The Workshop at Claire Givens Violins
The workshop is staffed by four professionally trained and experienced violin makers and includes a full-time bow specialist. Workshop manager Douglas Lay has worked for Givens Violins since 1986, Andrew Seelhammer, Instrument Restorer, Annelisa Guries, Bow Specialist and Marie Stier, Workshop Assistant. We are a large, established shop with the training, experience, tools, and materials to perform repairs and restorations of fine instruments for a broad base of customers – from the professional performing musician to the serious student.
Here’s what some of our customers say about our work:
“Since arriving in the Twin Cities in 1998, I have always turned to Claire’s wonderful shop for all my violin maintenance needs, especially for the expert assistance of Doug Lay, who always, with the utmost patience, knocks my bridge and post in just the right place to get it sounding its very best!”
– Steven Copes, Concertmaster, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
“My relationship with Claire Givens Violin Shop goes back to 1989 when I moved to the Twin Cities to become the concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. The very important long-term relationship in the shop for me is with Doug Lay, who has been the custodian of my violins, their health, the purity of their voices and an ease of resonance from top to bottom. He’s been my violin GP and I will fly to have him adjust my instrument no matter where I live.”
–Jorja Fleezanis, Concertmaster, Minnesota Orchestra: 1989-2009, Professor of Music (violin) and Henry A. Upper Chair in Orchestral Studies, Jacobs School of Music
You can visit the workshop page on our website to see what some of our customers say about our work.
Advantages of working with a large, established shop:
• We have built relationships and worked on the fine instruments of many of the best players in the U.S. We apply that hard earned experience to achieve maximum sound and response from every instrument we sell, repair, or restore, regardless of price.
• We build a relationship with each customer so we understand their unique history, their preferences, and their playing style, which allows us to adjust the instrument to achieve their performance expectations. We have the experience to understand how local climatic conditions effect instruments and bows, and we know how to adjust them to obtain their best performance in any season.
• We have many years of collective experience. So, we often discuss alternate approaches to complicated repairs or restorations with our peers before work begins. This collaborative approach, using the best minds and hands on each project step, allows us to perform complicated repairs and restorations with exacting results.
• We are not limited to one project at a time. We have the staff to handle multiple jobs at one time, so we can deliver on a schedule that meets your needs.
• We stock seasoned materials vital to repair and restoration. We have long term relationships with the best suppliers of these materials so we can draw on their expertise and cooperation, where required, to solve problems outside the norm.
• We have a full time in-house bow department run by Annelisa Guries. We use the highest quality of hand-selected materials from top suppliers for our bow repairs including hair of the highest quality. We use the same level of care for all our bows, regardless of the size or quality.
• Museum quality restoration and Early Performance authentic and antique instruments & bows are available through Dipper Restorations.