The violin upon which Pia plays in most of her performances is a rich-sounding instrument with a beautiful reddish tint. It was built in 1894 by the Italian violin maker Raffaele Fiorini (1828-1898). With many apprentices and a son, Giuseppe, who continued his father’s passion and work, Raffaele Fiorini is known as the founder of the Bolognese violin making school. While Raffaele was looking for new methods of making instruments, Giuseppe attempted to revive the methods of the older “golden age” violin makers. With both approaches father and son Fiorini influenced the future generations of violin builders.
For Baroque performances, Pia also enjoys playing an instrument dating from the beginning of the 18th century made by Giambattista Rogeri (1650-1730), a fellow student with Stradivarius in Amati’s workshop. Modelled on the violins of Amati, Pia’s Rogeri has a fine and crisp tone very apt for the sound ideals of the Baroque period. Pia was 12 years old when she received the Rogeri from her first violin teacher, who was then 92 and at the end of a long career. In the beginning of the 20th century, he fled his native Russia with little more than his violin, intending to travel to the United States. His journey, however, stopped in Denmark, where he married and pursued his career as a concert violinist and teacher. Nearly one hundred years after the beginning of his travel from Russia, the sound of his violin has finally reached its destination.
Norwegian Harding Fiddle:
After a year of study in Oslo in the mid 1980s, Pia travelled to the northernmost parts of Norway where she met with local fiddlers and purchased a Norwegian “Hardanger Fele”. This instrument has nine strings - four to play, and five that vibrate sympathetically with the sonorities created by the bowed strings.