Testimonial Concert 1954
in honor of
April 4, 1954
Thorne Hall, Chicago
Great violins and great violin makers are rare. In the four centuries of violin history, only a few names come to mind with the force and supremacy of genius—Amati, Stradivarius, Guadagnini, Giuseppe “del Gesu” Guarnerius, of Italy; some members of the Hill family of England; Lupot and Vuillaume in France; Jacob Stainer of Germany; and now in America, Carl Becker of Chicago.
It is a challenging thought to include the name of a contemporary with the masters of the past, but the universal appraisal of Becker instruments by connoisseurs, collectors, great artists and professional and amateur players establishes this authority.
Carl Becker was born in Chicago in the year 1887, the son of a famous violin soloist and teacher, Carl Becker I, and the grandson of Herman Macklett, a pioneer American violin-maker of outstanding ability. Thus from the first, the young Carl was surrounded with that high reverence for fine workmanship necessary to form him artistically and to fire his own creative propensities.
Becker instruments have that indefinable quality that gives an instrument a soul—that brings to the player that instant recognition that his instrument will respond to his musical thought and convey to his listeners the varied nuances he wishes to project.
Mr. Becker is a Luthier of international reputation. Not only are his instruments of master craftsmanship but his opinion as a connoisseur is respected and accepted as authoritative in the United States as well as in most countries of Europe.
His intuitive ability to recognize a fine instrument no matter is condition, and his extraordinary skill in restoration has rescued many an old masterpiece from disintegration and oblivion. Because of these talents he has made it possible for many professional musicians to own instruments of exceptional quality.
Concert artists—Elman, Heifetz, Milstein, Piatigorsky, Stern and others of world renown invariably turn to Becker for those sensitive adjustments which precious instruments so often require. Many musicians and collectors own original Becker instruments which they prize most highly.
Through an association with him over a period of almost two generations, the friends of Carl Becker are proud of his friendship, proud of the world-wide esteem and confidence he has earned by his artistic skill and integrity—and are therefore proud to extend him the honor of this Testimonial Concert.
Dr. Maurice H. Cottle