Alexander Ross, President and CEO
Dr. Ross has studied instrument restoration and repair with Franz Kinberg and Stephanie Voss. He founded A. Cavallo Violins, LLC to serve students, professionals and amateurs with excellent service and quality instruments. The desire to serve local students with fine student instruments has grown into one of the US's largest violin shops
Alex taught for over 25 years, and is trained as a violinist and teacher. He also studies violin making and restoration under Stephanie Voss and Franz Kinberg. He taught at the University of Georgia, Yale, Hillsdale College, and the Preucil School of Music and was the founder and director of the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Dr. Ross has also taught at numerous summer festivals throughout the US and Europe.
He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Europe, and has held concertmaster positions in Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana. Dr. Ross' recordings include compact discs of the string quartets of Randall Thompson, sonatas of Charles Ives, and the Sonata for Violin and Piano of Roy Harris. Recorded performances of Alexander Ross can be found on the Bay Cities, Albany, Citadel, and Music and Arts labels.
Alex studied with such notable violinists and pedagogues as Leopold LaFosse, Paul Kantor, Jaap Schroeder, Jacob Krachmalnick, Paul Makanowitzky, and Ruggiero Ricci.
Laura Ross, Co-Owner and Graphic Designer
Laura has degrees from the University of Georgia in Design and Art Education. She manages our advertising and planning as well as being the parents of two cellists and a soccer player.
Michele Bartos, Customer Service and Sales
Michele was drawn to violin making as a vocation through involvement in the visual arts and music from an early age. She has played cello for nearly twenty years and studied music performance at Ohio University. Upon graduating in 2008, she applied to the Chicago School of Violin Making and graduated in 2012. Her instruments have been sold throughout the Midwest. She continues to perform cello with Orchestra Omaha.
Dirk Henry, Violin Maker and Workshop Manager
Dirk Henry started making violins in 2009. He was inspired to build his first violin after feeling dissatisfied with a violin he owned. He has a background in woodworking and with his enjoyment of music, building string instruments was a natural choice. While he is largely self-taught, Dirk has had the opportunity to refine his instrument making skills from working with Cesario Amesquita and Mark Womack.
Dirk Henry's violins were the recipient of the 4th prize in Violin Making and 3rd prize for Viola Tone at the Violin Makers International Competition in Arizona. He was also the Gold Medal recipient at the 2014 Art of Sound International Competition. Dirk's most recent violin is a Guarneri model which he favors for its accessibility to the player.
Christopher Jacoby, Violin Maker in Residence
Chris was born in Richmond, Indiana and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of five, his grandfather's 1912 Heberlein violin was set aside for him, starting a fascination that led to the Violin Making School of America, in Salt Lake City in 2003. At the VMSA, he studied under Charles Woolf and Georg Meiwes, and was fortunate to learn restoration and repair in Peter Prier and Sons' shop after leaving school. There he studied under Peter Prier, Sanghoon Lee, and J. Stanley Hooper.
Christopher builds his instruments by hand and makes his own varnish. The volume of fine instruments Christopher has put his hands to informs his making and his understanding of the violin as an acoustic machine. The work of the old masters stands as his inspiration, to be coupled with the needs of today's serious player. He began making full-time in October 2012, and is proud to have his violins played across the United States. He lives in Auburn, Nebraska with his wife and family.
Rachel Massey, Bryn Mawr Store Manager
A Colorado native, Rachel started playing the violin at age 8 and attended the Denver School of the Arts as a violin major. She continued her studies in violin and viola performance at Denver University and the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. Rachel has performed on scholarship at Music on the Rhine in Dusseldorf, Germany, the Las Vegas Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Recent orchestral engagements include the Mercury Orchestra as Assistant Principal and the Boston Philharmonic under conductor Benjamin Zander. Rachel is also co-founder of Driftwood, a classical and traditional music duet that performs throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. Rachel has studied with Yumi Hwang-Williams, Sally O'Reilly, Joey Corpus, and Mark Lakirovich.
Rachel was appointed to A. Cavallo Violins in Bryn Mawr in 2014. She enjoys working with musicians of all ages and abilities and, with over 10 years of teaching experience, she recognizes the importance of ensuring that instruments are properly set-up to suit each player's unique style and requirements.
Alex Louis Reza, Violin Maker and Bow Repairman
Alex first became interested in violin making after his children began taking violin lessons in 2006 in Austin Texas. As with most of the things he has done and do, he wanted to know all he could about the instrument, its history and what makes it tick. He started with the proverbial let's take it apart and see how it works....
At the time Alex was involved with volunteering and helping in his children's school and city youth orchestras. He then started collecting violins repairing and donating them to those orchestras. He commissioned a violin for his daughter in 2008 and it was inspiring to be involved in the process of model and wood choice.
Alex started his first violin in 2009, with the help of some local violin makers in Austin Texas. He ordered the same wood that was used in his daughter's commissioned violin.
As fate would have it, he was visiting family in Bellevue Nebraska and stopped by A Cavallo Violins middle of 2012 and asked about the possibility of apprenticing and learning violin making there. As luck would have it, in the winter of 2012 my family and I had moved to Nebraska and he started on what he hoped to be his second career. A year later Alex entered his second violin in a competition and won the grand prize for overall tone. Only time will tell, but maybe, just maybe he did make the right choice for a second career!!