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US bow maker Paul Martin Siefried has died aged 69. Born in January 1950 and raised in southern California, Siefried began his career as a maker of leather goods before being taken on, aged 20, at Cremona Violin Makers & Dealers in San Francisco. Having learnt the fundamentals of bow making there, he resigned and moved to a small community where he studied bow making intensively.

Siefried caught the attention of Hans Weisshaar, whose seminars he had attended, and who invited him to join his atelier in Los Angeles. It was there that Siefried learnt matters of style and taste, and to comprehend the nuances of elegant bow making. It was there, too, that he had the opportunity to study the bows of great masters. ‘It was an absolutely humbling experience for me,’ Siefried said. ‘I didn’t make a bow for two years. I listened and just kept my mouth shut.’

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About The Strad

In a French-themed issue, the Ébène Quartet discuss their huge Beethoven project and we examine the early violins of J.B. Vuillaume. There’s a look at Michel Colichon and Nicolas Lupot, and Jean-Luc Ponty gives his Sentimental Work. Plus a Masterclass on Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata.