‘What’s so great about old violins?’ Find out with Crescendo Project 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16


Why do violins made by the likes of Amati, Stradivari, Grancino, Guarnerius, Ruggieri, Gagliano and Stainer sound so good?

What was the secret of these 17th- and 18th-century Italian luthiers?

Is there a measurable sound quality that distinguishes these highly-valued calssical violins from affordable, mass-produced versions?

Join Crescendo Project next Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Claire Givens Violins, Inc., as we explore the merits of ancient and modern violins and bows and find out What’s So Great About Old Violins?

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Givens’ studio and workshop to learn about the construction of violins, the restoration of 18th-century violins, and the ways in which the violin-making process has changed throughout the years.

As a bonus, Minnesota Orchestra violinist Peter McGuire will give performances demonstrating rare and valuable violins.

Violins for sale

The evening’s program:

6:00 p.m. – Reception in the lobby of the Handicraft Guild Building with hosted hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting by Barefoot Wines.

6:30 p.m. – Welcoming remarks by violist Michael Adams, a full-time member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1989. Adams will speak briefly about the importance of violins in symphonic orchestras andwill introduce feature presenters Claire Givens, Andrew Dipper, Douglas Lay and Peter McGuire.

6:40 p.m. – Division of guests into three groups that will rotate through three fascinating learning stations throughout the store:

1. Claire Givens’ office – Givens, who founded Givens Violins in 1977, will discuss the historical significance of the violin, the origins of famous Italian makers and identifying truly valuable instruments.

Peter McGuire, who joined Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2003, will then perform on various violins dating from the 1700s onwards to allow attendees to hear the difference between the instruments.

Violin anatomy
Violin anatomy

2. Violin-makers shop – Adams and violin-maker Douglas Lay will give an overview of the mecahnics of how string instruments work and allow guests to examine various violin components.

Lay, who has been an instrument restorer with Givens Violins since 1986 and possesses extensive knowledge of stringed-instrument making and restoration, will also discuss the construction and repair of stringed instruments.

3. Dipper Restoration studio – Andrew Dipper, a skilled restorer, historian, writer and sculptor, will review his restoration projects and reveal how he brings valuable old instruments back to life.

Dipper studied violinmaking in London and Cremona and founded Andrew Dipper Restorations in London, England in 1975, relocating to Minneapolis in 1990.

Examples of his restoration and conservation work can be found in many of the world’s foremost public and private musical instrument collections, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the Federal Musical Instrument Museum in Berlin and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Dipper is a sought-after lecturer and has taught violinmaking and restoration in Cremona and London and published several important texts on various aspects of stringed instruments.

7:55 p.m. – Informal tours of practice rooms and social time for networking in the foyer and showroom.

RSVP now for this rare, fascinating look into traditional violin-making and repair with masters of the trade!

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the exceptional artistry and expertise required to create and maintain fine stringed instruments.

This event is complimentary for members of Crescendo Project. Not a member yet? Really?? Become a Crescendo Project member now

Time: 6-8 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
Place: Claire Givens Violins/Andrew Dipper Restorations, 1004 Marquette Ave. S., Ste. 205, Minneapolis, MN 55402

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Jenn Kelly on 11/22/2011 - 03:17 pm.

    We learned a lot and had a great time shooting this event.

    Photos from the event are located here:


    Jenn Kelly – Moments Shared

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