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Jakarta Post

Tong Mingxi: Surgeon of the strings

  • Anissa S. Febrina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 1 2009   /  11:31 am

JP/Anissa S. FebrinaHis ear is his stethoscope, sensitively recognizing what is wrong with his "patients". His eyes are like a microscope, sharply noticing the minute details that are not supposed to be there. Thirty-one-year-old Tong Mingxi's touch is his own formulated medicine, one that can send broken stringed instruments - his patients - home as good as new. "This one is a tough case," says the Singaporean luthier, working his knife on the neck of the cello that was among his "patients" for the afternoon. "You see all the flames there? We need to work hard on it." He lays a hand on a Stradivari, opens up and reassembles a Guarneri and takes care of an Amati. To the young yet experienced luthier, every patient is of the same importance. Even that six-year-old cello. "Would you treat patients of a lower class differently?" he asked rhetorically. And during his...