The staff at Darnton & Hersh looks forward to putting our combined experience as musicians, teachers, instrument dealers, builders, and restorers to work for you. Please let us know how we may be of assistance.
Founder of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins as well as Midwest String Rentals, Stefan Hersh brings a unique confluence of skills to his role as President of the companies: As a violinist he has held key positions in major orchestras such as the Minnesota Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony. As a chamber musician he has performed nationally as a member of the Callisto Ensemble, the Chicago String Quartet and at numerous music festivals. As a pedagogue Stefan Hersh has served as Associate Professor of violin at De Paul and Roosevelt Universities and has given master classes throughout the United States.
Stefan Hersh's involvement in the string instrument trade has paralleled his performing and teaching careers. From international wholesaler, to managing partner of Hersh Consulting founded in 1998, Hersh has variously been involved with almost all aspects of the string instrument trade.
A founder of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins and a partner in Midwest String Rentals, Julian Hersh has worked as a violin dealer in the string instrument trade for over 15 years. He has been involved in a wide range of transactions worldwide ranging from student instruments to the finest classical Italian masterpieces.
Concurrent to his involvement with fine string instruments Julian has sustained a performing career, playing throughout the United States as well in Europe and Asia. As a founding member of the Jupiter Trio he won the Gold Medal at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and was the recipient of the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award for a CD of trios by Beethoven and Shostakovich released on the Bridge Records label. Julian has served on the faculty of various institutions including the DePaul School of Music.
Michael Darnton, head of the instrument workshop, is a Chicago violin maker and a partner in Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins as well as Midwest String Rentals. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his violins as well as his expertise on—and writings about—classical violin making techniques as well as instrument setup and adjustment. His articles in the journal American Lutherie are referenced in shops throughout the world, and his internet postings on these topics have been widely read and have generated great interest.
Recently Michael has gained a reputation for conducting intensive violin making workshops that are enthusiastically attended by amateur and professional makers and restorers. In addition to his own work as a violin maker and restorer, Michael performs setups and adjustments for professional clients and supervises the setups on all shop instruments.
As accounts administrator (office manager), Juli Hudgins brings practicality and accountability to the assembly of musicians and creative folk who make up Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins and Midwest String Rentals. New to the world of fine violins, Juli spent twenty years in the Chicago post-production community where she fine-tuned her client relations and job monitoring skills. As a producer, she is most comfortable working in a creative environment where she can lend her experience and support to both clients and her own team. Darnton & Hersh provides just that environment. Since joining the company in 2007, Juli has grown to appreciate the art and history of the fine instrument world and looks forward to helping her colleagues remain a respected resource for musicians and collectors worldwide.
Darnton & Hersh provides full services to maintain and repair your instrument and bow, whether it's a student violin or a valuable professional asset.
Everything from basic repairs such as gluing open seams and dressing fingerboards to complex restorations is done in our shop. Expert bow restorations and rehairing are also done at the shop. In many cases we can accommodate clients, by appointment, in completing minor work on an instrument or bow within a few hours while they visit the nearby Art Institute, Millennium Park, or other Loop destinations. Adjustments, which can greatly improve the sound and playability of an instrument, can often be done on a walk-in basis. Please contact us for more information.
What you should know about:
An archive of articles geared to string players and collectors (external website)