Violin Bows Ivory Budafest Festival Orchestral New York Ivory Bows Confiscation

Violin Bows Seized at NY Airport for Suspicion of Containing Ivory, Released

The 7 violin bows seized by US customs at JFK International Airport, in New York on Saturday, from members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, have been released from custody.

It is understood the bows, restrained from entering the United States over suspicion of containing forbidden African elephant ivory, have been sent to Budapest – after the orchestral management produced additional certifications and paid a total of $525 in fines and fees.

This latest incident has sent alarming waves of confusion throughout the international string community, as it’s understood all 7 bows had documentation at the time, from reputable bow makers, stating the sticks contained no elements of elephant ivory.

Additionally, it has also been brought to The Violin Channel’s attention that one of the seven violinists was in possession of two identical bows – both made from the same materials, by the same bow maker and in the same year – yet only one was seized.

This latest confiscation comes just weeks after the US Fish and Wildlife Services announced musicial instruments containing small amounts of ivory, including violin bows purchased before February 25th, 2014 may now be carried into the United States.

55 comments
boland7214
boland7214

@nobodyhasahat@boland7214  Dear nobody.....don't you know that----"A Democracy" is the overall form of government...then UNDER that come "the type of democracy"....which INCLUDES "a republic" as ONE TYPE of democracy.  I learned that in 5th grade!  :o)

boland7214
boland7214

MARK GW WROTE:     " Thank you, I am already having a nice life. I have two strong, confident, talented and successful grown-up children, a beautiful home and a thriving little business that is a joy to work in every day. And above all I don't live in America. I think it is you that needs to ensure you have a nice life, and presently you are standing by with your hands in your pockets while any hope of such for you and your children, is being pulled from under you."  MARK, YOU ARE WAYYYYY "OFF", MY FRIEND with what you wrote above!  IN YOUR MIND YOU LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD where everyone is able to do EXACTLY what they want to do....TO KILL ELEPHANTS FOR THEIR IVORY,   to bring guns on airplanen, to live selfishly just for "me and my family" and "to h....ll with everyone else as long as I can defecate venom and pollution where ever I choose.  Do you know that just YOU making your silly remarks is "free speech" and freedom!  In whatever country you live now or at least in many other countriesTHEY WILL PUT YOU IN PRISON FOR INSULTING THE HEAD OF STATE?  Over here in The US we have these benefits:  1)  We have a "revolution" every 2 and 4 years where we VOTE in or out the people who lead us.  2)  We have a Supreme Court that LISTENS AND DECIDES what is or is not "constitutional",  3)  We have The Bill of Rights that list rights that we, as citizens have,  4)  We have Freedom of Speech that allows us to SAY ANYTHING ABOUT OUR GOVERNMENT AND ITS LEADERS THAT IS BOTHERING US OR THAT IS UNFAIR,  5)  We have an  organized government or "tyranny of the majority" which TRIES to mediate the different opinions and different interests of the people---such as what is good for labor vs what is good for property and business owners.  THE USA IS THE ENVY OF THE WORLD!  So you can HATE The USA or the Government of The USA but most people over here are satisfied to live in The USA...and we are PROUD of  our government and PROUD of hour history.    We KNOW that we must "compromise" between TOTAL FREEDOM TO DO ANYTHING....AND LIMITED FREEDOM THAT ALLOWS US TO LIVE WITHOUT EXPLOITING OTHER PEOPLE.  And limits our freedom TO DO HARM to other people and animals.  So, Mark GW where ever you live,  maybe North Korea or Russia....like Mr. Snowden who is learning a thing or two about "freedom" there in Moscow....wherever you live there is no stronger economy or more freedom than we have in The USA.  So I suggest that you STOP criticizing and start appreciating.  THE WORLD IS FORTUNATE THAT THERE IS SUCH A PLACE LIKE THE USA.....THAT HELPS OTHER COUNTRIES GAIN THEIR FREEDOM OVER TYRANNY AND UPHOLDS OUR VALUES OF FREEDOM AND FAIRPLAY.  Is The USA perfect, nope, but we try to improve and rectify our mistakes everyday.   Now go buy a violin bow WITHOUT ivory so you too can be "a good citizen of the world" like we are or try to be in The USA.   PS:  I TOLD you before that I was a "victim" of The Fish and Wildlife People as MY VIOLIN BOW was held up in Alaska last year...but that problem was "resolved" to my satisfaction through "freedom of speech" to the head of Fish and Wildlife and The President.  WE NEED THE RULES ABOUT IVORY TO PROTECT ELEPHANTS....ELEPHANTS....ELEPHANTS...AS WELL AS YOUR RIGHT TO OWN A VIOLIN BOW THAT DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE ANY IVORY IN IT. IF WE AND/OR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE PEOPLE  SAVE ONE ELEPHANT THEN  WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE.  IF YOU CONSIDER THAT AS "TYRANNY" THEN YOU ARE VERY WRONG DEAR MAN!)


