Paul Perley Cellos - Sales, Repair and Restoration of Violin Family Instruments
Paul Perley Cellos - Sales, Repair and Restoration of Violin Family Instruments

 









 

JOHN JUZEK INSTRUMENTS

Most people familiar with bowed instruments recognize the name Juzek. John Juzek violins, violas, cellos and basses have been a part of the American musical landscape since the early 1920’s and while not necessarily considered on a par with Cremonese or Parisian instruments from the 1700’s or 1800’s, have surfaced in many important performing venues. Several professional cellists we know solo on Juzeks.

Melissa and I are extremely fortunate to know and live near descendents of the Juzek family, Bob and his sons Adam and Rob, and periodically enjoy spending time with them at Metropolitan Music.

Adam and Rob have been kind enough to share their interesting family history with us and we are fortunate to be able to offer our customers some of their special instruments.


Bob Juzek flanked by his sons Rob (left) and Adam. 


Longtime Metropolitan Music employee Ross Lovely at his bench.
Contrary to stories that have occasionally circulated, John Juzek did indeed make instruments beginning in Prague somewhere between 1910 & 1920, using older wood from torn down houses and churches when he could find it, otherwise obtaining it from the Carpathian mountains which at the time formed the eastern border of Czechoslovakia. He made several models including Stradivari, Guarnari, Gagliano, Guadinini, and others. As demand for his instruments increased, he contracted other violin makers, mainly from nearby Schonbach, to build instruments to his specific standards and put the Juzek label in them.

Most of these were shipped to his brother in New York City (Bob Juzek’s father) for distribution in the U.S. Sometime in the 1920’s, this business became known as Metropolitan Music.

An interesting bit of history involves the perceived difference between the Czechoslovakian Juzek instruments and those from Germany, which change took place sometime in the 1930’s. In fact this did not, as is commonly believed, involve John Juzek emigrating from Czechoslovakia and dramatically changing his operation. He had indeed moved away from Prague by this time but still resided in Czechoslovakia: then as unrest increased in that part of Europe, the German military took over the area that John lived in and it simply became part of Germany.


Metropolitan Music was, and always has been, the sole importer of John Juzek instruments and the earliest catalogues list several levels from student to “Master Art”. This selection continues today. While all Juzek levels have always been excellent values, the Master Art instruments are highly prized for the quality of their workmanship and sound.

Metropolitan Music resided in a couple different places in New York until 1974 when it moved to New Jersey.


Another longtime employee Scott Bliss checks stock
Then 1977 Bob Juzek and his family relocated everything to Stowe, Vermont where in addition to importing the Juzek instrument line, the company now manufactures many violin parts and luthier tools which they supply all over the world. Adam and Rob, youngsters when Paul Perley Cellos began doing business with Metropolitan, now run this highly successful business with their dad, and Juzek instruments, because of their high quality and the tradition behind them, continue to be excellent investments to all levels of the string music world.

Juzek (Wilfer) Bass Master Art
ca. 1969
$19,000

Juzek (Wilfer) Bass Master Art , ca. 1969

We are extremely fortunate to be associated with the Juzek Family and to offer this never-been-played bass that has been unearthed by Rob & Adam Juzek. The Emmanuel Wilfer company which has made all the fine Juzek basses for many years has long been considered one of the best bass-making shops in the world. This one is simply gorgeous with a lovely amber varnish, amazing European wood the quality of which is simply unavailable today, and great workmanship down to the inlaid Wilfer logo on the back. A terrific player right now, it will only get better with use. Even the bridge blank is nearly 50 years old. Certainly a one-of-a-kind bass.

 

John Juzek
2007
$1700

John Juzek 2007

This truly excellent bass is another fine instrument from the Juzeks: attractive matt-finish varnish, violin corners, nice machines, and best of all a really fine player. Our professional set-up includes fine bridge with adjuster wheels, cord tailpiece hanger, spirocore strings (for pizz. Players – equivalent quality for arco use), and planed fingerboard. A decent bag and good bow are included. $1700.

 


Paul Perley Cellos 452 Brookfield Road Berlin, Vermont 05602802.229.1501