Kelvin William Marshall Scott Opus 30 a.k.a. "Little Guarneri" is
modeled after the "Ex-Huberman" Guarneri del Gesł of 1734. The back is
two-piece, highly flamed Bosnian maple with the flames of deep and
irregular curl descending. The ribs are also deeply flamed, Bosnian maple,
likewise the neck. The back is pinned. The top is made of well-quartered
Engleman spruce, tightly grained in the center and then widening in the
outside of the lower bouts. It is unantiqued and the oil varnish is a
beautiful Cremonese orange over an amber ground.
The Ex-Huberman del Gesł, which served as the inspiration for my Kelvin Scott
violin, was previously known as the Ex-Alfred Gibson. It then passed on to
Ruggerio Ricci and now Midori is the owner and concertizes with the
Ruggiero Ricci owned the violin before Midori. To quote Ricci from and article in the Strad magazine November 1998. There are comparativley few violins capable of producing the range of dynamics and colours necessary for the virtuoso repertoire and for Ricci there
is one supreme maker in particular "For my personal style and taste a Guarneri del Gesł is the ideal instrument."
An interesting footnote about my violin is that it was dedicated
one Dr. Barth A. Green, M.D. This dedication is inscribed on the upper
right bout of the back.
The story of the inscription is really a story about the Scott
family, and the violin happened to be an observer to it all:
Late this fall Kelvin's brother was at his part time job working
as a mover (he is a student at UMASS). He was out on a balcony moving
patio furniture and he fell backwards over the railing and fell four
stories to the ground, landing on the roof of a car. Needless to say, he
sustained terrible injuries, breaking his back in three places, including
the sacrum and his pelvis in two places. His spinal cord was miraculously
not damaged. Then began a long process of surgeries to repair the damage.
The first round of operations in Massachusetts included rebuilding a
section of vertebrae and pinning together three of the middle vertebra.
He was then flown to Miami to have further work done on his sacrum
and pelvis by the neurosurgeon Dr. Barth Green. Jeremy was there for two
months and Kelvin's mother and sister moved down there to be with Jeremy,
while Kelvin's father, David K. Scott and he flew down every few weeks to visit. Over the
time that Jeremy's two surgeries were happening, "Little Guarneri"
happened to be the violin he was making. With little time at the bench,
Kelvin took any spare moment to finish the violin. Consequently, it was
made in three states: Massachusetts, Illinois, and Florida; the scroll even
being carved in a hotel room after visiting hours.
Kelvin dedicated this violin to Dr. Barth Green in appreciation for
his kind attention to his brother. Kelvin described this aspect of
Jeremy's recovery in a letter to me, "Dr. Green took many small moments
with Jeremy and my family. In the midst of his grueling schedule of
fundraising for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, rounds, surgery,
meetings, etc. he had a wonderful ability to slow down and genuinely
listen to the concerns of our family."
"One time my father called Jeremy in his room a week or so after
his operation. Jeremy slept lot early on and so my father didn't expect
to get him, but rather a nurse. And who should pick up the phone but Dr.
Green, who was sitting beside Jeremy's bed late at night. He told my
father that he had to whisper because Jeremy was sleeping. Kelvin's father
asked what he was doing there, and Dr. Green replied that he was just
sitting there thinking and writing. I think this anecdote really captures
Dr. Green's character..."
As a postscript, it has been a long road, but Jeremy Scott had youth
and a strong physique on his side, and he is recovering well. At five
months out from the accident, he is already walking with a cane and doing
In an interesting coincidence:
Dr. Green also happens to be a cousin
of none other than
violinist Jascha Heifetz.
These little stories about violins and makers can get swallowed up in
time, but in this case it is nice that some repairman in the future will
scratch his head when he sees the inscription and perhaps wonder what role
this doctor played in a long-dead maker's life.