Sunset by the Sea: The $5 “Stradivarius”

By Musette Profant   |   March 21, 2023
Robert Brewer Young makes a $5 violin kit that matches the quality and sound of a Stradivarius

How does it compare to the original? Listen to both violins on Monday, March 20, at the Cabrillo Pavilion during Sunset by the Sea, an annual event sponsored by the Community Arts Music Association Women’s Board. The fundraiser for CAMA will host wine and hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and feature the fascinating luthier Robert Brewer Young, as he discusses his lifetime work and how his violin kits are changing the lives of underserved musicians worldwide. 

Mr. Young trained in the artists’ studios above Carnegie Hall and is renowned for his exacting and uncanny ability to create contemporary stringed instruments of conservatory quality. The glowing testimonials from his world-class clients are truly inspiring:

“His Amati-inspired double bass has a lightning-fast response, immense power and projection, and a complexity of tone that blesses the players with an extensive and highly flexible array of timbral possibilities.” – Scott Pingel

“(My viola) has a warm and rich sound yet feels light and very responsive in my hands. There is a satisfying elasticity of resistance in the strings that inspires exploration of tone color and shape and makes the instrument an inspiring artistic partner.” – Jonathan Vinocour

Mr. Young’s nonprofit, The Open String, donates instruments in kit form to musicians across the world, giving them the ability to communicate through their art across linguistic, economic, and cultural barriers.

On March 20, attendees will have the rare opportunity to hear a real Stradivarius next to Mr. Young’s kit violin and ask questions about his process and passion. He will be accompanied by violinist Lisa Lee as they present the side-by-side demonstration.

“Somehow in his presence, the world seems to be a different – and much better – place.” – Steven Isserlis  

For tickets, please email CAMA Women’s Board at The fundraiser is $100 per person, and CAMA is a 501(c)(3) organization.


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