Any advice in purchasing a new violin in Europe?
I saw a few posts here and I’m curious of your opinion. For my next violin I would love to have something made by a Luthier, this is a consensus between my teacher and the Luthier who made small fixes in my instrument, sadly he dosen’t make violins and only fix’s them. By now I have a cheap violin (500 usd), made in China.
In the future (hopefully in 3 or 4 years or when Corona situation comes to an end), I would like to travel through Germany, Austria and maybe Czech Republic and/or Poland, and spend a time experimenting and visiting violinmakers. Although I think shopping in a foreign country can be tricky too, I also believe that could be a wonderful remember of great place I visited and the people I’ve met.
Also also I’m in love with Capela Violins (I’ve tried one), particularly I Think their design are quite beautiful and unique, but I don’t have any idea about his price.
I’ll never commit to anything without trying it out in person and listening to someone else playing it. So any advice about nice places to visit and trying violins in these countries? Talking about Capela Violins anyone knows how much a new one is worth it? My budget will be something close to 7k to 8K euro.
I never found a community so active and like this in my country (I live in Brazil). I hope everyone stays well and healthy in this hard time we are living now.
Thank you very much for your attention, I love to lost myself reading the discussions here.
Capella: Domingo, Antonio and Joaquim a top violin making family in Portugal, a century of making probably coming to an end with the last of them.
US$7000 is on the very bottom end of the range of prices for new, fully handmade violins crafted by living violin-makers outside the third world.
are you looking for a lutheir custom making a violin just for you? or a general bench violin (made by 1 luthier) already crafted. cause you don't have to go to europe for that, there are plenty of dealers and shops carrying instruments from european luthiers here in the states. i know of 2 violin shop that carries cremona violin between 8-10k, and a nyc luthier that will make you a violin for 6k.
There are 3 or 4 weekends a year in London where at least 4 major auction houses have previews. That would be in excess of 500 instruments to choose from! I also quite like Cardiff violins, I got a good deal there and it's a lovely place to visit.
Unless you know what you're doing or have a lot of cash to splash auctions aren't the best way to go. I don't really come into either category but with the onset of senile dementia, plenty of reference sources and no needy dependents I find them a lot of fun
I live in Germany and spent about a year looking for my last violin all around the country, as well as in the Czech Republic before finding one that I loved. For the 7-8k range, Germany might be a bit difficult, as it's a lot easier to find something a bit more expensive, but Corilon usually carries some nice instruments without charging too much of a "finder's fee", and apart from that you can usually just go into any luthier's workshop (which there are many of), preferably after emailing or calling them and look at what they've got. If your budget is tight it might, however, be a very good idea to look to the Czech Republic and Poland, since you usually get a good chance of getting more bang for the buck. My last violin that I've played for ten years was a lovely instrument by a late Czech luthier, who's sadly since passed away, but it was new when I got it and the price was very low. My current one is an antique but would've cost more in Germany, too. There are a couple of very good shops in Prague and the near surroundings, with a wide selection and fair prices. No idea how things are in Poland, but probably comparable (even though I'm not aware of a big history of violinmaking in Poland, unlike Prague). But if you don't necessarily need an old instrument I'd listen to the other people here, as I have no idea of what the market looks like on your side of the pond. A new violin in Germany will probably be closer to the 15-25k range, that I am sure of.
Benjamin is right on German price tags. Even good contemporary Czech instruments should exceed the budget you named. For €7-8k, you can find either an excellent German / Austrian / Hungarian antique, an very good German workshop violin set up by a top luthier, or an instrument which was also made by a single luthier but involving the use of power tools four the more rougher steps. You could also use your budget for a top Romanian or Chinese instrument plus an outstanding Brazilian bow. And while we're at it, you should look out for regional business first. Violin making is not a secret science anymore, and talented makers are to find worldwide. As proved by the example of Luis Manfio, who triples your budget and is specialized on something even nicer than violins, namely violas.
BTW there is a fairly good luthier who works out of retirement and sells his instruments for 6k or even less. And they're very good for the money. PM me if you like...
If you have time before you make your purchase I recommend searching out "amateur violin makers." You might find a good instrument and get it for a very good price - and at the very least you might have lots of fun and meet some nice people with a common interet.
Thank you everyone for your advice and wisdom. I’ll definitely try do a visit to Mr.Manfio when this crisis ends, Jeewon do you know name of this violinmaker? Perhaps it’s Carlos Joseph? He’s quite famous here and lives in a small city called Porto Feliz.
If you travel to Europe you might consider Martin Swan. He has some wonderful violins, is very knowledgeable and provides helpful, personal assistance.
@Willian: feel free to message me, too, if you want me to send you the names of the Czech shops that I'd recommend in your price range! But my main tip would be this: take your time, especially with your budget you'll be looking at many very decent instruments (if you go to the right shops). But if you're lucky you might find something that speaks to you more than everything else you've tried, and if you do, you'll realise it. This won't be about polar opposites of quality, but some little nuance that makes all the difference to you, and the more instruments you try, the easier it will be to spot this one instrument. I was fortunate enough to have people around me that told me to keep looking when I brought them instruments I thought were good enough. Be demanding and critical, it should be very well worth it in the long run :)
That's really good to listen @Benjamin, I'm eager to start this journey.
If you want to make the trip to Europe, there are some excellent makers to choose from. If you’re interested in Brazilian violins, I would recommend Joannes Crucis Finnanzza. I’ve seen several of his violins. They’re quite nice and would fit your price range pretty well.
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