When long-term Japan resident Amadio Arboleda first approached Tokyo-based violin maker Louis Caporale for an apprenticeship, he did so with trepidation. Similar requests in the past to other makers had been rejected due to concerns about his age.
Arboleda, then 78 years old, had read about Caporale in a November 2012 Japan Times article titled, "Violin maker brings traditions of Italian masters to Tokyo." To his astonishment, Caporale agreed to take him on. Three years later, the 81-year-old is polishing the varnish on his nearly completed first violin and is beginning to work on a second fiddle.
Arboleda first had the idea to make a violin when his father, at the invitation of the city of New York, took his 10-year-old son to hear Yehudi Menuhin play a Brahms violin concerto at Carnegie Hall in 1946. After the concert, he and the other invited children got to meet the famed soloist/conductor as part of a music educational program supported by the mayor at the time, Fiorello H. La Guardia. Menuhin showed the children his violin and explained its different parts. Arboleda was fascinated to know how and why it worked.