Tom Croen is a full-time violin and viola maker recently settled in Eugene, Oregon. He chose violin making as a perfect merging of his two life-long passions, woodworking, and music. With the good fortune of a well-timed suggestion, he enrolled in the Violin Making School of America in 1977. For over 40 years now, he has developed his style of craft, which keeps him creatively engaged. Tom also finds instrument repair, with its wide variety of instruments and interesting problems, a rich environment to grow and find creative solutions.
Tom's interest in instrument acoustics has led to a detailed understanding of the interplay between set-up and the sound of an instrument; especially the bridge and the soundpost. He has had several articles published on acoustics along with other articles about the craft of violin making and repair.
Tom has enjoyed being involved in the broader instrument community and contributing where he can. Through the Oberlin VSA Workshops, and serving on various boards, he has formed friendships that have led to many working trips and conferences across the globe, keeping him engaged and happy to be a violin maker.
Highlights from Tom's career include:
- Three gold medals in VSA competitions - earning him the distinction Hors' Concours
- Workmanship judge in VSA competitions - 1992 and 2008
- A veteran of many Oberlin Makers Workshops - on staff first year
- Workmanship judge in International Society of Bassists Makers Competition - 2011 and 2015
- Served on the governing boards of the VSA and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
- An alumnus of Violin Making School of America, Salt Lake City, UT
- Guest in 2010 Australian Violin Makers Association Workshop
- Published and/or presented the following:
"A Fresh Look at Fingerboards", by Thomas Croen and Erik Petersen, 2010, The VSA Scroll Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 13-19.
"When Good Pegs Go Bad", by Thomas Croen, Strings Magazine, February/March 2002, No. 100, p. 34-37.
"A Simple Sound Post Cutting Jig", by William Atwood and Thomas Croen, CASJ Vol. 4, No. 2 (Series II), p. 61-63, 2000.
"Audio Calipers: Interpreting the work of Isaak Vigdorchik", by Thomas Croen, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XVII, No. 1, p. 5-27, 1998.
"Report on a Bass Bar Study", by Thomas Croen and William Atwood, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XV, No. 2, p. 65-92, 1996
Wood Oxidation: An Examination of Ozone, Ammonia and Ultraviolet Light on Wood Color. Violin Making School of America, 1987.