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  1. Good Morning!

    I’m not a player, but a maker. I live in the Portland area of western Oregon, and would like to meet one or more violists willing to “test drive” my violas, and give me helpful feedback.

    I have only been making for fifteen years, so I have only about seven violas available, though I have also made celli, violins, and one double bass. I think I like violas the best, both for tone and playability.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested, please send me an email: bishopchet@gmail.com. If you’d like to look at what I make, please see http://www.bluefiddles.com/gallery


    Chet Bishop

  2. Saddened to learn of the passing in Europe at age 82 of Erwin Schiffer, an extraordinary musician and teacher. Erwin coached for many years at the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop (CHCMW). He influenced and expected as much of the adult amateurs in this musical “summer camp” at least as much as he did his professionally-bound conservatory students in Belgium and summer program in Morges, Switzerland. See http://www.musicacademy.is/index.php/en/about-us/faculty/faculty2014 for a short bio.
    On hearing the news, I wrote to Don Oehler, who directs the CHCMW, to thank him for introducing me to this wonderful man:
    Oh my. So many memories of someone who was quite literally larger than life. None of us will ever forget the sight and sound of Erwin [who stood not much over 5 feet tall] playing his huge Maggini viola, with his arm stretched almost impossibly straight…or of his enthusiastic hands-over-head applause when one of the groups he coached performed up to (or at least approached) his exacting standards at a CHCMW musicale. He doled out musical insight, joy, and tough love in giant portions, all liberally seasoned with Hungarian paprika.

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