About Alfio Batelli:
Alfio was born in Florence, Italy in 1903, and died in Los Angeles, California in 1977. He spent his lifetime making and repairing fine violins, violas, ‘cellos, and other instruments and bows. He studied and worked with famous makers in Italy, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He was entrusted with the repair and adjustment of the collection of instruments belonging to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and people brought him instruments from all over the United States and Europe for his skillful treatment. These included works by most of the better known makers, and enabled him to analyze the effect of different wood, construction, and varnish regarding the tone and playing qualities of thousands of violins that passed through his hands.
Mr. Batelli found that the best violins incorporate certain features, and that a violin made accordingly was invariably a good instrument, the sound varying with the wood used. All instruments made by him sound well. They brought high prices when new, and the owners refuse to consider selling them. Gregor Piatigorsky paid $5000 for a new Batelli cello, and played it in preference to two Stradivari cellos in his possession at the time. A letter of gratitude from Piatigorsky's wife to the maker verifies this. One owner of a violin valued it at $10,000 at the time of Batelli's death.
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