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Cremona has a thing for strings

Gi Hyuk Park says business is not as good as he would like, but you would not know that looking around his store.

Dozens of violins, violas, cellos, guitars and piccolos hang on racks throughout his Flushing store, some marked with notes about ongoing repairs, others labeled with price tags — trade−ins that he has restored or repaired to pristine form.

A violin maker by trade, Park has owned and operated Cremona Music at 36−07 162nd St. for the last three years. Park was born in South Korea and attended violin−making school in both Seoul, its capital, and Chicago before traveling to the New York City metropolitan area, where he has lived and worked for the last decade.

Today, Park is proficient in all things string. At Cremona Music, he buys, sells, restores and repairs virtually every kind of string instrument — though his speciality is violins.

That was not always the case, however. Fate seemed to have Park headed down a different path as a teenager.

“I used to play the trumpet, actually,” he said. “But then I decided to switch to strings and started making violins.”

Park said the clientele for his business is not as large as he would like — many who seek his services come from Long Island — but he is hopeful it will improve.

“I’m not very happy in this area so far,” he said. “But I do have a little business from this area recently, so we’ll see.”

Asked to describe the complex craft of repairing and restoring violins — a meticulous process that combines the skills of an engineer, acoustician, carpenter and art restorer — Park begins, but then pauses.

“It is very complicated,” he said with a smirk, a mass of tools lining a workshop behind him. “I don’t know how to explain it.”

Park said restoring any instrument varies in complexity on a case−by−case basis.

“Some take 10 minutes, others could take 10 days,” he said. “It really depends.”

In addition to functioning as a one−stop trading and repair post for stringed instruments, Cremona Music also serves as a retailer of instrument strings, bows and other accessories.

Cremona Music is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park said anyone who would like to contact him for more information or have questions about their own instrument can call him at 718−939−2525 or e−mail him at mainviolin@hotmail.com.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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