Music lives in a quaint, historic building on Philadelphia’s Locust Street, just a few doors down from the Curtis Institute of Music, where David Michie restores and sells violins and bows, drawing virtuoso musicians from far and wide. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston paid a visit to this master craftsman.
Master violin restorer and dealer David Michie recounts how renowned French archetier (the French term for bow maker) Eugene Sartory policed the market for counterfeits of his work. Michie also provides some advice on choosing a bow in these excerpts of an interview with Meridee Duddleston.
Michie has much to say about the importance of a high-quality bow. "What the Italians were to string instruments, the French were to bows," he explains. In the 1800s, large blocks of wood from the pernambuco tree were used as ballast in ships making their way from Brazil to France. And Francois Tourte, who developed the modern bow and is considered the “Stradavarius of bow makers,” took to the wood and started using it. Pernambuco is now an endangered species whose export is restricted. Although carbon fiber and other substitutes are now in the mix, Michie says nothing beats a bow made of pernambuco wood from Brazil. Here's the website for David Michie Violins.
The Philadelphia Orchestra wraps up its subscription season this week with a special tribute to Wolfgang Sawallisch, who died on February 22, 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Orchestra's former music director and conductor laureate shared his musical gifts with audiences at home and abroad, leading the orchestra on eight international tours.
Orchestra concerts don't usually leave people laughing. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, some contemporary composers are combining serious music with comedy. Berlin Philharmonic Music Director Sir Simon Rattle is introducing innovative works to audiences in Germany, and brings an example with him in his upcoming visit to Philadelphia.
This week, America’s oldest art school and museum will - for the 112th time - display the finest work by its newest graduates. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the show is also where "in-the-know" collectors and dealers come to discover the stars of tomorrow.