I started violin in elementary school plus private lessons with an inexpensive instrument. I got pretty good quickly and my private teacher convinced my parents to get me a “good” violin. They got three from a well known dealer and I immediately fell in love with the most expensive one! ($600) My folks got it for me. The local amateur adult orchestra invited me to play with them through high school and when I decided to become professional, I played my 1876 Charles Boullangier violin for many years.
I met Andrius Faruolo (http://andriusviolins.com), a violin maker who adjusted and maintained my old violin. In 1996 he’d made a violin, modeled from ancient Italian maker Guarneri del Jesu. He wanted to know if I was interested in seeing it. Why not? So I tried it out. I played a G major scale over 4 strings, and then looked up and just said, “Whoa!” I had not known how a REALLY good violin sounded!
I traded him my 1876 violin (now worth $10,000) and gave him a bit more. That was it! I never played my Boullangier again, and my new Faruolo violin completely changed my life. I often describe it as “it plays itself”. I love to practice with it and it’s my favorite possession. I play all kinds of music on this great instrument at wedding ceremonies, receptions, parties, public and private events. Andrius comes to see it about once a year and lovingly adjusts, cleans and makes sure all is well.