The Strad: ‘My Space’ feature

The Strad: ‘My Space’ feature

By Joseph Curtin, The Strad, Nov. 2008

My wife and I live on six acres of beautiful land just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan. When the lease expired on my downtown workshop five years ago, we decided to build a studio near our home. Though it’s primarily a violin shop, the large upstairs room in the picture doubles ...Read more


Double Acts

By Nick Shave, The Strad, Dec. 2007

In 1984 Gregg Alf and I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan, with thoughts of setting up shop there. A University of Michigan professor took us to the laboratory of his colleague Gabriel Weinreich, a physicist who was researching violin acoustics. I’d only recently become interested in the subject, and I had ...Read more


Joseph Curtin: Innovation and Creation in the Violin-Making World : a Q & A with Violonetto

By Joseph Curtin, VIOLONetto, February 2007

How did you get started making violins and violas? I was trying to be a violinist and then a violist, I had given up violin, I’d been very discouraged, and it was a difficult time. Then I met a violist in Toronto, her name is Rivka Golani, a wonderful violist ...Read more


Prepare to Meet the Maker: Joseph Curtin

By Tim Olsen, American Lutherie Journal, Summer 1998

On Main Street in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, there is a drum shop with brightly colored signs and flashy percussion gear in the windows. Next to the drum shop is a plain green locked door. I rang the bell and was admitted to a flight of stairs ...Read more


The Art of a Commission : Patience, Perseverance and Lots of Long-Distance Phone Calls

By Jana Luckey, Strings Magazine, November 1997

In this era of fax, phone, and FedEx, a commission can originate across the miles with surprising success. So it did with Michael Heifetz, a business consultant and writer in Olympia, Washington, and Joseph Curtin, a violin maker based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a dedicated amateur violinist who frequently ...Read more


In Focus: Brescia Revisited

By Joseph Curtin, The Strad, November 1995

This viola by Curtin & Alf, Ann Arbor 1992, is the only replica of a viola they have made to date. It reproduces the ‘ex-Nathan Gordon’ Gasparo da Salo, a remarkable example of the Brescian master’s work. Despite its size (17 3/16 inches, even after being cut down slightly), the ...Read more


Curtins for Cremona

By Stewart Pollens, The Strad, November 1995

Stewart Pollens talks with Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf, violinmakers famed for their uncannily convincing copies of classic Cremonese instruments. Though artistic endeavours are most often undertaken independently, collaboration is not a rare phenomenon in the world of violin making. Violins have been made with the assistance of apprentices, journeymen ...Read more


The Violin’s Genius and Mystery : Nation's top maker discusses the science of his craft

By Bill Dietrich, The Seattle Times, March 12, 1995

In an age of constant computer upgrades, annual car restylings and gimmick gadgets, the violin is an invention that has persisted almost unchanged for more than 300 years. Assembled from up to 108 individual pieces of wood plus hide glue, sheep gut for strings and a horse-hair bow coated with ...Read more


Violin hits the high notes

By Joseph Curtin, The Strad, January 1994

A world record auction price for a violin by a living maker was set on 2 November at Sotheby’s in London. The violin, by Michigan violin makers Joseph Curtin and Gregg T. Alf, reached a hammer price of £19,000 (£25,670 including buyers premium and taxes), bids having started at £10,000. ...Read more


Strad Copy Sets Sotheby’s Record

By Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 5, 1993

A copy of a Stradivarius created by a Canadian violinmaker and his U.S. business partner set an auction record in London, England, this week for a violin made by a living artisan. The violin made by Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf sold for £22,000 (about $42,460 Cdn.), at an auction ...Read more