Strumenti International – Geoffrey M Maingart
Geoffrey began his history of music and violin in the 7th grade. By the end of High School, he was the concertmaster of the Southwest Miami High School Orchestra rated at that time one of the best in the United States and also concertmaster of the All Miami Youth Symphony and Young Artists Baroque Society studying with Warren Signor. He also attended the Florida State University Music Festival and was their concertmaster for his final season there. He then became a faculty member and 1st violinist of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC for 3 summer seasons and was a 1st violinist of The London Symphony Music Festival in Daytona Beach, FL. After a short 1 ½ years at the University of Miami studying violin with the amazing Louis Gabowitz, Geoff went to the Philadelphia Musical Academy as one of the very first students of the amazing Charles Castleman, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree. He also worked at the same time with Aaron Rosand and Jani Szanto. He participated in many renowned music festivals holding principal and faculty positions including The Talin Music Festival, PMA String Quartet Institute, Peninsula Music Festival, Puccini Festival in Italy and received numerous awards. He was a major free lance artist in Philadelphia and surrounding areas performing with the 16 Concerto Soloists, Grand and Lyric Operas, Pennsylvania Ballet and The Latin Casino in NJ working with the great popular singers and entertainers.
In 1971 Geoff became a 1st violinist in the US Marine Corps President’s Own Orchestra for 4 years under Presidents Nixon & Ford. He completed his Master of Music degree at Catholic University during this time and was a violin student of the great David Nadien and Eliot Chapo (concertmaster of the NY Philharmonic). In 1976 Geoffrey moved to Antwerp, Belgium where he was concertmaster of the Royal Flemish Opera and Flemish Chamber Opera, then the Belgium Radio & Television Orchestra, the Belgium Chamber Orchestra and the new age group “The Wim Mertens Ensemble” that toured Europe and made many recordings. Geoff also performed and recorded with the Belgian salon music sextet, Sestetto Salonisti. Over the years he became friends with many of the great artists of the 20th century including, Michael Rabin, Henryk Szeryng, Itzakh Perlman, Zukerman, Oistrakh, Ricci, Shaham, Zukerman, Stern, Eugene Fodor, Znaider, Friedman, Nina Bellina, Tibor Varga and many of the greatest conductors of the world including, Stokowski, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Paul Strauss, Ormandy, Kondrashin, Rowicki, Carlos Paita, Aaron Copland and too many to list. He performed often as soloist and recitalist and then began his interest in violin dealing and later violin making in the 1980’s while continuing his concert career.
Geoffrey learned first from luthiers, Adolph Primavera, his son Alfredo, and Andrius Faruolo. After first dealing in modern instruments from Cremona, he Founded Casa Di Violini in Antwerp with Primavera and Alex Jovanovic and later created his own company in Belgium, STRUMENTI, BVBA. After making 25 plus instruments that are owned and played by fine artists around the world including Geoff, he moved back the United States to Los Angeles and founded the corporation, Strumenti International, Inc in 2002. Geoffrey is still a fine violin soloist and chamber music artist and now besides being a excellent violin maker, restorer and performer (a unique combination) he is now a fine bow maker having trained with the renowned Lloyd Liu, who sadly just succumbed to the Covid 19 virus in March. This is a great loss to the world.
As a major rare instrument dealer, Strumenti Int has sold 18 major instruments by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu as well as numerous examples by Guadagnini, Gagliano, Balestrieri, Rugieri and many great Italian and French instruments. He is a superb restorer of major instruments and has become a respected expert in rare violins and bows. He has also had the rare and unique opportunities to have played and studied more than 150+ Stradivari violins, 50+ Guarneri del Gesu violins many Guadagnini and other major instruments and bows including so many that he sold around the world. There is no greater pleasure than to play these instruments, study the workmanship and copy the greatest characteristics in his own own work. He has learned from some of the greatest including Jacques Francais, Millant, Primavera, Peter Prier, Lloyd Liu and numerous fine luthiers.
As a performer, he has created the Strumenti Chamber Players with some of the finest musicians in the LA area including the LA Philharmonic. Geoff also recently held concertmaster positions with the Santa Monica Symphony and Pacific Palisades Symphony. Take time to listen to the 4 live chamber music performances here, all performed on a wonderful Del Gesu model violin made by Geoff.
Now Strumenti is involved with major dealers, musicians and collectors around the world, Japan, China, Europe and of course America. We also organize chamber music concerts here on the West side of LA and please do contact Geoffrey for violin lessons based on the unique principles of Tai Chi and artistic approaches to music making. Learn to play with weight and bow speed (never pressure) and perfect sounding point while remaining completely relaxed. Great playing begins with flawless breathing. We hope to begin class lessons teaching these techniques online soon. Learn how to create ‘your’ story with each musical work. Please do call about lessons.
We, of course, look forward to finding the perfect instrument for you whether it be a fine modern instrument or bow or a great world class collectible instrument by Stradivari, Guarneri, Tourte, Peccatte or Geoff Maingart. We can also help you sell your own fine instrument or bow.
Please fill in our contact page with any requests for purchase or help with restoration and expertise. Our new location in Rancho Palos Verdes is wonderful with great views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
And most importantly, with the great guitarist, Eric J Charles our residence also has a state-of-the- art recording studio that is available to artists for both audio and video recordings. Click on his name here for details.
P.S. Geoff is also an avid Scuba Diver, Underwater Videographer and Sailor.