LIFESTYLE

Cuban craftsmen tuning up to deal with violin shortage
Using imported tools and varnishes, Andrés Martínez takes pride in a quality of work that he says can't be found among amateur repairmen who use hammers to fix violins.
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In this Oct. 14, 2014 photo, Andres Martinez repairs a viola at the Luthier Workshop of Havana, a state-run workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, chelos and violins in Havana, Cuba. Martinez and his apprentices repair dozens of instruments a year, make a handful from scratch and train aspiring young fiddle-makers in an attempt to create an indigenous Cuban violin industry. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 6, 2014 photo, damaged violins hang on the wall before being repaired at the Luthier Workshop of Havana, a state-run workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, cellos and violins in Havana, Cuba. Before Cubas 1959 revolution, many students played violins, violas, cellos and bass from European workshops. After it, the Soviet Union provided violins and cellos, along with many other goods. Now, as Cuba struggles to revive its stagnant centrally planned economy, students must make do with violins from China that too easily pop strings and lose their tone. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 6, 2014 photo, pieces of violins lay on a table at the Luthier Workshop of Havana, a state-run workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, cellos and violins in Havana, Cuba. Using high-end imported tools and varnishes, luthier Andres Martinez takes pride in a quality of work that he says canít be found among amateur repairmen who use hammers to fix violins. ìFiddle-making isnít carpentry,î he said. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 6, 2014 photo, damaged violins hang on the wall to be repaired at the Luthier Workshop of Havana, a state-run workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, cellos and violins in Havana, Cuba. The country famous for its music is running low on musical instruments. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, students tune their violins before class at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Cubaís dozens of free music schools turn out thousands of skilled young musicians each year, many of whom play imported instruments that can only be repaired and maintained with hard-to-find materials from abroad. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, a first year violin student is assisted by her mother before the start of class at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Before Cuba's 1959 revolution, many students played violins, violas, cellos and bass from European workshops. After it, the Soviet Union provided violins and cellos, along with many other goods. Now, as Cuba struggles to revive its economy, students must make do with violins from China that too easily pop strings and lose their tone. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, first year violin students wait to play individually during class at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Cuba's dozens of free music schools turn out thousands of skilled young musicians each year, many of whom play imported instruments that can only be repaired and maintained with hard-to-find materials from abroad. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, a student plays her violin as she takes one-on-one lessons with a professor at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Before Cuba's 1959 revolution, many students played violins, violas, cellos and bass from European workshops. After it, the Soviet Union provided violins and cellos, along with many other goods. Now, as Cuba struggles to revive its economy, students must make do with violins from China that too easily pop strings and lose their tone. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, first year violin students play as a school mate from another music class listens to them at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. The country's dozens of free music schools turn out thousands of skilled young musicians each year, many of whom play imported instruments that can only be repaired and maintained with hard-to-find materials from abroad. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 6, 2014 photo, Andres Martinez repairs a violin at the Luthier Workshop of Havana, a state-run workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, cellos and violins in Havana, Cuba. Martinez, who began as a furniture repairman for the historianís office, joined the workshop when it opened three years ago, overseeing the repair of violins, violas, cellos and bass, the restringing of bows and the manufacture of high-quality violins for professional musicians. ìFiddle-making isnít carpentry,î he said. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 14, 2014 photo, Andres Martinez repairs a viola for high school student Liliam Riera while she watches him at the state-run Luthier Workshop of Havana, a workshop where craftsmen make and repair violas, cellos and violins in Havana, Cuba. Martinez and his apprentices say their next challenge will be converting the workshop into a financially self-sustaining operation. They are considering applying to be a worker-run cooperative, a new form of business that the Cuban government hopes can be more efficient than many faltering state industries. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Oct. 9, 2014 photo, a student learning the violin listens to his instructor during an exam as his mother watches from behind at the Manuel Saumell music school in Havana, Cuba. Cubas dozens of free music schools turn out thousands of skilled young musicians each year, many of whom play imported instruments that can only be repaired and maintained with hard-to-find materials from abroad. Delicate and complex, string instruments are among the hardest to keep in tune. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban craftsmen tuning up to deal with violin shortage

Using imported tools and varnishes, Andrés Martínez takes pride in a quality of work that he says can't be found among amateur repairmen who use hammers to fix violins.

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