ANTOINE NÉDÉLEC

Executive Director

Graduate of the Violin Making School of America. Antoine worked for Peter Prier and Sons while attending school, and for J & A Beare upon graduating in 2002. He opened his own studio in 2005. In 2012, he joined the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. Antoine regularly serves as a faculty member at the Oberlin Violin Making Workshops. In 2016 and 2017 he and his colleague Jeff Phillips led the workshop on copying the Jackson Stradivarius. Antoine is an active maker and has received numerous awards at the Violin Society of America competitions, including a silver medal for cello and a gold medal for viola. He served as a judge at the VSA competition in 2018.

JEFFREY SCOTT PHILLIPS

Associate Director

After pursuing a fine arts degree at the University of Guelph CAN Jeff Phillips graduated from the Violin Making School of America in 2002. Worked at Peter Prier and Sons Violins in repair/restoration until 2007 and then worked as a full-time maker at J.S. Phillips Violins and continues to make violins today. Has attended several Oberlin Workshops as faculty and collaborates regularly with other makers. Mr. Phillips has won numerous awards, including several gold medals, at different violin-making competitions and was awarded Hors Concours at the Violin Society of America Violin Competition where he also served as a judge in 2016. He played first violin in the Salt Lake Symphony for 15+ years and enjoys playing quartet music when possible.

JORDAN RIPSTEIN

Assistant Instructor

Jordan graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making in 2020. He previously received his BA in Music-Violin Performance and Theoretical and Applied Physics from Beloit College. He has continued making instruments as well as cooking varnish, pigments and demonstrated Varnish-making at Oberlin. He has 25 years of teaching experience in music, math, and the sciences. As a violinist, Jordan has performed locally and internationally in Europe as well as in China with the Beijing Symphony. Jordan is extremely excited to continue to work with the students, faculty, and staff of CSVM full-time.

JAMES DANIEL GILLESPIE

Setup & Repair Instructor

Daniel is an experienced professional instrument restorer in Chicago. He graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making in 2012 and has since focused his career on instrument setup, repair, and restoration. He also makes new instruments. He has attended the Oberlin Violin workshops since 2010, thereby learning extensively from the world's greatest restorers, makers, and experts. Daniel received a BA in Studio Art from Wabash College, worked and studied at the Venice Guggenheim Museum, and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Most importantly, Daniel enjoys playing the violin.

BETTY LEWIS

Violin/Viola Instructor

Betty Lewis received her B.M. from Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University as a student of Elaine Skorodin. She is an active violinist and violist in the Chicago area. She is concertmaster with the Bach Cantata series at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest and is a substitute player with many local orchestras such as Lake Forest Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Betty performs in many Broadway in Chicago productions and has performed as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the summer, she is on the faculty of the Birch Creek Music Performance Center and is a member of the Peninsula Music Festival - both in Door County, Wisconsin. Betty maintains a private teaching studio at home as well as teaching violin and viola lessons and conducting the HS Orchestra at Francis Parker School in Chicago.

STEVEN HOUSER

Cello Instructor

Born in Jackson Michigan, Steven began playing the cello at age 13 and was entirely self-taught until his college years, first attending Olivet College in Michigan then transferring to DePaul University in Chicago where he studied with the former Chicago Symphony Principal Cellist, Frank Miller on scholarship. Mr. Houser is very active as a freelance musician and has performed with many chamber and symphony orchestras in the greater Chicagoland area. Steven is currently a member of the Grant Park Symphony and is the principal cellist with the Lake Forest, Park Ridge, and Metropolis symphonies.

TSCHU HO LEE

Director Emeritus

Graduate of the State School of Violin Making, Mittenwald, West Germany. Received Master's certificate with Gold Medal from the German Government in 1968. Worked for six years with Kenneth Warren & Son firm in Chicago making, repairing, and restoring instruments. Co-founder of the original Kenneth Warren & Son School of Violin Making in 1975. Mr. Lee continues to build new instruments for a world-wide market, and will be available in an advisory capacity to students. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers.

Serdar Cizmeci

Business Manager

Serdar received a Performance Certificate from Northern Illinois University (2007), a Master’s degree in Music from DePaul University (2009), and a Post-master’s Performance Certificate from DePaul University in Chicago (2011). He played as a regular member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra (2011-2013), and subbed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2012-2016). Currently, he is the principal trombone with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, bass trombone with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, and the second trombone with the Chicago Sinfonietta. He worked as an IT Technician in Chicago for many years before he joined the CSVM in 2016.