I began making bows in 1980 after living in New York and devoting myself to a career in Early Music. By this time I had already worked for some years as a violinist and violist with many of North America’s outstanding original instrument ensembles, most notably, Aston Magna, Concert Royal, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. I was given invaluable instruction, assistance and advice from William Salchow in New York, who taught me the basics of bow making in the French style. Over many years, I have visited museums and private collections to find healthy surviving examples of bows made before 1800. The Victoria and Albert Museum, Paris Conservatory, Shrine to Music Museum, Beare’s Violin Shop, the Yale Collection and many others have beautiful old bows, carefully preserved. Also, many individual performers have old bows which I have studied and measured. I now have more than 30 models for my Historical Bows, and many others which serve as reference for comparison.
The Tafelmusik Orchestra and various chamber ensembles have been my musical home for over thirty years. My own performing has been a valuable asset in developing bows that truly function. Over this time, I have performed with and led numerous ensembles in the US and Canada, with a special interest in Chamber Music with Fortepiano. I also taught at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute for many years, developing a “technique class,” which was an in-depth approach to handling an early string instrument, emphasizing gesture and phrasing along with the essential relaxed, physical approach.