Dave Lashof
Dave Lashof

Actual Rosewood (Dalbergia) is a general species, there are sub species from different countries and this wood is not used for bows, the grain is much wider, not as straight and not as dense. Brazilwood and Pernambuco (Caesalpinia echinata) are from the same tree, Pernambuco is a denser growth usually from the center of the tree and as the tree ages this center wood becomes a deeper more orange color while the outer part of the tree is a murky brown. The Pernambuco is the part that is used for the higher quality bows, but not all Pernambuco is quality. This orange color center of the tree is what was used for dye making for hundreds of years. For bow making, a few other Brazilian woods are also called Brazilwood - Ipe is one example. People often call things by their color or by their use, that doesn't make the use of that name proper and it can be the cause for some confusion.

György Iványi
György Iványi

Start to get confused. Trust we both speak about Caesalpinia echinata (Pau-Brasil, Pau de Pernambuco), which is commonly called 'rosewood' by violinists on my mother tongue. Britannica, more reliable than my recollection, defines Brasilwood as 'dense, compact dyewood from any of various tropical trees' inc. but not exclusively C. echinata. Thx. for info.

boland7214
boland7214

To Mark GW-----you believe in "limited government and free market"....no problem.  Why?  Because you are OUT NUMBERED and WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY where THE MAJORITY RULES!  And someday when you are OLD and DISABLED or your job goes to China or Mexico and you can't find a job..... and "the free market" won't hire you,  you'll survive on Social Security payments or unemployment benefits  from THE GOVERNMENT (thanks to President Roosevelt and The Democratic Party)  that you and the GOP hate so much.... AND THEN,  IF YOU EVER WISE UP,  YOU MIGHT CHANGE YOUR TUNE!  :o)     Have a nice life!   Byeeeeee.....  JB

boland7214
boland7214

"You do not neet a strong Federal Government, you need a weak Federal Government" you said Mr. Mark GW.  WRONG AGAIN!  However, this debate about "strong fed" or "weak fed" has been going on since the first days of The USA and in England LONG before that!  The arguments between President Jefferson and Chief Justice John Marshall are a case in point.  The "weak government people" are the people who LIKED SLAVERY,  they are the people who LIKED TO POLLUTE the water with chemicals from factories,  they are the ones who LIKED THE JIM CROW LAWS IN THE SOUTH that kept black kids OUT of schools and universities,  they are the ones who don't care if millions of our people GO WITHOUT HEALTH CARE INSURANCE OR CAN'T GET IT DUE TO PRE-EXISTING ILLNESS,  they are the ones who don't care if our people have enough food with food stamps,  they are the ones who don't like UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE for people who were put out of work because their jobs went to China or Mexico,  they are the ones who don't care if 6 year old kids work in factories or their parents work 16 HOURS A DAY,  they are the ones who don't care if someone with children makes a "slave wage" of, say $3 an hour or less,  they are the ones who don't regulate the BIG BANKS and let the banks get away with practically destroying our economy in 2008,  they are the ones who don't want ROADS such as the Intercontinental Highway System...and   on and on.  THE "SMALL OR WEAK GOVERNMENT PEOPLE" ARE MOSTLY THE "WELL TO DO" WHO DON'T NEED GOVERNMENT SERVICES---THEY (you)  WANT TO BE "FREE" TO EXPOINT THE POOR FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RICH.  Sorry guy,  WE THE 99% WON'T LET YOU RUN OVER THE REST OF US!


