John Grillo and I recorded this interview with Barrie Kolstein back in 2008, and it has proven to be a very popular episode in the catalog. Barrie runs the Kolstein shop Long Island, and his instruments have been utilized by Jeff Turner of the Pittsburgh Symphony, James Van Demark of the Eastman School of Music, Scott Haigh of the Cleveland Orchestra, and many others.
John Grillo has been frequenting the Kolstein shop for years, and it was great to have John in on the conversation. This was a great chat about all sorts of bass-related topics.
About Barrie Kolstein:
1967-1971 Kolstein basses
State University of New York at Albany
Obtained a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration and Marketing.
Formally studied the Double Bass under the pedagogues: Frederick Zimmermann, Assistant Principal of the New York Philharmonic; Orin O’Brien, New York Philharmonic; Georges Andre, Metropolitan Opera; Robert Gladstone, Principal Bassist Detroit Symphony; Samuel Hollingsworth, Principal Bassist Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; David Holland, renowned Jazz artist.
Served in formal apprenticeship for instrument and bow restoration, construction and appraisals, under the expert auspices of renowned violin and bow maker, restorer, and appraiser, Samuel Kolstein.
Served as staff instrument and bow restorer as well as making numerous new violin and celli with Samuel Kolstein.
Promoted to head violin master in the shop of Samuel Kolstein.
Assumed full business responsibilities for operating all aspects of Samuel Kolstein & Son, Ltd. and Kolstein Music, Inc.
1981 to present
Head violin maker, restorer, and appraiser with a staff of nine violin makers working under his supervision.
Published numerous technical articles on restoration and appraisals in the International Society of Bassists with feature article published in the Strad, February 1991; presently editor of the “Luthier Corner” in the International Society of Bassists magazine restoration and repair forum; published regularly in the Double Bassist magazine and the Strad magazine, both of London, England, since 1996. These articles have ranged form interviews with makers and performers, technical articles on repair/making, and expert appraisal articles on historic master makers; featured in the violinmaking segment of Robin Lehman’s documentary, Young Peoples Guide to the Orchestra; contacted to appear in the upcoming educational video on “Careers in Music”. On the expert appraisers staff of Art Conservation fine arts adjusters as a String Instrument and Bow Expert.
Barrie Kolstein has completed well over one hundred instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass Violins) utilized by renowned players including Jeffrey Turner, Pittsburgh Symphony; Robert Gladstone, Detroit Symphony; James Van Demark, Professor of Double Bass Eastman School of Music and world famous soloist; Charles Urbont, Metropolitan Opera; James Clute, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra; David Sheets, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Lou Norton, New York Philharmonic; Caitlyn Kamanga, Hong Kong Philharmonic;, Scott Haig, Assistant Principal Bassist, Cleveland Orchestra; Hienrich Joachim, renowned soloist and former member of the New York Philharmonic; Lew Norton, New York Philharmonic; Barbara Yendell, Hong Kong Philharmonic, to name a few! Mr. Kolstein is a member of:
Appraisers Association of America, 1994 to present
International Society of Bassists, 1979 – present
Violin Society of America, 1980 – present
Viola Congress, 1983 – present
Cello Congress, 1982 – present
Listed in The Violin Makers of the United States, by Thomas J. Wenberg, Mount Hood Publishing Company, 1986.