Click on a presenter's picture to view their biography:
Making Chromatic Double
Breaking the Rules
Christopher Germain makes award-winning violins, violas and cellos from his studio in Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Germain graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making in 1985. From 1985 to 1991 he worked for the Chicago firms, Kenneth Warren & Son Ltd. and Bein and Fushi Inc., focusing on restorations of rare stringed instruments. In 1995, Mr. Germain was invited by legendary restorer Vahahn Nigogosian to be an instructor at the Oberlin Restoration Workshop. Mr. Germain became director of the VSA/Oberlin Violinmaker’s Workshop in 1997, which recently celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary.
Mr. Germain has served as the President of The American Federation of Violin and Bowmakers as well at The Violin Society of America and has also served on the Governing Boards of both organizations. In 2006, he organized The American Violin, a historical perspective on the history of violin making, which took place at The Library of Congress in Washington DC. He is co-author of The American Violin (2016 AFVBM). In addition, Mr. Germain is the author of numerous other articles, which have appeared in publications and scholarly journals, such as The Journal of The Violin Society of America, VSA Letters, The Strad magazine, Strings and others.
Mr. Germain is also a member of Entente Internationale Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art and has served as judge on numerous international violin making competitions, including The Violin Society of America International Competition, the International Triennale in Cremona, Italy, the China International Violinmaking Competition and others. He has lectured on violinmaking and demonstrated his craft at venues around the world.
Presentation: Making Chromatic Double Bass Extensions
Kruno Kupresanin is a native of Zagreb, Croatia now residing in Amarillo, Texas. As a luthier, he has worked in several violin shops in the United States, including String Shop of Arizona and George Robinson Violins. He has operated his own shop in Amarillo since 2008.
Kruno was the Grand Prize winner for his violin in the Bob Wallace Competition for Violin Makers Association of Arizona International (VMAAI) in 2011. Kruno also won the Gold Medal award for tone with his viola at VMAAI in 2014. Most recently in 2021, Kruno’s cello was awarded the Gold Medal for Tone and the Gold Medal for Workmanship at VMAAI. In 2023, Kruno won the Gold Medal for Violin Tone in the Southern Violin Association Competition in North Carolina.
Kruno earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Texas Tech University. He was the
winner of the Texas Tech Concerto Competition in 2007 on the double bass. Kruno remains active as a musician, performing with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Amarillo. He has also performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and
the Rijeka Opera. Kruno’s experience as a professional musician helps him better understand what a musician expects from their instrument.
Presentation: Breaking the Rules
Zoran Stilin is a native of Zagreb, Croatia and a prize-winner of the former Yugoslavia National Cello Competition. He was a performing soloist with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio-Television Orchestra, Music Academy Symphony Orchestra, and Gaudemus Chamber Orchestra.
Zoran continued his studies in Switzerland, and later the University of Arizona, where he received a Master of Music under the direction of Gordon Epperson and Peter Rejto. During this time in Arizona is when Zoran first developed his skills as a restorer and maker of fine string instruments. He was a student of the late Karl Roy, German violin maker and one of the world’s leading authorities on violin making.
By combining his passion for music and fine instruments, Zoran offers a complete approach to instrument making and repair. His instruments and bows have won top awards at the Violin Makers Association of Arizona International Competition.
He is a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra; principal cellist of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, with which he has performed as a soloist in previous years; and an active solo and chamber musician.
Don Noon retired in 2007 after 27 years as a mechanical engineer for interplanetary missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in order to take on the more challenging task of making violins and violas. He won the gold medal at VMAAI 2010 with his 4th violin, and has won many awards since, including a viola tone certificate at a VSA competition.
He is well known in the field of violin acoustics, and has been a pioneer in hydrothermal processing of wood for musical instruments.
Presentation: The Magic Late Period of Guarneri Del Gesu
Originally from Mexico City, Pablo Alfaro graduated from the Taller de Laudería at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, in addition he attended the advanced 5 year program of specialization with Gary Vessel in Utah, USA. Pablo Alfaro has received 54 awards in violinmaking competitions worldwide, including 18 First Places and 18 Second Places. In 2009 Pablo Alfaro was the Grand Champion Contest Winner of the Bob Wallace Memorial Award. In 2022 won the South East Prestige Award for Instrument Repair Specialist of the Year in Georgia.
Mr. Alfaro is a member of the AFVBM, past member of the Board of Governors as well as conference speaker. As a member of VSA (Violin Society of America) Pablo attends the Oberlin workshops regularly and has been a speaker for VSA Conventions. Pablo is also a member of VMAAI (Violin Makers Association of Arizona International), serving on the Board of Directors and past President. In addition Pablo Alfaro has been a tone, varnish and workmanship judge as well as a conference speaker for VMAAI. Mr. Alfaro is also a member of SVA (Southern Violin Association) serving on the Board of Directors and current President, he also has been a conference speaker for SVA and Tone Judge.
Pablo received tutelage from great masters as Rene Morel, Hans Nebel, and Jerry Pasewicz and Chris Germain among others.
Pablo Alfaro has been a faculty member for the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla's International Music Festival, the Florida International University's "Animato" Music Camp, the "Orchestral Studies for Musical Studies" at Reinhardt College in Georgia, Nessonvaux Music Festival in Belgium and EMBA Veracruz, Mexico.
Pablo Alfaro was appointed as principal technician and foreman for five consecutive years at Summerhays Music Center in Utah. Also Pablo joined the staff of Williams Gengakki Violins in Atlanta, GA as a restorer for one year. Currently Mr. Alfaro works in his own shop "Alfaro Violins, LLC" in Decatur, GA, restoring fine old instruments, as well as creating new violins, violas and cellos.
Pablo Alfaro is as well a fine violinist, freelancing and playing professionally since 1982.
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