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The Makers’ Forum: An exhibition of contemporary string instruments and their bows

18 September 2022 @ 10h00 - 20h30

After a successful and interesting online event last year, the makers from the Canadian Association of Violin and Bow Makers are thrilled to meet the players again in person this year. The next exhibition at Koerner Hall promises to be a truly unique event, with 31 makers from Canada presenting bows and instruments.

Try bows and instruments from the following makers:

Guy Harrison – Itzel Avila – Fabienne Gauchet – Guillaume Turgeon – Sibylle Rupert – Michèle Ashley – Eric Gagné – André Lavoye – Isabelle Wilbaux – Ludovic Proulx – Philip Risacher – Stephen Quinney – Louis Gord – Zacharie Rodrigue – Garth Lee – Thérèse Girard – Jean-Benoit Stensland – Quentin Playfair – John Newton – Greg Walke – Lucas Castera – Stephen Marvin – Richard Morency Martin Héroux – Ryan L Soltis – Leïla Barbedette – Johann Lotter – Rebecca Pierce – Charles Arsenault – Mark Schnurr – Troy Milleker – Charly Edry

From september 19th to 30th, we will offer an extended trial period as most of the exhibited instruments and bows will be available for trial at Geo Heinl & Co.

3 performances during the day.

11am Odin Quartet:

While society sheltered in place during the pandemic, luthiers continued to craft their instruments, and composers continued to create their compositions, unsure when the two would be brought together again in performance. At the same time, the Odin Quartet commissioned new pieces written during the pandemic, and received nearly 200 submissions from creatives in Canada and worldwide. Bringing together luthiers, composers, and performers, this event renews and reinvigorates the connections between these three world as well as audiences.

2:30pm Theresa Rudolph + Viola discussion

Because the viola is the member of the string family that has never settled on standard measurements, viola players, teachers and luthiers must deal with the variability of the instrument’s dimensions. Every player must find a viola that is matched to their unique conformation, so as to avoid strain and injury, while also satisfying their musical aspirations. The viola teacher has a crucial role assessing the students’ physical limits, advising on optimum viola size, and teaching them how to play safely and without pain. Theresa Rudolph and John Newton will discuss these issues with input from players and luthiers present.

6:30pm Kerson Leong playing the Ysaÿe Sonatas:

Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) was a Belgian composer and conductor but also recognized as one of the greatest virtuoso violinists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a young man he was the principal violinist of the orchestra that would later become the Berlin Philharmonic. He was a Professor at the Brussels Conservatoire and taught such notable players as Josef Gingold and the viola player William Primrose amongst many others. In later life he focused more of his time on composing. His six Sonatas for Solo Violin op. 27 were published in 1923 and are amongst his most famous works. Ysaÿe was inspired by Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and you can hear cross referencing and some direct quotes from Bach in many of the pieces. These challenging works for solo violin are full of extraordinary technical difficulties. Ysaÿe wrote each of them for a particular contemporary virtuoso player and tailored them to the individual technical capabilities and playing style of each player. Consquently, these six pieces are often considered to be among the most challenging and difficult pieces ever written for the violin.
Kerson Leong will play these sonatas on violins made by members of The Makers’ Forum and you will see and hear him change instruments during the performance. This music is challenging for any player but we are adding to the challenge by asking him to switch instruments regularly. Consistent set-ups will help Kerson feel comfortable when switching from one violin to another but he will be adjusting to the playing characteristics of each one as he performs.

+ See the process of making and instrument step by step

+ Historical features on Canadian violin making.


18 September 2022
10h00 - 20h30


Le Forum des fabricants


Toronto, Ontario Canada + Google Map