Founder, Executive Director

Traditionally trained as a luthier by Brice Dupin de St-Cyr at Carnegie Hall in the early 1990s, Robert stands among the world’s most capable and active violinmakers today. During his five year apprenticeship as a restorer and maker, he worked on scores of instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri, Guadagnini and other classical Italian masters. His own instruments have been performed on by Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovitch, and Zoe Keating, among other soloists. His clientele has included The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kirov Opera, members of The New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, The Berlin Philharmonic, Harvard University, the Opera National de Paris, and numerous other notable professionals. He also brought hundreds of older instruments to life for children in New York City through the Harlem School for Strings, featured in the film Music of the Heart.

Before focusing on violinmaking, Robert earned a BFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research in New York. He is currently completing doctoral work in the philosophy of logic and mathematics.


Director of Development

With over 20 years business development experience in design, real estate, and finance, Lucien brings strategic and marketing expertise to The Open String, as well as the broad skill set needed by a small, efficient organization in high growth mode. Lucien has helped a variety of companies launch from scratch, grow from local to international sales, prepare for acquisition, and reposition products into new markets. He has consulted for several non-profits including Becoming Independent, Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco Baykeeper, and a number of schools. 

Lucien earned a BA from the University of Washington in Seattle after studying at the ETH in Zurich, RISD, and Parsons School of Design in New York. He is a native speaker of four languages, conversant in several more, and an avid player of instruments with frets.

Managing Director

Elfin brings extensive business and non-profit experience to The Open String, which includes real estate investment management and over a decade working in the M&A department at McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm with nationwide presence. Elfin also founded of Block & Tackle Productions, a theatre and film production company, andhas worked in the performing arts as a theatre director, violinist, violist and classical guitarist.  

Originally from Germany, Elfin studied music at conservatories in Trossingen and Basel, Switzerland. He later made his home in New York City where he continued music studies and graduated from the Design and Arts Management Institute in New York City.



Edwin Clement
Ken Cukier
Heather Hopkins
Lucien Jamey
Elfin Vogel
Robert Brewer Young


Jason Price
Glenn Thomas


Robert Brewer Young, Violinmaker
Julia Sarano, Violinmaker
Christopher Jacoby, Violinmaker
Edwin Clement, Bowmaker
Chris Ulbricht, Violinmaker
Monica Fortin, Violinmaker


Christoph Coin
Gilles Colliard
Zoë Keating
Jay Liu
Richard O’Neill
Sarn Oliver
Scott Pingel
Hakon Samuelsen
Mari Samuelsen
Elbert Tsai
Amos Yang
Alicia Yang
Matt Young