Christopher Germain makes award-winning stringed instruments in his Center City Philadelphia studio. He graduated from the Chicago School of Violinmaking in 1985 and worked for the Chicago firms, Kenneth Warren & Son and Bein & Fushi,, before opening his own studio in 1991. Mr. Germain is the Director of the VSA/Oberlin Stringed Instrument Maker’s Workshop. He is a past-President, and Governing Board member of the Violin Society of America and the AFVBM. He is also a member of Entente Internationale des Maitre Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art. Mr. Germain has served as jury member for a number of international violin making competitions and has lectured on and demonstrated his craft at venues around the world.
Philip J. Kass is a respected expert, appraiser, consultant and writer on fine classic stringed instruments and bows. From 1977 until 2002, he was an associate of William Moennig & Son, Ltd. of Philadelphia. His training in expertise came from William Moennig III, William Moennig Jr., and Dario D’Attili, and was supplemented through his own independent travels, inquiries and explorations. He has contributed an extensive variety of entries for the forthcoming edition of Groves’ Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians as well as an essay on the workmanship of G. B. Guadagnini for the book that accompanied that exhibition in Parma in 2012, and a series of short biographical essays for Bottega Italiana. He has also published a wide variety of articles on both violin and bow makers in The Strad, Strings, and the Journal of the Violin Society of America, and has been a guest lecturer to a wide variety of violin-related organizations.
Darcy Kuronen has worked since 1986 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he is the Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments. In 2000 he organized the critically acclaimed exhibition Dangerous Curves: Art of the Guitar, which celebrated the diversity of guitar design over the past four centuries through 130 rare instruments from private and public collections. Kuronen also serves as volunteer curator to the collection of historical instruments owned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He attended the University of
South Dakota in Vermillion, where he received an undergraduate degree in harpsichord performance and a Master of Music with a concentration in the history of musical instruments. A specialist in early American instruments, he has written several articles and lectured widely on this subject.
P. Dameron Midgett, IV (“Ron”) trained at the University of New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute. From 1989 to 2008 he owned and operated Easthampton Violin Co., restoring violins in Easthampton, MA. This provided the opportunity to study hundreds of early violins from New England. Inspired by their craftsmanship, he established a collection, engaged in original research to locate biographical data, and sought photographs of the makers. The story of New England violin making emerges clearly from his data’s historical and cultural context. He was curator of the Connecticut River Valley Historical
Museum 2001 exhibition Violin Makers and Inventors in the Pioneer Valley. He was a contributor to and speaker at the AFVBM Library of Congress 2006 exhibition The American Violin: From Jefferson to Jazz.
John Montgomery trained at the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah and with William Monical in Staten Island, New York. He has been making, restoring and selling instruments and bows as president of John Montgomery Inc in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1983. A member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers since 1987 he co-curated the symposium and exhibition The American Violin: From Jefferson to Jazz at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. in 2006. He has served on the boards of the AFVBM, VSA, as faculty at the Oberlin Violin Making summer program, and as a violin making competition judge. He has a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow having researched and built hurdy-gurdies in France.