The Maestro Sacconi
in the testimony of the violinmaker and restorer 
John A. Roskoski 

New York, July 9, 1985

I was born of Polish parents in Simpson, Pennsylvania on June 26, 1918. My father played the violin. He died in a coal mine accident when I was 1½ years old. I grew up with my stepfather, a cabinetmaker, which led me to woodworking. I studied the violin from the age of eight, but my interest was in making instruments. I played music and worked in the coal mines until the Second World War.

After coming back in 1946, I entered the Wurlitzer Violin Shop as an apprentice in making and repairing. There, in the 1950's, Mr. Sacconi joined us. It was a great time in my life to work in the same room with Mr. Sacconi for about 18 years. He imparted so much of his great knowledge freely to all of us in the shop.

So many words have been written about his greatness in the making, repairing and varnishing of instruments, but also he had other interests, such as hunting, fishing and mushrooms, photography, etc. Many times Mr. Sacconi would make a date with a few of us to meet at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to go to Staten Island to pick mushrooms. We would return with bags full to the shop in time to start work. And for years going home after work he would go fishing and catch striped bass, clean them, pack them in ice, and bring them to work the next morning to share with all of us in the shop to take home. He also grew a lot of fruit and vegetables at home which he would bring in for us to take home. He had great concern about all of our children and never forgot them during the holidays.

He was a very warm person who lived in the study and works of Stradivarius. He could talk for hours on the ways and works of Stradivarius. In his passing, the violin world lost one of its greatest people.

New York, July 9, 1985

Taken from the book: «From Violinmaking to Music: The Life and Works of Simone Fernando Sacconi», presented on December 17, 1985 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (Cremona, ACLAP, first edition 1985, second edition 1986, page 80 - Italian / English).