This is a preserved historical document and does not contain current information on either Rene Morel or Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt. Current contact information as of 11/20/2009 is above the double separator.
-- J.Neil Schulman

Current contact information:
Rene Morel, t: 1.212.307.7224, f:, 244 W 54th, 11th Floor, New York, NY, 10019

Current contact information:
Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt, t: 1.212.582.7536, f: 1.212.582.7859, 31-33 East 28th Street, New York, NY, 10016

Original Document Follows

Morel & Gradoux-Matt Inc.
250 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 - Phone: (212) 582-8896 Fax: (212) 582-7432
Business Hours: Monday-Friday , 9:00 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. , Appts. preferred
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Biography of René A. Morel | Biography of Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt | Shop People

History of

In August of 1964, Mr. René A. Morel moved his shop to Jacques Francais, Rare Violins, Inc. For the next thirty years, Mr. Francais and Mr. Morel achieved worldwide renown in dealing and expertise with many virtuoso string players. Their shop was unique and is recognized by colleagues throughout the world.

On February 1, 1994 Jacques Francais, Rare Violins, Inc. moved from the premises of 250 W. 54th Street. Mr. Morel and Mr. Gradoux-Matt remained at the same address: 250 West 54th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10019, and renamed the company René A. Morel rare violins, in the tradition of Jacques Francais, Inc. In 1996, the company became known as René A. Morel rare violins, Inc.

Now with the end of 2001, Morel & Gradoux-Matt, Inc. continues to set standards for stringed instrument restoration and repair, with Mr. Morel and Mr. Gradoux-Matt still leading the way. Mr. René A. Morel and Mr. Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt are both inheritors of the great French violin repair tradition and the following short résumés serve as an overview with regard to their outstanding qualifications. For more detail, please see their individual pages.

Mr. René A. Morel traces his violin making roots back to the eighteenth century in Mirecourt. His grandfather, Paul Mangenot, was an instrument maker. His father studied with him and married his daughter. Mr. Morel began his training at the age of twelve, working in Mirecourt. He continued his studies in Rennes, and he then returned to Mirecourt where he worked as a violin repairer until he was eighteen years old. After completing service in the French Air Force, he came to the United States and worked for Kagan & Gaines in Chicago. His next employ was in the shop of Rembert Wurlitzer in New York, who was, at the time, perhaps the leading instrument dealer in the city. Simone F. Sacconi, an outstanding figure in violin restoration, ran the Wurlitzer shop.

Mr. Gradoux-Matt did a year of undergraduate work in Lausanne. He went on to graduate first in his class with distinction from the Newark Violin Making School, which is part of the Nottingham Technical College. From there, Mr. Gradoux-Matt worked for W.E. Hill & Sons in Great Missenden, England as a restorer. He returned to Lausanne to be a restorer with Pierre Gerber, a founder member of the Entente Internationale. He then went to work as a restorer for the Bearden Violin Shop in St. Louis, MO for a short two years. In 1985, Mr. Gradoux-Matt began to work at the shop of Jacques Francais, Rare Violins, Inc. in New York City, where he became foreman in 1990. Currently, at Morel & Gradoux-Matt, Inc. he is teaching his fellow restorers in addition to repairing and restoring some of the world's most famous instruments in collaboration with Mr. Morel.


Biography of René A. Morel

Few Luthiers can claim to have studied their art from the age of twelve, but then few enjoy the international reputation of René Morel whose early experience was gained in the workshops of Marius Didier, Amédée Dieudonne in Mirecourt and Bossard Bonnel in Rennes.

From 1955 to 1964, he worked with Simone Sacconi at Wurlitzer's in New York where his skill at restoration and setting up string instruments attracted the attention of string players throughout the world.

In 1964 he opened his shop at Jacques Français in New York. M. Morel applied his skill of tool handling from the French school together with the new ideas learned with Maestro Sacconi. For almost 30 years, he had worked to develop new systems and methods of restoration. M. Morel's advancements are accepted worldwide and effectively improve not only the quality of the work, but also the sound of the instruments themselves.

February 1, 1994 marked the opening in New York of René A. Morel Rare Violins, which expanded his expertise to include dealing. With the start of 1999, Morel & Gradoux-Matt, Inc. will continue to restore, repair and deal instruments and bows. René is now in constant demand for sound adjustment by all the leading international string players, has served on the juries of countless violin making competitions, while remaining one of the most influential luthiers and teachers in the world.

M. Morel holds offices in both the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers (Entente) as well as the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. As the Vice President of the Entente, he is already planning for the meeting in San Francisco set for the year 2001. When he is not cutting wood for violins, René keeps fit by landscaping at his home far away from the city. He enjoys being close to the earth, horticulture and gardening occupy his free time. M. Morel also pursues hunting when he is not otherwise engaged, although his favorite hunting ground happens to be Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. A bon vivant, M. Morel hopes to retire someday to his own vineyard, but in the meantime his favorite wines can be purchased through the Sherry-Lehmann catalogue. When he entertains here in the city, he frequents René Pujol, Restaurant Français, 321 West 51st Street, (212) 246-3023, (212) 246-3049, La Côte Basque, 60 W. 55th Street, (212) 688-6525, and Les Sans Culottes, 329 West 51st Street, (between 8th and 9th Avenues), (212) 582-1283, (212) 974-9052.

Email inquiries may be directed to:

Biography of Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt

Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt was schooled in the methods of violin-making in both Europe and the United States. His experience in various ateliers includes: Pierre Gerber in Lausanne, Switzerland, who was the most prominent influence on developing his early interest in the artistic, social, and musical aspects of the violin-making trade, Emmanuel's short time with W.E. Hill & Sons in Great Missenden, England, and at Jacques Francais in New York, under the direction of René A. Morel.

For nearly 17 years, Emmanuel has worked with René, developing new methods of restoration and repair. He can often be found restoring the world's most famous instruments, some of them major operations which can take months or even years, especially for the very difficult and intricate projects. Much time is also devoted to teaching these techniques to his fellow workers. In addition, Emmanuel does sound adjustments by appointment for some of the world's most distinguished soloists, ensemble, and orchestra players. Emmanuel's expertise and vast knowledge of the various violin-making schools are the ideal complement to René's own knowledge. Mr. Gradoux-Matt will soon publish a dictionary of violin-makers, collected from his years of research. Emmanuel is now co-owner and partner of Morel & Gradoux-Matt, Inc.. in which capacity he also serves as the Vice President of the company.

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