by Peter Aaron
Any player of bowed instruments will tell you: When it comes to playing the instrument well a good bow can make all the difference. Thus, it’s a high honor to those bow-makers whom the Violin Society of America awards its prestigious gold medals. And this year one of the top recipients is Woodstock’s Susan Lipkins, who was presented with the award in November for one of her hand-made bass bows.
The vaunted competition’s first-ever female gold medalist, Lipkin made the winning bow, which is comprised of ebony, pernabuco stick, and mother-of-pearl, specifically for the contest. A former student of esteemed New York bow-maker Yung Chin, Lipkin also recently scored a plum commission to craft a gold-mounted bow for principal of the Pittsburgh Symphony bassist Jeff Turner.
Lipkin and her husband, stringed instrument maker David Wiebe, perform with the Esopus Chamber Orchestra and serve on Maverick Concerts’ board of trustees.