"When I was 10, I heard a cello and became entranced by its warm, rich sound. That experience led me to become a musician. Taking my first lesson, I was quickly and thoroughly engaged. When I joined the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra at age 19, my life became immersed in the beauty and glory of music. It has never stopped.
"Graduating high school, I could not imagine a life without performing and playing music. The compositions of Beethoven and Brahms made me feel exalted. Being around musicians was like finding home. The nuances of string instruments in particular, with their wonderful voices, appealed to my inner being in a way no others did.
"At Yale, I had the fortune to do graduate study with the great cellist Aldo Parisot. While at Yale, my ability to adjust violins and improve their performance by restoring and repairing them led to a business that I began and grew while a student. Those early years established relationships with musicians who since became world-famous; they continued to use me to maintain their rare instruments and to ensure that their instruments always sounded their best.
"Over the years, I became sought after as an appraiser and dealer in fine violins. I have assisted innumerable collectors and musicians in locating instruments appropriate for them. Unfortunately, some of those transactions proved to be unsound; compensation for instruments I placed did not materialize. This created financial difficulties that, contrary to my intent, affected some who had consigned instruments with me.
"My colleagues in the trade were very supportive of me and my business throughout that trying time. They readily acknowledge that what happened to me could easily have happened to any of them.
"Today, violins are one of the most popular instruments, revered for their exquisite sound and depth. And over three hundred years the value of the great violins has increased steadily, never depreciating — making them one of the most secure of art investments.
"Having now been a luthier for more than 40 years, I treasure their contribution to world culture."
- Charles Magby