August 2, 2018: Mirecourt Festival


This year’s annual Mirecourt Festival house concert featured an abundance of French music, in celebration of our founders’ wedding anniversary and several of the instruments connected to our ensemble. Program here.

July 31st is the wedding anniversary of Paul and Janice Massatt, celebrated in part by this concert. The concert is titled Mirecourt in reference to the history of the famous and prolific group of luthiers who worked in Mirecourt, France. This community of instrumentmakers was decimated by World War I, with the younger generation of craftsmen pulled away to combat (from which many did not return) and with the town itself being close to the Western Front. The image above shows craftsmen in a Mirecourt workshop prior to the War. The work at Mirecourt was disrupted until successful efforts to rebuild knowledge and skills and resume instrumentmaking in the 1970s. Paul Massatt’s violin was made at Mirecourt circa 1900, and his viola at the revitalized Mirecourt and sold on July 31st, 1979. John Ott’s cello was made in France, likely also at Mirecourt, circa 1900.

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