Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yang C. Lin plays his new Alf violin

China is Amazing

I spent a month in China last year as a judge for The First China International Violin Making Competition. It's great being back! I was able to visit with old friends and take in new sights! And, most importantly, it was my pleasure to deliver a new Alf violin to Professor and eminent Composer, Yang C. Lin.

The view from my hotel in Bejing on the morning I left shows a small hutong in the foreground giving way to a wall of skyscrapers on the horizon.

(Left to right) Concert violinist Siqing Liu, my friend and violin maker Zheng Quan, me, and Professor Lin in his apartment ... celebrate the arrival of GA200.

Yang C. Lin is very happy with his new Alf violin.

In the morning, I visited an Art installation in Beijing's 798 Art District with two friends from the Central Conservatory. "798" is a whole neighborhood where old factories have been converted to art studios and galleries. Its quite a scene!



This banner at Hong Kong airport seemed to sum up perfectly the big changes taking place in China now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Next stop Beijing

While in Hong Kong, I stopped by some of the premier violin shops.
Here I am at Orfeo Strings, where K.C. introduced me.

K.C. Siu falling in love.
Thinking about his next violin???

No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a trip to a tailor
for a new suit.
Thanks Johnny!

In the evening I was invited to Dr. Young's home to celebrate delivery of his son's new violin. This is the view of Hong Kong from their balcony.

Karl Young with the family's violin teacher,
Ms. Mao Tanaka Tomoko from the HK Philharmonic.

KC Siu came back to play Karl’s Alf “one more time”.

He loan’s me his amazing Scarampella for study ... and makes official his order for a new Gregg Alf "Ole Bull" violin.

On my last night in Hong Kong I remembered that my step son Dimitri asked me to bring Flat Stanley along for a photo op while delivering the Young's violin. Katherine and Karl kindly obliged. They were wonderful hosts during my stay.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Greetings from Hong Kong

I'm just begining an exciting trip to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. There will be many photographs and stories to share! The main purpose of my trip is a lecture for violinmakers at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, while delivering some commissioned violins. But, I've also been able to do some sightseeing and revisit some places and friends from my trip last year. Take a look at these photos from Hong Kong!

My friend and customer K.C. Siu showed me around one of his record stores at the posh Pacific Place shopping center in Hong Kong. It is a busy place with a fine classic music division. Mr. Siu has a wonderful collection of stringed instruments. Touring around in his awesome blue Maserati GranCabrio was a thrill in itself.

(L to R) Angelina Siu - wonderful pianist and host, K.C. , me, and Fan Ting - principle 2nd violinist in the Hong Kong Philharmonic

(L to R) K.C., me, Yat-Wah Cheng, and Fan Ting. Yat-Wah Cheng is a respected teacher at the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. We are holding 2 Alf violins I brought over, and violins from H.C.’s collection: a Viullaume and a Scarampella

Fang Ting, Principle 2nd violin of the Hong Kong Philharmonic talks with me about his latest violin. Professor Cheng studies a special edition, Opus 200, that I had just finished for Cheng’s colleague at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Professor Yang C. Lin.

10 year old Alex Young has just received his Gregg Alf violin, posing L to R with his grandfather, me, grandmother and his mother Katherine.

Again with Alex’s father Karl Young on the left. They have been my host family in Hong Kong.

Alex was eager to get back to his violin after a wonderful vegetarian dinner party in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong

The streets are very crowded at night; everyone's having a good time.

More pictures to come soon!