather can the 9 yrs old benefit from a professional level instrument at his stage of development, or would he be better served by a good student grade instrument.
That actually wasn't what I was thinking of. An excellent violin helps the pre-professional student find the right style, and guides their development. A child generally doesn't yet know what those playing preferences are going to be, or how their needs are going to evolve. They are also not at an age where they can work with the luthier to adjust (or even modify) the violin to suit them. They will probably not be able to articulate what they want out of a commission.
I agree with George Huhn above. But, giving benefit of the doubt and therefore assuming there is both disposable money and an honest inquiry in the original post, my advice would be to IGNORE prices and luthier reputations. Have your child try many many violins and then just buy the one he sounds best on. It might very well be a fraction of your price is good enough. If he has a good teacher, trust the teacher's advice on what he needs. A million dollar violin will not make a million dollar player, so focus on the artistic development more than a vain search for the finest instrument.
Last spring I was one of the judges in a national competition for young musicians. One young boy showed up with a 3/4 violin … and his own accompanist, and played Wieniawsky if I remember correctly.
Lydia "Buying something sight unseen is unwise." - Definitely, yes. That's why one should stay local if any possible. For Sau Wai Mui this may not be possible for geographic reasons, although there are some really great luthiers around in South East Asia, especially China. If so I don't think it's wise to buy a newly commissioned instrument from another continent at all, but rather one that's already seasoned. Not necessarily for decades, but for a few years, and has already been played. When a totally new violin has settled in after some months, there usually is some major work required on the setup. (Even more if the instrument will be exported to a region with different climate than the instrument was built in.) If your luthier is several thousands miles away by then it even will be possible that the instrument suffers damage. In the best case it will not appreciate, which it definitely should after a few months of playing in.