Michael Darnton, head of the instrument workshop, is a Chicago violin maker and a co-founder of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins and Midwest String Rentals. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his violins as well as his expertise on—and extensive writings about—classical violin making techniques, instrument setup, and adjustment. His articles in the journal American Lutherie are referenced in shops throughout the world, and his online postings on these topics have been widely read.
In addition to his work as a violin maker and restorer, Michael performs setups and adjustments for numerous professional performers and supervises the setups on all shop instruments. Over the last decade Michael gained a reputation for conducting intensive summer violin making workshops that were attended by both amateur and professional makers and restorers from around the US and from as far away as Mexico, England, Australia, and Hong Kong.