In 2020 Fiddlershop purchased a violin made by Andrash Taras, a violin maker from Galicia Sambir, Ukraine. We were very happy with this instrument - and it has since been sold! We purchased a second violin from him during 2021, just as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia was intensifying. The war has caused immeasurable damage and disruption for many Ukrainians, and Andrash was forced to stop making instruments. The fate of his new violin was unknown.
The violin remained stuck in Ukraine for several months with no updates on its status. After fearing the worst, we were very surprised to see that it had finally arrived! It was a fantastic new instrument, and we were delighted to have it here in our shop.
We felt compelled to help Andrash in some way, so in March of 2022 Fiddlershop held a special live auction for this violin, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the maker himself.
Michael O'Gieblyn has a video explaining the story in detail, as well as a demonstration of the instrument:
You can also check out the Auction Page to see the photos, view the auction history, and read more.
We recently heard from the winner of the auction, Jessica, who shared a bit of her experience since receiving the instrument:
"I have been playing and enjoying Andrash’s violin. It arrived in California just in time for me to get to know it while rehearsing for the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers’ spring concert series. Now we have played our three concerts in three bay area cities, including a crazy location in a park on the roof of a four block long transit building in San Francisco. Not only is the violin beautiful, but it is a pleasure to play. I love how it can play softly and sweetly but if I want to dig into a wild Scottish dance tune, it seems to just have more and more to give. It wants to be heard. I appreciate how even the sound is across the strings and how responsively it plays. At the end of each concert we played the Ukrainian anthem as recognition of the horrendous situation in Ukraine and support for the Ukrainian people. It was an honor to be able to add the voice of Andrash’s violin to our musical tribute. Our enthusiastic audiences showed their support, and showed how music can keep bringing people together in a spirit of camaraderie and joy."
A special thanks to Jessica for participating in the auction. We are thrilled to be a part of this violin's journey, and hope it will continue to make music for many more years.