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Alkis S. Rappas violin, Kingwood, TX, 2023

Alkis S. Rappas violin, Kingwood, TX, 2023

$18,000.00
Code: VN-R112-8

This instrument is part of our 7th annual Contemporary American Makers Exhibition, 2024

This violin was inspired by the 1742 Sloan Guarneri del Gesu, currently owned by my friend and colleague Dr. William Sloan, and used on loan by professional musicians in concerts and recordings. I built my interpretation of this violin on a mold I made based on the rib structure section from a cast of the original Sloan del Gesu back plate.   I have had the good fortune to examine and test-play the 1742 Sloan del Gesu violin annually for the last 16 years or so. I used the CT scans data and the cast of the original to guide me in making my 2023 violin by making adjustments and corrections for the arch distortions and wear that happened over the 300 year plus life of the original.  Other adjustments were made to maximize the playability and tone characteristics dictated by my wood selection.  My wood selection for the back, a one piece quarter cut European maple with tighter flames, is different from that of the original del Gesu, a two piece quarter cut maple with wider flames. The North Italy spruce top in this violin is quite similar to that of the original del Gesu, with straight but very slightly narrower grain. The original has very little, minimal amount of varnish left on, while I decided to apply more varnish and minimal wear, as one may expect to happen naturally after the use of a violin by a professional player for 20-30 years, rather than 300 years.  My varnish is made with linseed oil and cooked pine resin and the added red color during the varnish making process is mostly due to cochineal, and some madder root lake.  My violin is inspired and greatly influenced by the Sloan del Gesu; however, it is not a copy.

 

About the Maker

I have been passionate about violins for over 70 years, starting with violin lessons at the age of nine, later including three years of training at the George Enescu School of Music, Bucharest. However, with a Ph.D. degree from Yale University, Engineering & Applied Science, I embarked on a successful R&D engineering career, as I continued playing the violin in amateur community orchestras.

I made my first violin in early 1980’s, prompted by work on violin acoustics by Carleen Hutchins.  A fortunate string of events brought me in contact with Ed Campbell’s Chimneys Violin Workshops, which I attended from 1989 to 1991 to learn the practical application of acoustics in violin making. My mentor and teacher, Vahakn Nigogosian (Nigo), the founder of the VSA Oberlin Workshop, invited me to join in 1992. I have attended all the 32 annual Oberlin Violin Making workshops earlier directed by Nigo, and then Chris Germain, to date (2023). At these workshops I expanded my knowledge and expertise by studying and extensively test-playing a number of classical violin masterpieces, as well as by open sharing of ideas, techniques and data with my many international colleagues and friends.  Thus, I learned to apply in my work the key elements of the Italian making traditions, style, character and tonal qualities.

In my violin studio, first established in 1984, I make violins and violas intended for professional musicians, advanced students and passionate amateur players.  The tonal and artistic qualities of these instruments result from the melding of both traditional Italian violin making methods and principles, and modern day research on the acoustics of violins. My violins and a viola were awarded the Tone Silver Medal and Violin Tone Certificate at the VSA International Competitions in 2002, 2012 and 2022, respectively.  My instruments have also been awarded a number of trophies, medals and certificates at the VMAAI Competitions.

 

AME7VN

Article number: VN-R112-8
Availability: In stock

This instrument is part of our 7th annual Contemporary American Makers Exhibition, 2024

This violin was inspired by the 1742 Sloan Guarneri del Gesu, currently owned by my friend and colleague Dr. William Sloan, and used on loan by professional musicians in concerts and recordings. I built my interpretation of this violin on a mold I made based on the rib structure section from a cast of the original Sloan del Gesu back plate.   I have had the good fortune to examine and test-play the 1742 Sloan del Gesu violin annually for the last 16 years or so. I used the CT scans data and the cast of the original to guide me in making my 2023 violin by making adjustments and corrections for the arch distortions and wear that happened over the 300 year plus life of the original.  Other adjustments were made to maximize the playability and tone characteristics dictated by my wood selection.  My wood selection for the back, a one piece quarter cut European maple with tighter flames, is different from that of the original del Gesu, a two piece quarter cut maple with wider flames. The North Italy spruce top in this violin is quite similar to that of the original del Gesu, with straight but very slightly narrower grain. The original has very little, minimal amount of varnish left on, while I decided to apply more varnish and minimal wear, as one may expect to happen naturally after the use of a violin by a professional player for 20-30 years, rather than 300 years.  My varnish is made with linseed oil and cooked pine resin and the added red color during the varnish making process is mostly due to cochineal, and some madder root lake.  My violin is inspired and greatly influenced by the Sloan del Gesu; however, it is not a copy.

 

About the Maker

I have been passionate about violins for over 70 years, starting with violin lessons at the age of nine, later including three years of training at the George Enescu School of Music, Bucharest. However, with a Ph.D. degree from Yale University, Engineering & Applied Science, I embarked on a successful R&D engineering career, as I continued playing the violin in amateur community orchestras.

I made my first violin in early 1980’s, prompted by work on violin acoustics by Carleen Hutchins.  A fortunate string of events brought me in contact with Ed Campbell’s Chimneys Violin Workshops, which I attended from 1989 to 1991 to learn the practical application of acoustics in violin making. My mentor and teacher, Vahakn Nigogosian (Nigo), the founder of the VSA Oberlin Workshop, invited me to join in 1992. I have attended all the 32 annual Oberlin Violin Making workshops earlier directed by Nigo, and then Chris Germain, to date (2023). At these workshops I expanded my knowledge and expertise by studying and extensively test-playing a number of classical violin masterpieces, as well as by open sharing of ideas, techniques and data with my many international colleagues and friends.  Thus, I learned to apply in my work the key elements of the Italian making traditions, style, character and tonal qualities.

In my violin studio, first established in 1984, I make violins and violas intended for professional musicians, advanced students and passionate amateur players.  The tonal and artistic qualities of these instruments result from the melding of both traditional Italian violin making methods and principles, and modern day research on the acoustics of violins. My violins and a viola were awarded the Tone Silver Medal and Violin Tone Certificate at the VSA International Competitions in 2002, 2012 and 2022, respectively.  My instruments have also been awarded a number of trophies, medals and certificates at the VMAAI Competitions.

 

AME7VN

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