Oh, yes I forgot about the lovely elephants.  The "weak government" folks want to be "free" to kill as many ELEPHANTS as they can kill so they can get IVORY from the tusks to make violin bows and carved objects of art...even to the extent of killing entire families and driving these creatures to EXTINCTION.  NOW AREN'T YOU PROUD OF YOURSELF?  :o)


boland7214
boland7214

Mr. MarkGW...your statement is not smart or helpful because it is an obvious "over generalization" and therefore not true:  "....every federal bureaucracy in America has completely degenerated into tyranny.....a law to themselves and no conduct is beneath or punishable within these corrupt agencies...."  NONESENSE AND UNTRUE.  WHY?  1)    What seems to you as "a federal tyranny" applies to private enterprise as well as federal agencies.  Private enterprise "sets rules and policies"...just look at the ONE BAG rule as an example.  2)  With both private enterprise AND federal agencies there is usually a "head honcho" to whom you can write.  With federal agencies I have had luck writing to The President and/or the head of the agency....like fish and wildlife, for example.  With private enterprise you can find out who is the CEO and FAX them about the problem.  3)  Rules and policies are necessary...other wise we'll have chaos with everyone grabbing what they can get (elephants and ivory for example) and/or you'd have to deal with a "survival of the fittest" world...and you might NOT always be the top dog.   4)  When my bow was waylaid in Anchorage, when I told the Fish and Game guy that I thought I was being "extorted" and I was going to write to President Obama,  he changed his decision and let my bow through...for which I was GRATEFUL!  5)  In summary we need BOTH...private enterprise AND a strong Federal Government.  And we also need rules and regulations---such as protecting the lovely ELEPHANTS.   But we ALSO NEED to be smart enough to know "how and where" to get to the people in charge so that when the lower echelon workers make a stupid mistake or are OVER ZEALOUS they will find out that YOU AND I are knowledgable enough to know where and how to complain to their boss to get the matter rectified (send FAXES for example to the heads of departments or CEO's)   6)  We shouldn't forget the MAKERS OF THE BOWS....THEY HAVE A DUTY TO ACT PROPERLY AND RESPONSIBLY ALSO.  Complain to them also!!!. 

Jerry Tanenbaum
Jerry Tanenbaum

U he ado about nothing. So a few players were uncomfortable for a few hours - boo hoo. The arts are no excuse for escaping animal protection laws

markG W
markG W

What needs to be understood by people who are waiting for common sense to emerge out of this, is that every federal bureaucracy in America has completely degenerated into tyranny. Especially transport related. They are a law to themselves and no conduct is beneath or punishable within these corrupt agencies. So don't hold your breath waiting for the triumph of sanity.

William Ramoutar
William Ramoutar

I'll bet the orchestra hope the custom officers get Elephantitis!

John Paeth
John Paeth

I'm glad to see that the gov't is ever vigilant and protecting us from those dangerous bows of mass destruction.

Dave Lashof
Dave Lashof

Gyorgy, Brazilian Rosewood and Pernambuco (Brazilwood) are completely different species of wood-just ask any bow maker or do some research. As a professional violin maker I think I have a little insight into that. Rosewood is used for violin pegs, tailpieces, chinrests and guitar backs and sides, not bows, certainly not good bows. Some low grade Rosewood is used for cheap violin bow frogs and some cheap bows are sometimes advertised as rosewood, but aren't actually made with it but rather with something akin to Cherry wood.

