Gabriel Weinreich

Gabriel Weinreich, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, is an experimental physicist and a leading expert on the physics of the violin. Curtin met Weinreich in 1984 while visiting Ann Arbor with an eye to living there. Weinreich soon became a mentor in violin physics, and over the years, a close friend. They have collaborated on many research projects, including the Reciprocal Bow, the Digital Violin, and the Impulse Measurement Rig.

Born in Vilna, Poland (now the capitol of Lithuania), Weinreich studied physics at Columbia, receiving his Ph.D. in 1953 for a thesis on atomic physics directed by the legendary I. I. Rabi. He subsequently worked on fundamental properties of semiconductors, first at Bell Labs, then, starting in 1960, at the University of Michigan. In 1977 he turned his attention to the acoustics of musical instruments – mainly piano and bowed strings.

Weinreich’s books and scientific papers include fundamental work on violin sound radiation and a Scientific American cover story the vibration of piano strings. He is a recipient of the Association of Physics Teachers Klopsteg Award and Lecture, a Silver Medal from the Acoustical Society of America, and the Hutchins Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Acoustics. In 1986 he was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. In 2005 his memoir “Confessions of a Jewish Priest,” was published by Pilgrim Press.