The same question I asked the other day after my friend asked him: “are you going to buy a $5000 violin?” He said: “Yeah. And when I say great price, I mean it.” He was willing to pay more than that just for the quality. And it’s not just the amount that you’re willing to pay – the quality is what I really value. I really like the look and feel of it, just in general. The way that it plays. When I play a great player, I’m going to enjoy it – for my own part. It’s not about making sure it’s in perfect condition. It’s more about the fact that I’m seeing a player who’s got something to contribute to my instrument’s development. And if the instrument’s not quite on the top of its game, then it’s probably not up to par either, is my theory.
What kind of instrument do you play? A violin? A viola? A double bass? Are there any other instruments that you play? Well, I like to play all manner of musical instruments – both my mother’s and my father’s. My father’s grandfather came from Venice, Italy, so he played a whole range of instruments and there were several strings to his selection.
Have you had any particular musical success? I think most people think of musicians when they think of “musicians”, and that was always my point of interest. Music – I think it has a profound impact on individuals. There’s something about it that really inspires people. You can learn something by listening to someone else doing it. So I think all music, whether it’s traditional or new, comes to mind in my mind, and I’ve been lucky to get to know some very talented folks who would say that. But the truth is, most people don’t see it that way. But then there are those who do – and I’d love to invite you to do that. If you’re an avid player, you could put it to me by coming here and saying: “I’m going to show you the value of playing an instrument, which could have a tremendous impact – even if for you.”
How’d you get into the business? Before this, my business interest was strictly musical. I studied music – had a guitar for years – and also I played the harpsichord and the cello. My father had me at 15. So I’d always been playing and learning, even though I was only 14. I was always