Isabelle Scott
Isabelle Scott

That is SO maddening!!! Our country should be embarrassed!! :(

boland7214
boland7214

Dennis Novak...I don't know about your sense of "humor"?  It's a stupid remark and...not "funny" actually.....unless it's meant as an irony?   But it you are even slightly serious...I think YOU should go to live in Afganistan.  I don't think you'd last a week over there!  :o)  Now, THAT WOULD BE FUNNY!  

Simca Heled
Simca Heled

In most bows the only ivory part is the tip, and most of them were produced YEARS before that law. I think all old bows should be exempt from that customs rule, and yes, new bows might be produced with a silver top (Hill...) or gold top or some other material that will do the job.

Simca Heled

György Iványi
György Iványi

Just the same Dave. After its source the Brazilian federal state Pernambuco that is the name of the Brazilian rosewood, material of most good bows.

György Iványi
György Iványi

Seems to be somewhat funny that Fish and Wildlife Services regulate US entry of performing artists' instruments. Ivory frogs can be replaced but good bows are made even today of rose-wood which is hard to substitute. Both materials are restricted now. Look forward to the next step when Fish and Wildlife avails authority over Signore Guarneri's 17th century wood supply. Even so, better than the nightmare of Krystian Zimerman whose Steinway was exploded by JFK airport security staff. X-ray might have indicated too much metal and wires.

DennisNovak
DennisNovak

Don't come to the United States.  It is too dangerous.  Go to someplace safe, like Afghanistan.


Randy Mohr
Randy Mohr

Watch out violinists, They're coming for your bows!

Elizabeth Skola Davis
Elizabeth Skola Davis

If they can do this to professional musicians traveling with proper documentation, what are they going to do to amateur musicians who just want to travel overseas?  In the Medical Musical Group, for instance, we have doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who also make up a chorale and symphony orchestra.  They played at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona last year with Orquestra Ars Medica and hope to play in London in 2015.

boland7214
boland7214

This happened to me one time about TWO YEARS AGO.  A bow from China was held up in Anchorage, Alaska.  I was told I'd need to fill out a form and pay over $100 for a "certificate"!  The bow was only worth maybe $100 which is what I paid for it.  I refused to pay and I asked them to throw the bow away but I also threatened to write a letter to The President explaining how people were being "extorted" for money at The Anchorage Airport.  Soon after that I received a polite email from the inspector informing me that the package with the bow had been cleared.  I DID NOT BUY ANY MORE VIOLN BOWS FROM OUTSIDE THE US SINCE THEN.  


My hope is that violin makers KNOW "the rules" and are smart enough to provide the paper work WITH the violin bow(s) in the future.  The white part is VERY small so that plastic or a rock (mineral) or just a small piece of wood can easily be substituted for ivory...should be easy to substitute, I think?  I AGREE THAT THE USE OF IVORY SHOULD BE TERMINATED

Yanbing Chen
Yanbing Chen

If there ever is evidence of abusive power, this is it! Why are we putting up with this BS.

Josie Miller
Josie Miller

Stupid. Next they'll be seizing your violin because it could contain explosives.

Lisa B Lee
Lisa B Lee

Meanwhile, dozens of bonafide smugglers breezed through airport "security" while the dunderheads were fussing over a few bows.

Mary Erb
Mary Erb

there's nothing more dangerous than a suspicious bow!

Emese Gulyás
Emese Gulyás

In the BFO we hope our bows will arrive safely at Budapest...

Susan Dietrich-Reed
Susan Dietrich-Reed

Good - they should go after real criminals and leave professional musicians alone!

Lise Boucher
Lise Boucher

They have too much power and are abusing it.

Brenda Waller
Brenda Waller

And sometimes weapons slip by customs instead. Really what violence can come from a violin bow.

Alex Yip
Alex Yip

Immature act by customs, must be condemned !

markG W
markG W

@boland7214 @nobodyhasahat Forget that. FIRST the Republic, THEN the democracy as nothing more than a method of selecting servants to administer the Republic. Democratically electing officials unrestrained by a constitution is like hiring a housekeeper and putting her name on the title deed and unlimited power to do as she pleases with your children and all your possessions.

