It is with great sadness that we announce René A. Morel, our dear friend and colleague, passed away this morning, November 16, 2011 in the company of his family after an ongoing battle with cancer. He was 79.
Born in Mattaincourt, France, René began his career in violin making at the age of 12 in nearby Mirecourt, where he worked for the firms of Diuedonne and Bonnél. After service in the French Air Force, Mr. Morel emigrated to the United States, living for a brief time in Chicago. He moved to New York City in 1955 and began work at the Rembert Wurlitzer firm under the tutelage of Simone F. Sacconi. He later partnered with Jacques Français in 1964, a partnership that would last until 1994 when René opened his own firm, René A. Morel Rare Violins, in New York dealing and restoring fine instruments. In 2008, he began a collaboration with Tarisio that lasted until present day.
In the world of violins and stringed instruments, René was considered one of the finest makers, restorers and adjusters. A lifetime of lutherie included over 60 years at the bench and allowed him to work on some of the most important stringed instruments in existence. He was the chosen adjuster, confidant and friend to customers and colleagues across the globe.
René’s passion also translated to his family life; he was a beloved father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with family and friends. A lover of the outdoors, he often visited his home in the Catskill Mountains and his appreciation for food, wine, and travel was frequently shared with others.
His loss will be felt around the world, though his legacy will live on through the instruments on which he worked, the pupils he mentored and the hearts he touched.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in René’s memory to The Juilliard School for the support of the rare instrument collection, which René so lovingly cared for. For more information about making a gift to The Juilliard School in the name of René A. Morel, please contact Lori Bierly Padua at (212) 799-5000, ext. 7152 or email@example.com.
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