Goulian Zhou and Mary Zhang’s summer trip to Italy came around full circle this on Sunday, January 12, 2012 when members of The Consortium of Violinmakers “Antonio Stradivari” of Cremona visited Antonio Strad Violin in San Antonio! Master Violinmaker Matteo Heyligers and Secretariat Dr. Ilaria Casadei paid a visit to Antonio Strad Violin to discuss potential business opportunities with the family-owned violin shop. Zhou and Zhang shared this unique opportunity with customers at an exclusive meet and greet, followed by a Q&A with the Cremonese violinmaker, where it was revealed that Mr. Heyligers’ work could soon be available at the shop right here in San Antonio! Guests were treated to an intimate discussion with Mr. Heyligers about his approach to violinmaking. Heyligers explained the development and evolution of violin varnish, including how Stradivari was the first to use pigments. He talked about his experiences with world-renowned violinists such as Itzhak Perlman, the effect wood has on an instrument’s sound, and the history of Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati and violinmaking in Cremona. It was a unique look into the world of violinmaking through the eyes of someone who, living in Cremona, literally walks in the footsteps of Stradivari!