‘Have You Ever Wondered How a Violin Is Made?’

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

The Westside Committee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will host a demonstration by Palisadian Rebecca Rodman to show the unique process of how a violin is made on Wednesday, March 18.

Rodman, a violinist, violist and violin maker, will share her expertise and the contents of her personal workshop with those in attendance.

The event intends to educate people about what is involved in the making of string instruments and raise money for musical activities for young musicians through the Philharmonic.

“Most people who play stringed instruments are not aware of how they are made,” Rodman shared with the Palisadian-Post. “I’m going to show them the
Cremonese method.”

Rodman lived with her family in Marquez Knolls from 1972 until she moved to Cremona, Italy, in 2001 where she learned how to construct string instruments.

Violins were invented in the 16th century and this area—55 miles south of Milan—became synonymous with the art of violin making.

Rodman became an accredited luthier in the historic city where the world’s most renowned luthiers, including Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari and the Amati family, had their workshops.

“I was fortunate to apprentice with a number of people in the town who are attending the violin-making school there,” Rodman said. “I loved living there, and I would still be there if my granddaughters had not been born.”

After 14 years, Rodman moved back to the Palisades to be closer to her son, Marquez Knolls resident Matthew Rodman, his wife and their two girls. When she returned to the Palisades in 2015, she brought with her all of the tools from her workshop.

During the demonstration at the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club, Rodman will “explain in detail how stringed instruments are constructed and will bring her tools and her partially constructed violins and violas to her talk,” according to a statement.

Rodman has given this workshop demonstration from Bangkok to Bellingham.

“I want to make this a very hands-on experience,” Rodman said. “People are going to be able to hold every part of a violin.”

Rodman started a nonprofit foundation, Fondazione Maestro Cremona, that loans 23 of the 25 instruments she has made free of charge to emerging artists. They are on loan in Europe and the United States.

Rodman is currently playing in six local orchestras: Palisades Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra (LADSO), Vicente Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Santa Monica, LA Lawyers Philharmonic and the Jewish Symphony.

She’s also the string teacher at the children’s music workshop at Marquez Charter Elementary School run by Larry Newman.

The violin demonstration will take place at 10:30 a.m. at 901 Haverford Avenue, with a lunch reception to follow. Donations of $40 are suggested.

RSVPs can be directed to ebigolski@yahoo.com.