A Last-Minute, Pre-Concert Surgery

 Feng Jiang repairs Mark Fewer's violin backstage at Rackham Auditorium Friday -photo credit Mark Jacobson evening.

Feng Jiang repairs Mark Fewer’s violin backstage at Rackham Auditorium Friday evening -photo credit Mark Jacobson

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Feb. 16, 2014)
When your violin’s bustered, who you gonna call? Not Mr. Stradivari or Mr. Guarnieri; they’re long gone. But if your fiddle comes from a contemporary luthier, sometimes it can meet its maker (with joy!) – and sooner rather than later if you are in the right spot.

As luck would have it, the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s new second violinist, Mark Fewer, was in exactly the right spot – Ann Arbor – when he discovered, just before a Valentine’s Evening concert at Rackham Auditorium, a separation problem with the fingerboard of his Feng Jiang violin. Oops.

Feng, a well-known and well-medaled second-generation violin maker, makes
Ann Arbor home and has his workshop here. Luckily, “Dr. Feng” was in, and ready
to make a “house call” at Rackham. Backstage, Feng operated 30 minutes before
curtain, and Fewer, violin intact and ready for action, came onstage at the appointed
8 p.m. time, violin in hand, along with his quartet colleagues. He’d had it back for a
full 10 minutes, he said.

Fewer had played the violin earlier in the day at the University of Michigan School
of Music, while working with students. It apparently got jarred; the fingerboard
damage was the result.

Fewer told the story from the stage of Rackham, before the quartet’s encore, and
Feng, sitting in the audience, got a turn in the spotlight and some grateful applause
from patrons.

Click HERE to read the review of the St.Lawrence String Quartet’s February 14th Concert

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