Marilyn J. Wallin
Marilyn J. Wallin is celebrating her 40th year as a violin maker in 2018. During that time, she has earned Violin Society of America Silver Medals in both Tone and Workmanship, and many Certificates of Merit in almost every category. She is a Chicago School of Violin Making graduate; a student of Tschu Ho Lee. She mastered set-up and repair at the renowned firm of Bein and Fushi, Rare Violins, Inc.Wallin also holds a music performance degree in Applied Viola Performance, and was an active member of The Chicago Civic Orchestra from 1977-1981.
Marilyn has served the community of our trade through pedagogy and leadership. In 1987, Arthur Toman joined Marilyn Wallin as the teaching team for The North Bennet Street School, Violin Making program in Boston, where she later served on the Advisory committee. During her 12 year tenure there, dozens of people completed the three year full-time program.
Ms. Wallin established the Boston Violin Makers Co-operative in 1998, where she was soon joined by several other medal winning makers. In the 8 years of this venture, over 100 instruments and 10 bows were made in the artistically intense and stimulating environment created in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The Emerson Umbrella, Center for the Arts in historic Concord, Massachusetts, added Wallin to their list of Artists-in-Residence in 2005. She had her studio there for many years and was part of many group gallery shows. The Lexington Society for the Arts and Crafts held a one-person show of her work at their gallery for two months in 2010.
Together with Joe Robson and Todd Goldenberg, Marilyn has taught "Aesthetic and Artistic Violin Varnishing" for 12 years.
Marilyn Wallin returned to her home town in 2013, where she founded a full service violin shop, Capital City Strings, Inc. Her instrument production since then has included several cellos, additional violas of differing patterns and sizes, and of course violins, one of which beat out two Stradivari's and a del Gesu in a double blind listening experiment led by acousticians Fan Cia Tao, Joseph Curtin, and Claudia Fritz ("Strings" magazine, March, 2017).
Ms. Wallin has completed almost 250 instruments, of which many are serving musicians in major orchestras and conservatories. Ms. Wallin has published articles in several violin centered magazines. She is a regular participant in the vitally refreshing Oberlin Violin Making Workshop, and has also taught or assisted in many, many small courses throughout the country.
Marilyn served as President of The Violin Society of America in 2009-2010 and is currently on the Board of Directors of The Violin Society of America as President-Elect. She owes her career, in part, to the incredible amounts of information available at The Violin Society of America's annual conventions, and wishes to continue to give back to the society by volunteering in a leadership role on the Board of Directors. She also has served as Secretary for the Board of Governors of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers.
Ms. Wallin is still searching for pictures of any violins made by her paternal great-grandfather, violin maker Johan Wallin, mid-1800s Sweden. He immigrated to the United States working first as a wood carver in a Philadelphia piano factory, and later became a Homesteader in Nebraska.