About Carlo Carletti
One of the most respected copyists of the early 20th century Bolognese school, Carlo Carletti was born in 1873 in Pieve di Cento, and died there in 1941. After training with Giuseppe Fiorini and Ettore Soffritti, he moved to Milan to work in Leandro Bisiach's famous workshop. While collaborating with Anselmo Gotti to produce instruments for Luigi Mozzani in the 1920s, he also built instruments with his own label, sometimes with the assistance of his four violin-making sons. We believe his son Natale Carletti, who took over the family workshop 1941, worked with him on this violin. The Carletti dynasty of violin makers continues in Pieve di Cento today with Natale's son Gabriele Carletti (b. 1948).
About This Violin
Carlo Carletti with the assistance of Natale Carletti | Pieve di Cento ca1920 | 358 mm | 4/4
About Raymond Melanson
In the mid 1970s, Ray Melanson studied art and violin performance at the University of Lowell in Massachusetts. At the suggestion of one of his professors, who saw his potential for woodworking, Ray enrolled in courses at the University of Rhode Island to study bow repair and rehairing with Arnold Bone, and violin repair with Hans Nebel. In the early 1980s, he traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to study violin making with Peter Paul Prier at the Violin Making School of America. During that time and after graduating, Ray worked in the Prier workshop doing repairs and restorations.
In 1983, Ray returned to Massachusetts to found the Violin Making and Repair program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. He taught at NBSS for four years, while continuing to restore stringed instruments and build his own violins, violas, and cellos. He now maintains his own workshop in Rochester, MA.
Melanson's violins have been distinguished by 14 awards received at the International Violin Making competitions held by the Violin Society of America. Three of his instruments have won silver medals for tone, and most recently, he won a Gold Medal for tone at the 2012 Art of Sound International Competition. During his 30 years as a violin maker, he has built over 300 instruments, 80 of them cellos. His instruments are owned by musicians all over the world, including many well-known soloists, as well as recording artists and players in major symphony orchestras.
About This Viola
Raymond Melanson | Viola no.346 | Rochester, MA 2016 | 405mm | 16"
About Hippolyte Silvestre
French luthier Hippolyte Silvestre was born near Nancy, France in 1808 and died in Sommerviller in 1879. He apprenticed at the Blaise workshop in Mirecourt before moving to Paris around 1827 to study at Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume's famous atelier. In 1831, Hippolyte joined his brother Pierre Silvestre (1801 - 1859) in Lyon to form Silvestre Frères, a highly successful business that produced some of the finest French instruments of the mid 19th century. Hippolyte left the firm and moved to Sommerviller after 1848, the year this cello was made. After his brothers death in 1859, he returned to the Silvestre workshop in Lyon to work with his nephew Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre (1845 - 1913) for several years, before retiring in 1865. Hippolyte Silvestre's instruments, based on Cremonese models, are very highly regarded.
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