Jeffrey Holmes

Jeffrey’s relationship with the violin started at age 8, when he began his musical studies. Later, he developed interests in woodworking and sculpture, but the violin remained an important part of his life and livelihood. Visits to violin makers were a fascination for him, and eventually it occurred to him that making and restoring the instruments embodied aspects of many of his interests, so he decided to pursue training in the craft.

He attended the Chicago School of Violin Making where he studied with Tschu Ho Lee. Assisting conservator Dudley Greeley of Evanston and violinmaker Marilyn Wallin in her Wilmette shop enhanced his experience in school. After graduation he took a position with Shar Fine Instruments in Ann Arbor assisting David Burgess in making new instruments and performing restorations.

A few years later, he was asked to manage Shar’s old instrument division. His stay with the company was 17 years in total, the last eight as Vice President of Shar Fine Instruments. His responsibilities during that time included company and client acquisitions, sales, restorations, and appraisals as well as administration.

Jeffrey’s position with the firm allowed him the opportunity to work and consult directly with many fine makers and restorers including Anton Smith, Mark Norfleet, Jerry Pasewicz and Oliver Radke. During the years at Shar’s, the exposure to great players, gifted colleagues and many fine instruments and bows, as well as the planning and oversight and execution of complex restorations, was invaluable.

In May of 2003, he took his leave to work in his own studio where he offers restoration, appraisal, expertise, and sales of old and contemporary instruments and bows. The skills he developed within the larger firm allow him the unique ability to offer high-level services on a personal level, within a small business environment.

Jeffrey is a accredited member of the Appraisers Association of America and director of the Oberlin/VSA Summer Instrument Restoration Workshop. He has also served on the board of directors for the Chicago School of Violin Making and the Violin Society of America.

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