I have been a customer of Alex Bacelar for over 20 years. I have frequently been to his shop for repair and sound adjustment. What impresses me most about Mr. Bacelar is his incredible ability of making instruments sound great as well as his masterful craftsmanship. As a professional musician himself, he understands the needs of professional players. Mr. Bacelar knows how to bring out the most beautiful sound possible from an instrument; furthermore, he can adjust it to make it easy for us to play to our full potential. In addition, he is a man of honesty and integrity, whom I trust completely.
Qiang Tu, cellist of New York Philharmonic
I am a performing cellist and have been on the faculty at McGill the past number of years and in my experience, I have yet to come across a luthier who is as knowledgeable, or who has a better set of ears than Alex Bacelar. He has the advantage of being a cellist himself, and always adjusts an instrument with an ideal balance of maximum power and resonance: in this way, it responds quickly, is easy to play and sounds beautiful.
Elizabeth Dolin, cellist, Québec, Canada
Several years ago, after having heard of his reputation from colleagues of mine, I finally decided to take the seven hour drive to New Jersey and meet Alex Bacelar. I was definitely impressed by Alex's ability to maximize the sound of my cello. Having been an exceptional cellist himself, he understands the needs and expectations of fellow performers of string instruments. Alex is very experienced even with the finest instruments, and he was very accommodating to my tastes and professionally sought to meet them.
I have also played some of the new instruments that have been adjusted and sold at Bacelar Violins. I have not yet seen better value, for both student and professional players alike. I appreciate the friendly and relaxed atmosphere and more than anything, the peace of mind knowing that my cello is sounding as well as it can. I would without hesitation recommend Bacelar Violins.
Gerald Morin, cellist of Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal
Alex Bacelar did some delicate work on my Nicolai Gagliano violin, the results of which were astonishing. Neither I nor some of my colleagues in the N.J. Symphony had ever heard the violin project such quality and quantity of sound. Alex is obviously a master of his craft-and I have recommended and will continue to recommend him to my colleagues and students.
Joe Gluck, retired violinist of N. J. Symphony
I am a cellist, now retired, who was a student of Leonard Rose, started out in the Toronto Symphony, competed in the 1962 Tchaikovsky competition and briefly joined the London Symphony as I returned through England finally back to rejoin the Toronto Symphony. Moved to Montreal and subsequently joined the Montreal Symphony also taught for the Conservatoire and McGill University.
Over the years the endless search for a really good instrument was rewarded and I had two, a superior French cello and a marvelous old Italian. The French instrument needed some repair and in view of it's quality I went to the most highly reputed dealer and repair service in New York where they did many things including changing the bass bar. The result was a loud but in the lower range very thin sound quality. I was told to wait for three or four months for it to break in - it never did. Finally, years later, a friend showed me work done on his instrument including a bass bar change with no break in period, it sounded wonderful, the repairs were done by Alejandro Bacelar. Alex doesn't pretend to do mysterious things with endless measuring, he measures yes, but then he listens for resonance through whatever means possible - tapping, knocking, playing, in order to adjust and balance the instrument. If it doesn't sound like it should right away he does what the instrument needs even if it means taking the top off and redoing the bass bar or whatever. He worked on my French cello and at last it is the glorious instrument it was meant to be. My Italian cello soon followed with the same marvelous results.
A student bought one of the Bacelar String Instruments cellos, which possess a sound quality far superior to their apparent potential due to the ministrations of Alex Bacelar.
I cannot recommend highly enough the wonderful work of this very talented man.
I am very happy with the violins that I have purchased from Bacelar String Instruments. These instruments are of fine quality and the prices are very reasonable. I have been to many shops, but what distinguishes Alex Bacelar's firm from the businesses of other violin-makers and restorers is his background as a professional cellist. He is able to understand the needs of his fellow musicians, and with this fine talent, he has an insider's knowledge of our instruments. I recommend him highly because he is gifted in what he does.
Henry Kao, violinist, violist of N.J. Symphony
I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Maestro Bacelar for many years. During that time he has provided the most professional and personal attention to my instruments and bows. I would recommend him to any string player, not only for his quality repair work but also for the fabulous instruments he has made. Bacelar is the most valuable resource for all serious string players!
Brett Deubner, violist of the Halcyon Trio and Duo Fresco
Dear Alejandro: I just had to write you to tell you again how much I continue to enjoy the remarkable bow that you made for me a while back. Not only does it possess the dynamic yet nuanced playing qualities that I require for my chamber music work, but the workmanship is simply beyond reproach. I can honestly say that your bow compares most positively with several considerably more expensive famous maker French bows in my violin case. Ultimately, for the performer it's the playing quality that counts. Your bow delivers.
Jon Greenstein, violinist, San Francisco, CA
I have known Alejandro Bacelar for over a decade and have a deep respect for him both as a dealer and as a luthier for his ability to maximize the acoustic potential of any instrument. Over the years he has worked on my own instruments and many of my students have purchased fine violins and violas from him, which have enabled them to perform at their very best.
Michael Locati, violinist, violist, Pennsylvania,
I am extremely pleased with the beautiful slope-shouldered viola I recently bought from Mr. Bacelar. I love the distinctive design and, more importantly, the rich and vibrant sound of the instrument. I have received several compliments on the instrument’s sound since purchasing it a couple of months ago, and my teacher is absolutely ecstatic about it. Furthermore, the viola was much more affordable (as well as superior to) the other instrument I was considering, a fact I cannot help but be pleased about. As a student, I feel extremely privileged to own such an excellent instrument, and only hope to “grow into it” in my own musical abilities.
Hannah Jackson, Lancaster, PA
Recently, I was searching for a violin bow. I went to many shops and tried many bows around $3,000 by famous makers. In the end, I bought a bow from Alex Bacelar that plays just as well for less than a third of the price. I am very happy with the bow that I purchased from Alex and have been telling every musician I met about it.
Ning Mu, Violinist, violist, Pennsylvania
I have known Alex for more than 25 years. After his work on my old French cello, the tone quality and the way the cello responds are compatible to those of fine rare Italian cellos. Over the years, I have recommended him to professional musicians and students. They have been very satisfied with his work and the instruments acquired from Alex. We are very grateful to have such a gifted craftsman who has a unique ability to create instruments with fabulous acoustic quality.
Elizabeth Kalfayan, cellist, New Jersey
Dear Mr. Bacelar, Thank you so much for the cello. The sound is amazing, and the whole feel of it is just great. I am very happy to say the trip from California was definitely worth it. You are a very talented and thorough maker, and I wish you the best!
Francesca Fong, Sacramento, CA.