There can be little doubt that growing up as the son of William Salchow, one of the greatest North American bowmakers of his time, would set Stephen Salchow on his career path. At the tender young age of five or six, he would run around his father's shop, fascinated by all the tools and equipment, and was sure he would grow up to be an astronaut. After graduating high school, he spent two summers working in the shop and learned how to do rehairs and basic repairs. He took these skills to college with him and soon realized he could make more spending money rehairing bows than washing dishes in the college cafeteria and that he enjoyed sitting at the workbench far more than in the library.
In 1995, following failed attempts at careers in playing the viola and teaching science in a public high school, he managed to sweet-talk his father into hiring him to work in the bow shop, where, in spite of himself, he learned bowmaking and advanced restoration techniques. In 2013, he fled New York City for the Deep South (Philadelphia) and now works for Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins. In his spare time, he plays violin and viola in some of Philadelphia's premier community orchestras, including the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra and the Independence Sinfonia. He also loves to play chamber music and always looks forward reading with fellow enthusiasts.
Over the years, he has made bows for some of the world's finest musicians, including Steven Tenenbom, Jamie Laredo, Kazuhide Isomura, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, London Philharmonic, and last, but not least, himself.
Since March, 2020, I have been working at home in Germantown, Philadelphia, where I see clients by appointment.
My address is
Stephen Salchow, bowmaker
120 West Tulpehocken Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 10144
Meanwhile, I continue to do repairs for Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins in Center City. If you feel it more convenient to drop off your bows there, please contact his shop to make an appointment.
Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins
507 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147