Buying a violin from the Cremona International Violin making School

September 30, 2020, 3:29 AM · Hi all,
I was wondering if it is possible to buy a violin from the students of the "Cremona International Violin making School". I guess they must be also producing fine violins that are worth something, perhaps some of the students will even become well-known Luthiers in future.
I have sent to the school a mail but no one has answered. I have searched on internet but found nothing conclusive.

Does any of you know anything about it? What do they do with the violins they produce during the practices?


Replies (12)

October 1, 2020, 5:33 AM · Welcome Daniel,

Since no one else decided to give you advice here is my opinion. The people at Maestronet have said to not expect much from your first violin or even your first three violins as you are learning the process and will most likely make errors here and there. That being said possibly you could contact the school itself to find out if there are any students willing to sell an instrument to help pay some of the tuition cost. Yours is an interesting idea and if you like how a particular instrument sounds and plays and is a fair value then why not.

October 1, 2020, 7:31 AM · It's hard to believe they would use their students' violins for kindling.
October 1, 2020, 7:37 AM · I wonder.
I knew of an organ-builder who always destroyed his apprentice's first set of pipes, however good they were: beginner's luck being no substitute for expertise..
October 1, 2020, 8:10 AM · A set of organ pipes is harder to give to a charity.
October 1, 2020, 3:27 PM · I would have thought that the master luthier would try each instrument and if any had potential would sell them for the school as a whole. Therefore you may get a decent instrument, but would still probably pay well into the thousands, anything made in Cremona is worth an arm and a leg, no harm trying though.
October 2, 2020, 3:12 AM · Unless things have changed recently, the Cremona violin making school, being a State institute and not a business, cannot sell any of the instruments made there.
October 2, 2020, 6:07 AM · What happens to them?
October 2, 2020, 7:32 AM · I just called Giorgio Scolari, who was principal at the school for decades and only recently retired, to get the answer straight from him.

The better instruments made in the Cremona school (i.e. by students in the final year) are often used for varnish and set up practise by the students themselves. The others are left in the white and stored away.

Of those which are varnished and set up, the final destination is usually storage, however the finest examples are donated: to organizations serving underprivilged persons, to conservatories, even to Heads of State (during diplomatic meetings). Under no circumstances may they be sold.

October 2, 2020, 9:59 AM · Thank you for that, Dimitri.
Is it a three year course , or is it more like an apprenticeship?
How many violins is a student likely to complete in their time there?
That’s a lot of violins in storage.
The training school for my profession is part of the University of Melbourne. They train post-graduates as well as undergraduates, and make a Lot of money, which all goes back to the University , which is state owned. The amount of funding they receive is unrelated to what they generate.
Edited: October 3, 2020, 1:10 AM · Rosemary, when I graduated in 1982 it was a four-year course. On the average each student completed 2-4 instruments, usually including a viola or a cello. About half of the hours each week were dedicated to workshop, and the others to theory, language (English), history, violin playing, physics, etc.

At the time the violin making school was considered a vocational high school like any other; those planning to go to university would have to add a 5th year in their curriculum to gain access. As a public school there was no tuition fee.

When I enrolled they were accepting people of all nationalities up to 35 years of age. This created some problems when a student already had a degree; for example one of my classmates was a nuclear physicist. So those who already had sufficient proficiency in any of the courses were exempt from participation, and only had to pass the final exam.

Now the school has a more unique status but the fundamentals remain pretty much the same.

Edited: October 3, 2020, 3:57 AM · Depends on price, of course, not mentioned yet in this thread.
My luthier has a nice-looking 16" viola made by a student of his. He wants £1,500 for it. If he still has it next Spring, I'll play it and see what it sounds like, and if it's clearly better than a typical £1,000 for-a-student viola, I may well buy it.
October 13, 2020, 4:43 AM · hey! I was wondering too....

I'm trying to sell my violin here in Budapest. All my soundcloud recordings are with that.

I went to 4 different shops today. The original value of the violin is 360.000huf (1000euros), but it was broken twice, plus it is converted to 5 string.

I wanted to sell it for 60.000huf (200euros).

All the shops, plus I called another from phone, told me my hands, or I am dirty. Filthy, they said. I took shower today too. What's wrong with them?

Anybody would like to buy it for 300euros?

Please let me know if you know someone here in Budapest who can pay for it, and can take it to you.


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