B.C. man’s handcrafted harpsichords fetch more than $90K

A B.C. man’s handcrafted harpsichords are in such high demand that they’re fetching in excess of $90,000 apiece.

Craig Tomlinson taught himself to make string-and-wood instruments about 50 years ago, when he was just 16 years old.

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“I was into folk music in the mid-60s and there were a couple of folk instruments missing from my collection,” he said.

Tomlinson started with small instruments and worked his way up to the plucked forerunner to the piano starting in the mid-1970s.

Over the years since then, he’s made many trips to Europe to study antique harpsichords.

Although the instrument peaked in popularity during the days of Bach and Vivaldi, it is still used by classical orchestras, and in popular music from the Beach Boys to Eminem.

Harpsichordist Alexander Weimann says Tomlinson’s works -- which take about 1,000 hours each --- are worth the price.

“The quality of its sound has something that pulls the listener to it,” Weimann said, “to listen very carefully.”

With a report from CTV Vancouver Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy



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