Originally designed for David Ragsdale of the rock band Kansas, I designed this instrument to have great power, clarity, and balance across all five strings. Due to the fact that it is an acoustic electric I took some liberties with some of the more classic violin shapes.
The ex Soldat was once owned by Johannes Brahms and was named after 19th century violinist Marie Soldat. It is currently being played by Rachel Barton Pine who lives in Chicago and was nice enough to loan it to me to make a bench copy.
I really enjoy making copies of this instrument and each copy has a huge robust sound, like the original.
This violin was made in 1704 by Antonio Stradivari. It was purchased for next to nothing in 1820 by a British violin dealer named Arthur Betts . It currently resides in the Library of Congress, and I had the pleasure of seeing the instrument in person when the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers had our meeting in D.C.
I love the outline and long corners of this violin as well as the wood selection and varnish.
The Cramer Heath was named after William Cramer, who was the son of the violinst Francois Cramer.Also for Baron Henry Burnley Heath, whose father was Consul General for Italy and a close friend of Paganini.
My favorite feature is the wide scroll with extra long ears..
A native Shanghai,Yuan-Qing Yu has won numerous competitions, including Menuhin and Jacques Thaibaud International competitions.
Since I regularly perform two very different styles of music--classical and early music and Irish traditional--I needed a fiddle that has the sensibilities of a 'classical' violin.
David Ragsdale’s five-string violin playing has been getting attention for years, first through his work with country star Louise Mandrell, then with the rock band Kansas, and always in his many distinguished solo projects. It would be safe to say that he’s played his share of fine violins, both traditional and electric. Over time, however, Ragsdale found that even under the best of circumstances the electric instruments sounded like