Emails that I have received over the last few years


From: Jessica Mary Clarke  []
Sent: Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Dear Brian,

I have just arrived home. I am overwhelmed by my new cello. It is truly all I ever dreamed and hoped a cello would be for me one day. I have always felt that a cello has its own soul but now I am convinced of that. What is more, that the soul resonates to that of the right player of the instrument and what I find so beautiful is that you are clearly the most perfect channel for that connection. Not only is your craftsmanship as accomplished as it is, but somewhere in this process of making an instrument for a particular person, there is a real magic at play in that you have given this cello the soul I have searched for.

This is so truly inspiring for me and what an extraordinary and exciting journey it will be for me now to bring life to this magnificent being. I am deeply moved and feel truly blessed to take on this instrument. I thank you with all my heart and hope to do it justice.

With love and thanks.



From: Bill Wolfson []
Sent: 19 May 2012 6:47 PM

Good morning Brian,
Had end of semester recital yesterday (Arensky trio, Schubert trio, Beethoven Sonata #1). Everyone raved about Mischa's tone. He's getting on for 10 years old and sounds better and better every day!!
Bill Wolfson

Sunday Times article on the Misha cello


From: Brown, Michael J. []
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:05 PM
Subject: greetings from a violinist in Seattle

Brian --

I met David Juritz in Seattle this week and both heard him play and myself played your violin.  It's a beautiful instrument with a beautiful tone -- responsive, balanced, expressive, quick, terrific under the ear and at a distance.  In the last few months I have played a couple of Stradivari in New York, a good Gaudagnini, two Gaglianos, a J. B. Vuillaume and a Ste. Cecile Vuillaume, a Landolfi (like the one I grew up on, but authentic!) and a few other big violins.  Violins are like people, and a player's appreciation of them is limited, in a manner of speaking, by mutual intelligence, mutual facility and desire.  Your violin was all I ask, and more than I expect.  Congratulations.


Mike Brown


From: Kenneth Koransky [TENORONE@MSN.COM]
Tue 6/19/2007 3:47 AM
My new violin "La Zingara"

Dear Brian,

I writing to give you an update on my new violin, which a you know was strung up for the first time on February 2nd this year, which makes it barely four months old. From the very first note played on  this instrument, I knew you had in fact created a true masterpiece, a concert violin, with a world-class sound. Now just a few  short months later, this violin never ceases to thrill and amaze me. I play it almost every day and its sound has grown not only in size, but in warmth, roundness and sonority. It's a joy to play and on the few occasions  that I've had other violinists play it, it's even more wonderful to listen to.  The G string is dark, woody and sounds like  a true concert Italian violin a few hundred years old. The other strings soar with brilliance and beauty. I recently had Ivan Simonovic, who works with Rene Morel and is regarded a one of the world's leading violin and sound experts examine the violin. Simonovic has worked on  many concert Stradivaris, Del Jesu's, including the Isaac Stern's Panette, as well as Menuhin's Guarnerius. He is tremendously highly regarded in the world of leading soloists who trust him to make sure the set-ups on their violins is optimum, so I was eager to have him see my violin.  He held the violin for quire a few minutes, turning it this way and that. After about ten minutes, he was highly complimentary about your masterful craftsmanship and perfect workmanship He was very impressed with the precision and execution, and said that is among the best of all contemporary violins he has examined. "Now it's time to hear it!" he said. First he played and then I played. He absolutely loved the tone. He said if there was one area that modern violins cannot compete with the old Italians it was high up on the G string. Well, La Zingara did not disappoint.  The clarity and beauty of that violin's G string even in the extreme high notes, amazed him as well as me. "Excellent, most unusual for a brand new violin!" he exclaimed. Another fabulous violinist who studied with Heifetz played it and felt it would mature into a world class concert instrument. So what more can I say other than  thank you for this magnificent violin. You cannot imagine how I am enjoying it and love playing it. It's so responsive and I am thrilled with it's daily growth. I hope you will be in the States soon, so you will be able to hear for yourself how much it has matured and opened up since you strung it up. I'm also hoping to have Elmar Oliveira who I know personally, play it later this summer. He enjoys contemporary violins, and I'm sure he's going to be very impressed with my glorious violin.


 Best wishes,


Kenneth Koransky


From: "Kenneth Choo" []
Monday, December 06, 2004 2:06 AM
Hi Brian, just to say hello and give you an update

Hi Brian,

I hope you are keeping well? Kenneth Choo here, not sure if you remember me, but you made my beautiful "Tse Yun" violin in 1994 (I'm one of Walter Mony's many ex-students). I was just thinking of you and wanted to let you know how amazing my instrument continues to be.
Being in the working world now I have less time to devote to practicing and playing my violin so progress is slower to come (especially technical progress) but lately I've been making one of those significant transitions in the course of a player's development and come again to realize just how amazing your instruments are.

This past week my Tse Yun has shown me more of it's incredible versatility in tonal colour and texture and ease of playing! In the past I've resolutely focused on my technical development (being a late starter and overzealous). While I remain dissatisfied with my many shortcomings, I discovered that there's so much more to making music than just the technical ability to master an instrument. Heaven knows there are innumerable technically impressive recordings out there, (e.g. Pagannini caprices played at warp speed) that leave a listener feeling un-fulfilled. I was practicing some Bach solo sonata's and partita's and suddenly discovered a "voice". I mean, as I was trying to work out the intricacies of the individual notes I suddenly heard a message in the music, as if from a singer vocalizing lyrics. As I replayed the movement with my focus bent on discovering more of these messages (non-technical phrasing I guess is what it is) the Tse Yun allowed me so much room for experimentation. Oh my goodness it's like I never truly played the violin before. What a great thing I have in my possession. Thank you again for your wonderful creation.

Yours gratefully,

P.S. One of these days I'm going to have to visit you in your shop again for some varnish touch up. Damn those Eastman School of Music music stands. : ) Oh, and a very Merry Christmas to you too!


From: []
Sent: 15 July 2005 07:00 PM
To: Brian Lisus
Subject: RE: Hallo

Hi Brian, it's really good to hear from you!

The violin is still looking and sounding great. The surface of the varnish has hardened very nicely, very nice and shiny, but with a lot of texture.Still in love with the look too. I've showed it to William Harris Lee, he was very much impressed with the workmanship and "tasteful" antiquing (actually, that's what everybody says!).

I need to have the violin insured and he suggested that I just get a letter from you with the replacement value of the violin, then he can write me a letter for the insurance company.

Hope you're doing well. Are there any new developments for the quartet project? Hope this finds you well.

All the best.



"My Lisus viola, 'Ilanga', ended a lengthy search for an instrument which possessed both the warmth and evenness of tone required for chamber music as well as the clarity and projection necessary for solo performance. Apart from being beautifully crafted and pleasing to the eye, its responsiveness makes it a pleasure to play."