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Plutocracy

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Mike Goodbar, Nov 20, 2001.


  1. Read an interesting article in the Chicago Trib concerning a company that acts as a broker for fine violins (strads, amatis, etc.).

    The broker persuades wealthy benefactors to purchase these million-dollar fiddles so that young virtuosi can use them for performing and auditioning.

    In exchange, the violinists must pay insurance, take the instruments back to Chicago twice yearly for tweaking and checkup, and must do "command performances" in the living rooms of their wealthy patrons. If they fail to do this, they run the risk of losing the instruments.

    At first glance, this seems like a great way to get these priceless instruments into the hands of musicians and make sure they're being played rather being left to lanquish in a safe somewhere (the fiddles, not the musicians). But the article (written by Howard Reich) didn't paint a very flattering picture of this practice.

    I realize that the prices for old basses isn't quite as high, (but, hey, to me $40,000 might as well be a million). Are there any programs such as describe above for young bass virtuosi?
     
  2. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    :confused:

    what does plutocracy mean? :D
     
  3. That's when Mickey's dog gets to be in charge. ;)
     
  4. That's a psychogenesis of a toy bass player into a cartoon character that thinks its a dog.
     
  5. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    :D

    i have seen the light...and it is good
     
  6. I gather from what I've read from other sources is that there is just no money in basses. They require much more material for construction and/or repair compared to the small strings which make them more expensive to maintain. They are more difficult to maintain because of their size. They're a hassle and demand is extremely low compared to demand for the other strings. Low demand keeps prices low which makes the profit margin on basses almost negligable.

    Not all basses are repaired in the manner Sam wrote of. Chances are fine basses (especially Testore, Panormo, DaSalo, Montagnana, etc., etc.) have received expert repairs. So I don't buy the arguement about violin dealers not wanting their names associated with these shoddily-repaired instruments.

    BTW, bassists at "spiffy conservatories" (Curtis for example) play on $80-100k instruments the school owns. You won't see many basses worth much more than $100k. By comparison though, the upper strings, especially the violinists, are playing instruments worth several times that.

    On the subject of the orginal post, I heard somewhere that Bill Cosby owns several fine basses
    for the purposes mentioned.