About Us

Frank Albert - Owner

Frank Albert founded Davidson Violins in 2007 to answer the need for high quality string services in the southern piedmont of North Carolina.  Frank studied viola at Virginia Commonwealth University under Robert Murray and moved to the Charlotte region in 1998 to perform with the Salisbury Symphony and pilot several music programs.  His  
performance experience includes The Kennedy Center, Western-Piedmont Symphony, Union Symphony and many smaller ensembles including his own group 7 String Theory whom he composes for and presents school workshops with.  Frank has taught strings for 25 years through his own studios and in several private and charter schools.  Frank began training in instrument repair with Timothy Donley in 2008 and with Francis Morris and Paul Weissmeyer at the Violin Repair Institute in New Hampshire, earning certification in Level I and II as a repair technician.  Frank and Tim work collaboratively on many repair and restoration projects at the busy Davidson Violins workshop.  Frank is available by appointment to evaluate old instruments, explore electric instruments or to assist you with selecting the best bow and instrument to suit your needs.

 

Tim Donley

Timothy Donley has played violin since the age of four and began his training in violin restoration in 1991 through an apprenticeship with restorer and maker John D. Larrimore in Richmond, Virginia. After completing his apprenticeship he founded a violin shop in Charlotte in 2000 and has been serving musicians throughout the Carolinas since that time. After more than twenty years of experience in the restoration and repair of fine string instruments and bows Tim continues to offer quality restorations, world-class adjustments, and a full range of service for violin, viola, cello, double bass, bows, and related instruments. He also builds a limited number of violins and violas. Tim is available by appointment at Davidson Violins.

 

Lanson Wells

Violist Lanson Wells has worked in the violin shop industry for over ten years. His experience in customer service, repair, and instrument adjustment includes employment at Goronok String Instruments, Cleveland Violins, and at Conn Selmer's Glassel Instrument Factory. As a performer Lanson has served as a principal or section player with orchestras such as: the Ashland Symphony, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, the Firelands Symphony, Opera Circle Cleveland, the Ohio Light Opera, the Salisbury Symphony, and the Union Symphony. He is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival, the Brevard Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, and the Pierre Monteux school for Orchestra Musicians. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Lanson attended the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and holds a Bacholer of Music, cum laude, in music performance from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Lanson earned a Master of Music in viola performance from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His major teachers are Louise Zeitlin, Kirsten Swanson, and Sheila Browne.

 

Faith Foster

Faith Alessio Foster was born in Ann Arbor, MI and began playing viola in 6th grade, switching to violin in order to round out a string quartet with her siblings. After teaching a pilot Suzuki program in the Oxford Public Schools for two years, she moved to Charlotte, NC to study with David Russell at UNC Charlotte. She holds a degree in Violin Performance with additional study in orchestral conducting and has plans to continue her studies in that field. Faith has performed with orchestras and small ensembles across the United States and internationally in Canada and the UK, including the electric violin group 7 String Theory piloted by Frank Albert. Faith joined the staff at Davidson Violins in 2011, shortly after her move to North Carolina. While she spends much of her time behind the scenes, she enjoys helping each musician find the instrument that is perfect for their unique playing style and interests.