Reed Yeboah Violin Expo

October 16, 2019, 1:07 PM · So, turns out my daughter and I will be in the city, so we will check this out.
We are in the market for a full size but think these will mostly be out of our range. But I would like her to see what’s possible. (It’s clear to her we are not buying this weekend, her teachers would need to be involved.) Just sounds like a great experience and education for both of us. Any thoughts or ideas about how to move through them, how it’s set up? Are ther tens of players playing at once in one space? Would appreciate any thoughts or advice!

Replies (19)

Edited: October 16, 2019, 1:32 PM · Basically, it's a big room with the violins laid out on tables. People generally stand at the table and try the violin there. There are no private rooms unless you and the maker have made an arrangement with the exhibition hosts to try a particular violin in a private setting.

Julie Reed is usually circulating during the exhibition. If you think that a violin might sound better with a different adjustment, and the maker is around, Julie may be willing to do an adjustment on request. (The last time I was there, I suggested this to a maker and I thought the resulting change in set-up helped significantly. Julie is a superb adjuster.)

None of the violins have a public price tag. There is a private price list, if you inquire after a specific violin. (When I went, I made a list of what I thought was interesting and then spent a few minutes with the price list at the end of my time there. Note that a significant number of violins may already have been sold.)

You are not allowed to have your own instrument or bow in the trial room. There are shoulder-rests available for loan, but I suggest you bring your own if you can. There are also bows on exhibit; you'll generally pick a bow to try. (I tried the bows right near the beginning and then kept my favorite to try with each of the violins, keeping one factor controlled.)

Get there as early in the morning as possible, when it will be mostly empty. When it gets busy, it will be full of players and rather noisy. I think the Saturday is the busiest, but I'm not sure. One of the telling traits of the violins is which ones cut through the fray to be clearly heard, and which fade. :-)

Edited: October 16, 2019, 5:02 PM · Matthew wrote;
"Just sounds like a great experience and education for both of us."

Yes, I would expect that too. Lots of violins from contemporary makers in the same place at the same time, making comparisons easy.

I won't have any instruments there, so this isn't anything like a personal sales pitch. Just calling it the way I see it.

October 16, 2019, 7:44 PM · What a way to spend a day, in a large hall filled with new violins and bows waiting to be taken home.
October 16, 2019, 8:18 PM · Alone.
October 17, 2019, 7:55 PM · Head in tomorrow. They don’t let people use own bows right?
How to begin? We’ll be out of our depth with these violins but should be a fun experience. But 11 year old might be more excited about Harry Potter show on Broadway.
October 17, 2019, 8:20 PM · i'm going on saturday and sunday, just to be on the safe side i'll just bring my mach one shoulder rest.
October 17, 2019, 9:06 PM · Correct, no bows of your own. Don't even bring your case to the exhibition. Do bring a shoulder-rest if you use one.

Based on my experience last year and at other exhibitons, the must-see makers violins would be Curtin, Gusset, Ruth, Scott, and Wilbaux.

October 17, 2019, 9:15 PM · thanks lydia!
October 17, 2019, 10:12 PM · Very interested in seeing the Wilbaux. So many women makers which is great!
Long ago, before parenthood, by chance I knew someone who worked for Curtin and Alf carving scrolls among other things. I was living in Ann Arbor at the time.
October 18, 2019, 3:23 PM · Favorite was Wilbaux. 20K.
Edited: October 19, 2019, 3:41 PM · just came back with Mathew Atria, we spend 2 hours there trying out, should've definitely bought my own violin, they allow it and they even allow you to take your violin to the trial room for comparison.

the most perfect violin there in both me and Mathew opinion was the one by Ulrike Dederer, it was both perfect in craftsmanship and sound, another one that i particularly like is by Baptiste. for 12k it out performs many much more expensive violin including the Wilbaux.

View post on

View post on

the Wilbaux i found very underperforming for me. i believe Mathew Atria's violin has better projection and tone quality. i was not able to cut through the noise from other players and i don't think the tone suits me.

i'm very much in love with the bow they let me borrow for the whole time, i completely forgot what is called but the asking price is 4500.

October 19, 2019, 4:21 PM · The Ulrike Dederer was #2 for us. And daughter got to meet and have pic taken with Ulrike. So we agree on that.
October 19, 2019, 5:13 PM · Just got back from this expo. What an awesome experience for someone who just finished making their first Violin. After seeing all these instruments by top makers around the world and being able to handle them personally. I'm thinking I may not be to far off from making a great instrument like theirs and having my instruments in this expo as well ;)

Ulrike Dederer's violin is one of the best handmade violins I've ever seen. The sound was top notch as well.
October 19, 2019, 9:55 PM · Excellent thread with pictures over at Maestronet, for those who don't routinely visit
October 23, 2019, 7:45 AM · Anyone tried the Curtin at the expo?
October 23, 2019, 8:21 AM · FWIW, It did not make my daughters top 3.
October 23, 2019, 8:24 AM · I'm curious how this year's Curtin compares to last year's. By the time I got there at the beginning of Saturday last year, the Curtin had already been spoken for. I got to play it for a few minutes and then it vanished into the hands of the purchasing player.

It was kind of like playing a big growly lion. I liked it (soloistic sound, readily modulated) but it wasn't the right personality match for me.

October 23, 2019, 2:06 PM · #3 for her was a David Polstein.
October 23, 2019, 2:06 PM · I have tried some really amazing ones from him in the last 5 years or so. Sadly, he prefers working with the del Gesu pattern (I would prefer a larger one, all else equal). He also prefers antiquing for his conventional instruments, even though his plain varnish used on his experimental ones is stunningly good.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Find an Online Music Camp
Find an Online Music Camp

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine