James Ehnes, Violin
James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras. Read more
Miriam Fried, Violin
Miriam Fried has been recognized for years as one of the world’s preeminent violinists. A consummate musician—equally accomplished as recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician—she has been heralded for her “fiery intensity and emotional depth” (Musical America) as well as for her technical mastery. Fried has played with virtually every major orchestra in the United States and Europe and has been a frequent guest with the principal orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, as well as with the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Vienna Symphony.
Recital tours have taken her to all of the major music centers in North America and to Brussels, London, Milan, Munich, Rome, Paris, Salzburg, Stockholm, and Zurich. Read more
Paul Huang, Violin
Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang is considered to be one of the most distinctive artists of his generation. The Washington Post remarked that Mr. Huang “possesses a big, luscious tone, spot-on intonation and a technique that makes the most punishing string phrases feel as natural as breathing,” and further proclaimed him as “an artist with the goods for a significant career” following his recital debut at the Kennedy Center. Read more
A co-founder of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins and partner in Midwest String Rentals, Julian Hersh has worked as a violin dealer in the string instrument trade for over 20 years. During that time he has been involved in a wide range of transactions worldwide, ranging from quality French and German instruments to the finest classical Italian masterpieces. In addition to his activities as a violin dealer Julian regularly writes and lectures about classical Italian instruments. His writings have appeared in various publications including The Strad magazine and the Cozio Carteggio.
Concurrent to his involvement with fine string instruments Julian has sustained a performing career, playing throughout the United States as well in Europe and Asia. As a founding member of the Jupiter Trio he won the Gold Medal at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and was the recipient of the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award for a CD of trios by Beethoven and Shostakovich released on the Bridge Records label. Julian has served on the faculty of various institutions including the DePaul School of Music and Roosevelt University.
Michael Darnton is a Chicago violin maker and co-founder of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins, where he is head of the repair and restoration workshop, and Midwest String Rentals. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his violins as well as his expertise on—and extensive writings about—classical violin making techniques, instrument setup, and adjustment. His articles published in the journal American Lutherie are referenced in shops throughout the world, and his online posts on these topics are followed by a wide audience.
In addition to his work as a violin maker and restorer, Michael performs setups and adjustments for numerous professional performers and supervises the setups on all Darnton & Hersh instruments. Over the last decade Michael has gained a reputation for conducting intensive summer violin making workshops that are attended by both amateur and professional makers and restorers from around the US and from as far away as Mexico, England, Australia, and Hong Kong.