“David Hawthorne’s approach to the art of bow making originates with his thoughtfulness, discriminating taste and attention to detail. An accomplished musician and composer, he brings a wealth of experience and training to his craft. David has an interesting mind and a natural curiosity to acquire more knowledge in service of his art. His workmanship in bow rehair is of the highest caliber.”
“I know David Hawthorne since about two years [in 2004] and have been specially interested in his baroque and classical bows. Already I knew from several friends and colleagues about his talents as a maker of excellent modern bows but I have been impressed by the very high quality of the early bows he showed me. In fact I acquired from him a short baroque bow [then a second one], copy of a bow I have been able to play, and feel that this bow has all the qualities I could wish for. I look forward to see more of his work, as he has been studying some of my original baroque and classical bows.”
"It took me a long time to really appreciate how truly superb David Hawthorne's bows are. I first came to know David as a master bow craftsman and repair guru in Cambridge while my quartet was in residence at Harvard University, but in one trip I borrowed one of his bows while he did repairs on my Sartory. At first, it didn't quite work for me on my quirky french cello c. 1720 made by Jacques Bocquay, and when he asked what I thought, I was honest in saying it didn't quite measure up to my Sartory when he pressed me to tell him what I REALLY thought. To my astonishment, he offered to re-camber his bow to acquire the qualities I appreciate in the Sartory. Although skeptical, I am always willing to give a whirl to something that fun. In 30 minutes, David had transformed his bow into a bow that matched the depth and bass response of my Sartory, but exceeded its clarity and ease of play. To my ear, it lacked a tiny bit of color, but I decided that it was fantastic as a backup bow and purchased it. Fast forward a couple of years, and I now play on a David Tecchler cello c. 1725. To my great surprise, David's bow now greatly surpasses my Sartory, so much so that I no longer play on the Sartory. In an extensive search for a great bow to match the cello, I have tried very fine bows for sale in Chicago and New York by makers such as Peccate, Malin, Eury, Maire, L. Tourte and many other bows reaching prices near to $200,000, but none of them sounded as good as my trusty Hawthorne, now worth $6,000. The dealers trying to sell me bows agreed wholeheartedly with this appraisal, and so I am still in the market for another bow. Perhaps I will have to buy another Hawthorne to match my first choice stick! I may not find another bow greater than David's for my cello, and I strongly recommend his bows for any."
–Greg Beaver, Chiara Quartet
“For years I have turned to David Hawthorne for work on my bows. Time and again I have been pleased and impressed with his excellent restoration and well-judged adjustments. He also provides the finest bow rehairs I have ever encountered. I appreciate his work tremendously.”
“In 25 years’ experience as performer and scholar, I have found that only David Hawthorne’s early violin bows are accurately and brilliantly conceived and a keen pleasure to play and hear. Indeed, they comprise an international early music revolution all by themselves: no longer will professional early string players have to limit their expressive vocabularies owing to the limitations of the inadequate, barely nuanced, sub-par bows which have, until now been the ubiquitous norm; no longer will players have to apologize that their “period” bows are not the equal of their expensive modern equipment; and no longer will “copies” of old bows lead anyone to doubt that pre-Tourte bows were as often every bit as magnificent, subtle, expressive, and physically beautiful musical tools as the best of their later counterparts.”
—Robert E. Seletsky
“For several years I searched for a modern bow to replace my Hill and Sons violin bow as my primary instrument. I tried many “fancy” bows and finally found the right match in the Hawthorne bow I now own. The sound it allows me to produce is sonorous, rich and full of nuances of color; strong but not overpowering. It is a good weight and feels balanced in every way. My musicianship has found its “voice” through this wonderful violin bow. I absolutely love it. Now I am saving up for a pre-modern Hawthorne bow to accompany my baroque violin.
“David Hawthorne’s workmanship is unmatched in the world of modern bow making. The superb detail and beauty of the wood and inlay, along with gorgeous details such as a gold ferrule and winding, make my bow a work of art to behold as well as a joy to play! Several colleagues have remarked on the nice “feel” of this bow and have expressed a desire to acquire one for themselves as a result of trying mine. I know that one has actually done so! David’s rehairs are the absolute best, too! I won’t go anywhere else.
