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Michael Vann, Bow Maker

William Salchow
1926 - 2014

It is with great personal sadness to hear of William Salchow's passing on May 13, 2014. He was my former teacher, mentor and friend. One of the world's most respected bow makers. He was 88.

Born in 1926 in Detroit, Salchow began playing the cello at the age of 14. After serving in the US Army in World War II he played in the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra and studied the instrument with Georg-Ulrich von Bülow, a pupil of Emanuel Feuermann. Returning to the US he spent two years with Alexander Schuster at Michigan State University before studying with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. He continued to have private lessons with Bernard Greenhouse while working in a factory and performing in a chamber orchestra, where in 1955 a friend suggested he demonstrate cellos at Rembert Wurlitzer’xs shop. A year later he began rehairing and repairing bows under Frank Passa.

With the help of cellist Luigi Silva, Salchow received a Fulbright grant to study bow making with Georges Barjonnet in Mirecourt, France. On his return to America he opened a shop in Carnegie Hall, but soon moved to his own premises in West 56th Street. He remained there for the next 23 years before moving to a new shop in West 54th Street. During that time he trained his son, Stephen Salchow, and grandson Isaac Salchow in the craft of bow making.

Salchow was one of the founding members of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, which began in 1980. The same year, he began teaching at UNH, training many of today’s finest bow makers in the craft. Among the string players who used Salchow bows over the years were Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, Leonard Rose, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Glenn Dicterow, Arnold Steinhardt, Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Ani and Ida Kavafian.

Interviewed in the November 2012 issue of The Strad Magazine,


Bows for all instruments
 of the violin family.

Winner of 17 awards.

Evaluations, Repair, Rehair.

Specialist in all type of
 restoration on bows by
 the masters.

Canadian Bow Maker Michael Vann was trained in New York City in the shop of the world renowned master Bow Maker William Salchow. Since embarking on his career in 1975 he has won six international and more than a dozen Canadian awards for his bows which have been acquired by such notables as Pinchas Zukerman, Amanda Forsyth, Pierre Fournier, Ruggiero Ricci, Steven Dann, James Ehnes, Regis Pasquir, France, Steven Staryk, Canada, Eugene Fodor, USA, Jessica Linnebach, Canada, Sidney Harth, USA, Pieter Schoeman, France, Gwen Hoebig, Canada, Gabriel Magyar, (Hungarian String Quartet), Nikolaj Znaider, Denmark, Lena Neudauer, Germany, Nikki Chooi, Timmy Chooi, The New Brunswick String Quartet (Canada), The Franciscan String Quartet (U.S.A.) The Amernet String Quartet, USA, The Colorado Strings Quartet, (U.S.A.), The Manfred String Quartet. (France), The St. Lawrence String Quartet, Canada, The Miro String Quartet, USA,   The Daedalus String Quartet, USA, just to name a few.

He was also recently commissioned by a private foundation to make bows for the Royal House of Denmark.

His bows are in use by members of symphony orchestras in Amsterdam, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Tokyo, China, Paris, Toulouse, Nice, Taiwan, Dusseldorf,  Victoria, and many others. 

His bows are also being sold in Japan and Europe.

He was commissioned to make the quartets of presentations bows for the Banff International String Quartet Competition from 1983 to 2003.

He makes conductor's batons for such maestros as Mario Bernardi, Bramwel Tovey.

Michael is married to violinist / teacher DOLORES , former concertmaster of the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. They make their home on GABRIOLA, a few minutes from Nanaimo, British Columbia.

He also services as "Luthier in Residence" at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, B.C. where he opens his on-campus studio each Friday.

Photo: fournie par l'OSM

The 71st edition of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Standard Life Competition ended when16-year-old violinist Timothy Chooi was named the Grand Prize winner. He performed Sibelius Violin Concerto twice with the OSM: first as part of an evening concert and earlier the same day, at an open dress rehearsal for a student audience.

His bow is a Michael Vann.




MENGLA HUANG is congratulated after
his decisive first-place win at the
2002 Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy.

He earned his gold medal with the aid of a Michael Vann Violin Bow.


Maestro Pinchas Zuckerman playing
 his Michael Vann bow at a
 performance in Victoria, BC's Royal
 Theatre in 2005.

He is accompanied by the National
 Arts Centre Orchestra of which he is
 resident conductor.





Inventor of the Bow Badger, a time and labor saving bench-top tool used in the restoration of worn bow shafts.

Currently in use in Australia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, France, USA and Canada.

For full details see bowbadger.com



afvbm.gif (2282 bytes) Member, American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
Member, The Violin Society of America

Michael Vann

 P.O. Box 126, 
Gabriola, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria BC Telephone number 250-383-9403
 Fax 250-247-9411
1-800-650-BOWS(2697), orders only please!

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Copyright Michael Vann, 2011

This site last updated Monday, May 19, 2014