Violin Society of America Collaboration

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis proudly welcomes the Violin Society of America (VSA) to Indianapolis for their 2014 Convention and 21st International Competition for makers. The Festival of the Violin will be one of the largest of its kind combining performance rounds of the quadrennial IVCI Competition with lectures, workshops, exhibits and the VSA’s biennial string instrument making competition which will have over 400 instruments and bows.

The VSA Convention and Competition will be held at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis from September 15-21.

Discounts available to VSA activities for IVCI patrons. Call the IVCI office for details: 317.638.IVCI.

More information is available below or at

VSA 2014 Convention & Competition
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Indiana

(Please note: rooms and times are subject to change)

Convention Registration Schedule (September 15 – 20)
Monday 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Studio Lounge (Third Level)
Mention Special Code "IVCI2014" to purchase a one-time discounted registration ($25) for full day admission to all other events
Vendor/Exhibit Hall (September 16 – 20)
Tuesday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Room: Cosmopolitan Ballroom (Third Level)
Closed for Lunch 12:30 – 1:30 PM
New Instrument Exhibit* (September 17 – 20)
The New Instrument Exhibit will feature the following instruments:

Violins by: Gregg T. Alf, Pablo Alfaro, Giancarlo Arcieri, Dorian Barnes, Gonzalo Bayolo, David Burgess, Andrew Carruthers, Carlo Chiesa, David L. Chrapkiewicz, Marco Coppiardi, Thomas Croen, Joseph Curtin, David Finck, Michael Fischer, Ronald Fletcher, David Folland, Andrea Frandsen, Christopher Germain, Todd Goldenberg, Joseph Grubaugh, David Gusset, Jonathan Hai, Mark Hollinger, Li Ming Huai, Feng Jiang, Chris Kiely, Felix Krafft, Francis Kuttner, Christophe Landon, Silvio Levaggi, Zhen Hua Ling, Jie Luo, Jesse Maschmeyer, Doug Martin, Ray Melanson, Georg Meiwes, James Robinson, Andrew Ryan, Julien Schneider, Sigrun Seifert, Nathan Slobodkin, Joseph Thrift, Jason Viseltear, Stephan Von Baehr, Lawrence M. Wilke, Ute Zahn, and Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

Violas by: David L. Chrapkiewicz, Thomas Croen, Joseph Curtin, Ronald L. Fletcher, Li Ming Huai, Steven M. McCann, Benjamin Ruth, Bill Scott, Jr., Kelvin Scott, Jason Viseltear, Marilyn J. Wallin

Violin Bows by: Morgan Andersen, John Aniano, Pierre-Yves Fuchs, David Hawthorne, Rodney Mohr, Richard Riggall, James Robinson, Steve Salchow, David Samuels, Elizabeth Vander Veer Shaak, Matthew Wehling, Roger Zabinski

Viola Bows by: Walter Barbiero, David Hawthorne, Rodney Mohr, Steve Salchow, David Samuels, Matthew Wehling, Li Xueyong, Roger Zabinski

Cello Bows by: John Aniano, David Hawthorne, Rodney Mohr, Steve Salchow, David Samuels, Matthew Wehling, Li Xueyong, Roger Zabinski

Wednesday – Thursday9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Saturday9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Room: Network (Second Level)

*Free admission to public

Competition Exhibit (September 19 – 20)
Friday 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM and 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
*Free admission for IVCI patrons
Room: Regency Ballroom (Second Level)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Award-Winning Characteristics of Competition Entries 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Moderators: Jerry Pasewicz, VSA Competition Chair and Rodney Mohr, VSA President Emeritus

Join these eminent moderators as they lead a discussion with past VSA Competition Judges on the outstanding characteristics of instrument entries that led to their being award winners. This is a must-attend session for anyone considering entering the VSA Competition in future years as well as for this year’s competitors to thoroughly understand the competition judging process.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

What Do We Mean by “Cremonese Varnish”? 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Presenter: Joe Robson, Violin Varnish

We often use the phrase “Cremonese varnish”… but what do we mean by that? Based on observations of the most undisturbed original Cremonese varnishes and other well preserved instruments, a set of properties emerge.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Have Tools, Will Travel! Luthiers Sans Frontiéres (LSF) 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Presenter: Ute Zahn and Anna Huthmaker

An introduction to the work of Luthiers Sans Frontiéres, a non-profit organization which supports cultural life in third-world countries with donated instruments, tools, repair, and instruction in basic repair techniques.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

What I Learned in the Production Violin Business 2:30 – 3:30 PM
Presenter: Todd Matus

An overview of the acoustic properties discerned from producing larger numbers of instruments (that is, from a large sample size) in light of the principles and experiments studied in the VSA Oberlin Acoustics Workshop.
Room: Concept (Second Level)

The Rebirth of the Fernández Blanco Collection of Fine String Instruments 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Presenter: Pablo Saravi, Concertmaster of Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra

Pablo Saravi will introduce this important collection of Old Italian instruments, recently restored by Horacio Pineiro, and now on public display at the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernández Blanco, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Violin Makers’ Forum 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
“The Holy Grail of Purfling – How I Make Pre-Bent Purfling”
Presenter: Charles J. Rufino, violin maker

After many years of experiments, Mr. Rufino has developed an efficient method for making purfling that produces pre-bent strips of the correct size.

Rogue Neck Setting
Presenter: Terry Borman, Borman Violins

A novel approach to neck setting that examines the current paradigm and questions whether this is indeed in the acoustical best interest of the instrument and musician or if the method being proposed is advantageous in acoustical results as well as playability and long term health of the instrument.