“Besides his incredible artistry, David is a truly good human being whose compassion and regard for others is evident in his business practices. He accommodates his customers to the best of his ability and is prompt, thorough and professional in every respect.”
—Sue Rabut, violinist
“I thought I would write you a brief letter to express how entirely satisfied and delighted I am with your bow, on which I am now playing exclusively. The weight is perfect for my own tastes; substantial enough to produce an intelligent, full-bodied sound, but light enough for the stick not to feel like an artificial extension of my arm. The tone quality is stunningly pure and clear without any of the warbly heaviness that has virtually defined my experience with so many other bows. The litheness of the stick itself is also quite remarkable; it articulates beautifully and consistently with unparalleled ease. The bow’s most admirable quality, however, is its complete flexibility and breadth of tone color. With this bow, I have the deeply gratifying sense of complete control over my sound. My greatest complaint about so many of the other bows I have tried in the past is that I feel as if they attempt to impose a certain, very distinctive kind of sound on my playing which I find very distasteful; whereas your bow enables the true potential of sound of my cello, exactly as I imagine it in my own mind. I can honestly say that I have never been this comfortable of this happy with any other bow. It is a complete joy to play and a genuine asset to my career.”
“David Hawthorne’s long bow (“baroque” bow) is far better than any I had ever held in my hand, initiating a rethinking of my concepts regarding the bow’s use in a broad range of repertoire from Vivaldi through Mozart. The short bow is an even greater revelation, not only in Biber, Purcell, and Corelli, but in music through Bach and Handel (for whose oevre, according to the latest research, it is still most appropriate). At last: the Italian style of equalized directional bowing possibilities makes sense as well as the seemingly contradictory notion of French dance bowing. This the bow that every baroque player must have. It is additionally a great source of confidence to know that these bows play remarkably like the authentic examples (in the possession of scholar Robert E. Seletsky) of which they are brilliant, beautiful, and nearly exact copies.”
“Finding the right bow can be an exhausting and painful process, particularly if your repertoire is from Baroque to 20th century music. It took much more time for me to find a bow then my cello! The search took few years and included the most famous names in bowmaking history, Tubbs, Dodd, Fetique, Hill, Sartory to name a few. And when I tried David’s bow made after the Tourte model the decision was instant and clear – here is THE BOW. It was a musician’s bow made for the most discerning and demanding soloist. Exceptional beauty and wonderful artistic craft are only a small part of David’s bow description. It draws enormous sound of the richest color and clarity and gives you complete control and magnificent response with any possible stroke. It could handle the most stubborn old instruments drawing magnificent sound. It is amazing how well this 21st century bow matches to my 18th century cello. David works very closely with musicians trying to fulfill their infinite pursuit for perfection.”
—Zarina Irkaeva, cellist
“I am very pleased and completely satisfied with my Hawthorne bow. David’s workmanship is superb, and his service is always warm, prompt, and knowledgeable. I recommend his artistry and craftsmanship to all.”
“David Hawthorne is the bowmaker baroque violinists dream of. David combines a willingness to learn from baroque originals with meticulous workmanship and a deeply musical understanding of the bow; his long and short bows are at once scrupulously accurate copies of surviving bows and living musical instruments fashioned by a master craftsman. Try these bows: they will change your ideas about the baroque violin, and you may fall in love!”
“David Hawthorne is an amazing maker of fine bows—I’ve recently purchased one, and it is such a joy to play. I play mostly jazz and fiddle music, and this bow grips and articulates so beautifully in these styles… it’s almost like David fused one of his Baroque bows with his background as a fine jazz guitarist, and came out with something very modern that is still deeply grounded in tradition. David’s bows are well-known and highly regarded in the classical world—I hope that soon they will be as sought after among fiddlers and jazzers seeking the best in modern bows.”
“I trust David very much as a person and adore his fine work making new bows immensely. As a bowmaker I find his bows to be among the finest modern bows I have seen in appearance as well as playing capacity. Also he knows exactly how to adjust my bow according to my individual needs. He combines superb craftsmanship with an extraordinary feeling about the strong and weak points of a bow. With subtle changes he can influence the playing abilities and sound of a bow better than anybody else I know. Sometimes I wish his shop were a little closer, which would make it easier for me to take advantage of his service. How about a shop in Europe?”