Anything else has grown up out of the propaganda delivered through Woodrow Wilson after WW1 as directed by the central bankers who had seized control.

markG W
markG W

@boland7214  Good Grief. Are you suggesting I should just accept whatever tyranny of government that imposes itself over me out of dread of all the terrible things that could happen? I suppose that is the difference between you and I, I could never live my life in such a condition of fear and cowardice.

"We live in a democracy" you proclaim so proudly, that illusion of self- determination, where a population every so often get to choose their dictator. Where 49% have their lives regulated by the officials preferred by the 51%, where 2 wolves and a lamb vote on what's for dinner. You live in a Nation that has flourished for 250 years  under a constitution and are oblivious to the treasure that is slipping through your fingers, trading it for an illusion of safety and security.  Why do you list the outcomes of unchecked, lawless government and attribute them to the characteristics of real freedom? You rejoice that a government has intruded upon what was once the domain of church and family, to mop up the problems that they themselves create.

 Now you live in a Nation where corporations who control your financial system, medical system, food, transport are completely unregulated, yet a low level federal official, treating you like underclass trash, can grope you in an airport, arbitrarily confiscate your belongings with impunity on suspicion that an instrument bow made 100 years ago, in your possession, may contain 1/32 of an ounce of a restricted animal product.

 Thank you, I am already having a nice life. I have two strong, confident, talented and successful grown-up children, a beautiful home and a thriving little business that is a joy to work in every day. And above all I don't live in America. I think it is you that needs to ensure you have a nice life, and presently you are standing by with your hands in your pockets while any hope of such for you and your children, is being pulled from under you.

markG W
markG W

@boland7214 ok, great. I believe in limited government and free market, therefore I support slavery and am probably a racist. Perhaps you can find someone else with whom to share your ill-informed meandering rants. You are free to espouse them of course, but I am free to be disinterested.Enjoy your servitude. Goodbye.

markG W
markG W

@boland7214 I might also mention that some might find my comments extreme. I don't think Alban Gerhardt would be among them.

markG W
markG W

@boland7214 You do not need a strong federal government. You need a weak federal government. You are a Republic and you have the best Constitution ever written... possibly the Best document ever written. America is sleeping and that beautiful document is being desecrated. These are not anomalies, these are alarm bells. Make a search of federal agencies that have SWAT teams now...The department of Education has a SWAT team for goodness sake. Then take a look at History and notice how people console one another that everything is fine while unbridled authority seizes their Nation. The fact that your response would be to discourage me from speaking, to express that silence was preferable to my"unhelpful' viewpoint, I am afraid indicates that the very circumstance that the Constitution was designed to prevent, is coming to pass. Why should you have to threaten to run to the POTUS in order to have a corrupt federal official back down from seizing your belongings and attempted extortion? It is the point where you have to ask yourself if something is very, very wrong. When the corruption, unchecked, reaches the very top, then what?