Wood Ponding, Milo Stamm Method
Presenter: David Folland, Violin maker, David Folland Violins

A step-by-step description of a process to soak maple in distilled water in order to lower its density. This method was developed by Milo Stamm to treat his bridge wood, and the demonstration will show in detail this process for the back and rib wood used in violin making.

How to Make a Copy of a Specific Violin 11:00 AM – Noon
Presenter, Michael Fischer, Violin Maker, Restorer, Dealer

This presentation will outline and describe individual steps of how to make a copy of an old instrument, which is in your possession, and turn it into an instrument which looks similar to the original. These steps include taking measurements, creating templates, and working methods which are more suited to making a copy than the traditional way of how to make an instrument.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Luncheon on Women in the Instrument Business; you must make a reservation to attend this at the VSA Registration Desk.

The Violin Makers of the Mantua School 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Presenter: Philip J. Kass and Andrea Zanre

This presentation will reflect the results of our archival researches in Mantua, Italy, which we will coordinate with those assembling an exhibition of classic instruments for viewing by the membership.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Bow Makers Forum: The Wide Wonderful World of Nacre 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Presenter: Steve Beckley, Bow maker and founder and co-owner of BowWorks

An introduction to the history and properties of nacre materials, such as abalone and oyster, which are used in bows and musical instruments.
Room: Concept (Second Level)

The Rugeri Family: A Bridge from Amati to Bergonzi 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Presenter: Carlo Chiesa

The idea of this presentation is to show how the Rugeri Family connects the earliest makers to the last ones in the Cremonese tradition.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Ivory Import Issue Panel 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Participants: Yung Chin, Colin Gallahue, Jon Bennet

Join this panel on this very important issue, presented from the maker/dealer perspective.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Did the “mini Ice Age” prior to 1781 Create
“Special” Old Wood Not Found Today?
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Presenters: Steve Sirr and John Waddle

In 2003, a hypothesis was made, linking a European “mini Ice Age” to acoustically unique spruce used by Antonio Stradivari in his golden period. We show that densities of wood used by Stradivari, the Amatis, the Guarneris, and Bergonzi, all makers who could have used wood from the time period referenced in the article vary widely, and is not different from wood obtainable today.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Guidelines on Following USPAP (Uniform Standards of
Professional Appraisal Practice) Standards & A Review
of Formal Appraisal Structure
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Presenter: Gayle Skluzacek, Appraisers Association of America

This talk will focus on the guidelines for appraisers as outlined in the USPAP. These are the generally accepted standards for professional appraisal practice in North America. In 2006, the IRS stated that all appraisals submitted for donations are to be written to specific standards - the only standard named was USPAP.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

A Fundamental Evolution of the Classical Bow: The Angled Frog 11:00 AM – Noon
Presenter: Benoit Rolland

Mr. Rolland will describe his new frog design, the Galliane. It gives a slight helicoidal turn to the hair ribbon and makes the bow easier to play, develops more sound and overtones, and can be used with any existing bow.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

CNC in the Violin Maker’s Workshop: Omobono in the 21st Century? 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Panel to be moderated by Ted White
Presenters: John Kirk, Jim Ham, Mike Kemnitzer, and Steve Rossow

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) can reduce manual labor for the production of personal/customized violin family patterns and model. The panel will discuss affordable digitizing methods and models resulting in a contractual proprietary model that is both reproducible and revisable with your own wood choice.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Play, Listen, Measure, Intervene: an Integrated Approach to Optimizing Violin Sound 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Presenters: Claudia Fritz, Joseph Curtin, and Fan-Chia Tao

The recent integration of blind playing & listening tests with in-the-field acoustical measurements has contributed greatly to our understanding of what good violinists want from an instrument. It has also provided violin makers with a powerful approach to optimizing the sound and playability of their instruments.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Functional Geometry and the “Traité de Lutherie” 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Presenter: Harry Mairson, Professor of Computer Science at Brandeis University, Boston

Professor Mairson will describe how François Denis’s “Traité de Lutherie” inspired him to create a computer program to replicate Mr. Denis’s drawings. It will be available as public domain software.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Laurence Witten: The Ideal Collector 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Presenter: Claire Givens, President and Founder of Claire Givens Violins, Inc.

Laurence Witten, a Connecticut rare book dealer, was the most important stringed instrument collector of the late twentieth century. Claire Given, a Trustee of the National Music Museum, will describe his collection which now resides at the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Room: Discovery (Third Level)

Playing of the Award Winning Instruments by Tone Judges 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Host: Marilyn Wallin
Location: Indiana History Center
Live Scholarship Auction at the Indiana History Center 1:45 PM – 4:00 PM
David Bonsey, Auctioneer

Our auction will kick off with a special Wine & Cheese reception, followed by our live auction which benefits the VSA Scholarship Fund.

Playing of the Award Winning Instruments by Tone Judges 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Host: Marilyn Wallin
Location: Indiana History Center
Closing Dessert Reception 9:00 PM – 11:30 PM
Room: Cosmopolitan Foyer (Third Level)
Sponsored by D’Addario

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Violin Quality and the Paris Experiment* 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Presenters: Claudia Fritz, Joseph Curtin, and Fan-Chia Tao. Violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Philip Setzer

This presentation brings together state of the art scientific research and world-class playing. The researchers behind the Indianapolis and Paris blind tests are joined by IVCI jury members and concert artists Cho-Liang Lin and Philip Setzer for an interactive exploration of the sounds of violins, old and new.
Indiana History Center
*Free admission to public

Retail Exhibit* 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Free admission to public
Violin Society of America Collaboration