Cremona, Italy is the home of Antonio Stradivari, possibly the greatest maker of musical instruments in history. With more than two hundred violin makers living in the small picturesque town, it would make sense that cellist Robert Cohen would find himself there.
"Every restaurant, every hotel, every shop window has violins in it, has instruments of all sorts. It's one of the few places in the world you can walk around with a cello and nobody asks you, 'what is that?'" Cohen says.
However, Cohen wasn’t there as a tourist. He was at the "Mecca of violin making" to judge a world-wide violin making competition. He describes the process of sifting through hundreds of string instruments to determine what makes one truly exceptional:
Robert Cohen is the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet, and his feature, On That Note with Robert Cohen airs monthly on Lake Effect.