boland7214
boland7214

MARK GW WROTE:     " Thank you, I am already having a nice life. I have two strong, confident, talented and successful grown-up children, a beautiful home and a thriving little business that is a joy to work in every day. And above all I don't live in America. I think it is you that needs to ensure you have a nice life, and presently you are standing by with your hands in your pockets while any hope of such for you and your children, is being pulled from under you."  MARK, YOU ARE WAYYYYY "OFF", MY FRIEND with what you wrote above!  IN YOUR MIND YOU LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD where everyone is able to do EXACTLY what they want to do....TO KILL ELEPHANTS FOR THEIR IVORY,   to bring guns on airplanen, to live selfishly just for "me and my family" and "to h....ll with everyone else as long as I can defecate venom and pollution where ever I choose.  Do you know that just YOU making your silly remarks is "free speech" and freedom!  In whatever country you live now or at least in many other countries, since there is supposedly NO freedom in The US,  THEY WILL PUT YOU IN PRISON FOR INSULTING THE HEAD OF STATE?  Over here in The US we have these benefits:  1)  We have a "revolution" every 2 and 4 years where we VOTE in or out the people who lead us.  2)  We have a Supreme Court that LISTENS AND DECIDES what is or is not "constitutional",  3)  We have The Bill of Rights that list rights that we, as citizens have,  4)  We have Freedom of Speech that allows us to SAY ANYTHING ABOUT OUR GOVERNMENT AND ITS LEADERS THAT IS BOTHERING US OR THAT IS UNFAIR,  5)  We have an  organized government or "tyranny of the majority" which TRIES to mediate the different opinions and different interests of the people---such as what is good for labor vs what is good for property and business owners.  THE USA IS THE ENVY OF THE WORLD!  So you can HATE The USA or the Government of The USA but most people over here are satisfied to live in The USA...and we are PROUD of  our government and PROUD of hour history.    We KNOW that we must "compromise" between TOTAL FREEDOM TO DO ANYTHING....AND LIMITED FREEDOM THAT ALLOWS US TO LIVE WITHOUT EXPLOITING OTHER PEOPLE.  And limits our freedom TO DO HARM to other people and animals.  So, Mark GW where ever you live,  maybe North Korea or Russia....like Mr. Snowden who is learning a thing or two about "freedom" there in Moscow....wherever you live there is no stronger economy or more freedom than we have in The USA.  So I suggest that you STOP criticizing and start appreciating.  THE WORLD IS FORTUNATE THAT THERE IS SUCH A PLACE LIKE THE USA.....THAT HELPS OTHER COUNTRIES GAIN THEIR FREEDOM OVER TYRANNY AND UPHOLDS OUR VALUES OF FREEDOM AND FAIRPLAY.  Is The USA perfect, nope, but we try to improve and rectify our mistakes everyday.   Now go buy a violin bow WITHOUT ivory so you too can be "a good citizen of the world" like we are or try to be in The USA.   PS:  I TOLD you before that I was a "victim" of The Fish and Wildlife People as MY VIOLIN BOW was held up in Alaska last year...but that problem was "resolved" to my satisfaction through "freedom of speech" to the head of Fish and Wildlife and The President.  WE NEED THE RULES ABOUT IVORY TO PROTECT ELEPHANTS....ELEPHANTS....ELEPHANTS...AS WELL AS YOUR RIGHT TO OWN A VIOLIN BOW THAT DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE ANY IVORY IN IT. IF WE AND/OR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE PEOPLE  SAVE ONE ELEPHANT THEN  WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE.  IF YOU CONSIDER THAT AS "TYRANNY" THEN YOU ARE VERY WRONG DEAR MAN!)

markG W
markG W

@boland7214 @markG W I don't need to look in a mirror, I can look at stories like this and read about fascist border agents behaving like thugs in a police state climate. To see it and pretend it isn't happening is delusional. Secondly, i choose not to be ridiculously melodramatic about it. no one wants to see elephants killed, but get a grip, we are talking about a couple of grams of ivory that was taken decades if not centuries ago, we don't even know if the animal was slaughtered for the ivory or it was taken from a dead animal. Either way, it's dead now, what does this stupidity achieve?


Trackbacks

  1. […] orchestra’s string players could not produce CITES certificates for their bows.” [WQXR, The Violin Channel] Earlier on the old-ivory ban here, here, and here; on musical instruments here, here, and […]

  2. […] orchestra’s string players could not produce CITES certificates for their bows.” [WQXR, The Violin Channel] Earlier on the old-ivory ban here, here, and here; on musical instruments here, here, and […]

  3. […] orchestra’s string players could not produce CITES certificates for their bows.” [WQXR, The Violin Channel] Earlier on the old-ivory ban here, here, and here; on musical instruments here, here, and […]

  4. […] Posted June 4, 2014 in NEWS and Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivory Violin Bows […]