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Making Masterpieces: The Art of Crafting Violins

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Making Masterpieces: The Art of Crafting Violins


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Though the violins of Antonio Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesu remain the gold standard for concert musicians, their prices-often in the millions-and their scarcity place them beyond the use of all but a handful of soloists. This NewsHour program looks at Samuel Zygmuntowicz, the master violin-maker whose replicas and original designs fetch $20,000 to $30,000 and involve a three-year waiting list. A visit to this craftsman's workshop in Brooklyn, New York, reveals why his selection of wood and uncanny skill in shaping it have made his instruments the choice of such legends as Heifitz, Totenberg, and, currently, Isaac Stern. Lively interviews with Stern and other musicians enhance the appreciation of Zygmuntowicz's art.

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