Texas professor sleeps with Gofriller to save it from cold

Texas professor sleeps with Gofriller to save it from cold


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2021

Aaron Boyd, director of chamber music at Southern Methodist University, has taken his 330 year-old violin to bed to protect it from frost during the power shutdowns.

‘Once it’s cracked, you have to have it fixed -and it’s never quite the same afterwards,’ he explained. 



  • Patricia says:

    I hope he takes the strings off and puts them under his pillow.

  • We privatize your value says:

    Is it better than sleeping with a gorilla?

  • John Borstlap says:

    Sometimes such actions have little violins as a result.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Bravo, Aaron!
    But I hope no significant other was displaced from your bed to make room for the Gofriller….

  • At least he didn’t have to burn it for heat.

  • CYM says:

    No one to save violas ?

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Anyone else see “Godzilla” at first glance”

  • SMH says:

    Serious question, would it not be sufficient to loosen the strings or even take the bridge off?

    • David K. Nelson says:

      I’m not sure SMH – that immediate change in tension and compression could be exactly the wrong thing to do when you suddenly have no control over inside temperature and climate (including humidity). It might be better for the fiddle to keep the tension unchanged but I defer to the expert luthiers on that.

      Cracks are one risk, as would be the glue giving way where the neck meets the body, but so are gaps between the ribs and the top and/or back, and those happen often with changes of season. At least those can be fixed but I have one violin which has never been quite the same after such gaps were repaired – they were doozies.

      Owning a fine violin is a bit like owning an antique car – you have to learn to be something of a mechanic. I once read a Milwaukee Journal newspaper interview with Ruggiero Ricci which took place in the violinist’s hotel room where the interviewer was surprised to see that Ricci had ordered more towels from room service, had soaked all of them in the bathtub and had put wet towels on every heat radiator in the room in an effort to boost the humidity level in the room for the sake of his violin.

  • Nick2 says:

    I would have thought taking a valuable and fragile violin to bed could be more dangerous than leaving it wrapped up in some blankets elsewhere. What if he had turned over during a deep sleep and smashed it?

  • Sharon says:

    I don’t believe that most of the bloggers here are aware of the snow storm and sub zero temperature weather disaster that had just happened in Texas.

    The electricity and thus the water and the heat was out of service for MILLIONS of people. Tens of people, perhaps over a hundred, have died from hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. Jokes about burning violins are not funny; people were and are still burning furniture for firewood.

    In addition because people cannot social distance because they need to huddle together around fires or propane heaters for survival this will probably increase Covid deaths.

    Texas, which generally has a hotter climate than most of the US, was not prepared for a snowstorm or prolonged very cold temperatures.

    Everyone is throwing the blame around but it appears that the electric grid was unprepared because it was haphazardly thrown together (probably through connecting local hydroelectric companies) 90 years ago in a way that would enable it to evade most federal regulation.

    Because so little energy was able to be generated the electric grid in some areas deliberately had “rolling blackouts” to allow some areas to have some electricity and heat for a couple of hours a day while other areas went without.