After leaving a professional career as a violinist, Jonathan worked with René A. Morel and later partnered with Florian Leonhard. His understanding of sound, gained through years of professional training and performance practice, combined with his knowledge and experience with string quartet family instruments and bows, has major musicians from across the globe seeking his assistance in their searches.
Jonathan studied the violin from an early age and his fondness towards fine stringed instruments was present as a parallel interest throughout his development. At the age of 18, he began his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied violin, baroque violin, and viola, where he achieved a degree in Violin Performance. In 2004, Jonathan moved to New York City to pursue his passion for violins and in 2005, he left behind his performing career to become Sales Manager for René A. Morel.
During his tenure with René, Jonathan successfully transformed Morel’s sales and collection. In the three years he was active there, he more than tripled their annual sales and improved the quality of available instruments in the process. Upon the closing of Morel’s business in 2008, Jonathan formed his own consultancy, advising players, collectors, investors, and institutions which eventually led to the creation of Jonathan Solars Fine Violins, Inc. in 2013. His success attracted the attention of internationally known violin dealer and expert, Florian Leonhard, with whom he partnered in 2014 to form Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, Inc. It was here that he set multiple world records with the sale of several historically important instruments and grew the operation successfully over his seven-year tenure as Managing Director. Jonathan reopened Jonathan Solars Fine Violins, Inc. in 2021 to better serve the global needs of his customers, and to advance modern scientific techniques to aid in the process of instrument expertise. He operates a boutique in New York City together with his wife, violinist Katie Thomas. He holds the distinction of being one of only three Certified Members of the Appraisers Association of America in his field globally.
Professional Freelance Violinist, Chamber Musician, and Soloist, Katie Thomas has performed widely throughout the major venues in NYC and has been a soloist with orchestras internationally. She recently won a Grammy Award for her work with Sarah Jarosz on her album World on the Ground. Katie is always happy to lend an ear to anyone needing her expertise with their search.
“Just left of downstage center, one musician...Katherine Thomas, focusing the sound of the orchestra, fighting the tide, and delivering solo phrase after solo phrase with thoughtful integrity enough for a Brahms Concerto...”
Astonishing audiences with her musical vitality, Katie Thomas brings incredible confidence, versatility, and artistry to her musical performances. Her work attracts both critical and professional praise, and reflects her adaptability as a soloist, chamber musician, studio violinist, and concertmaster.
Ms. Thomas has collaborated with many prominent orchestras, including the Mimesis Ensemble, North Carolina Symphony, New York Concert Artist Symphony Orchestra, New York City Master Chorale, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Santo Domingo.
In addition to Katie’s orchestral experience, as soloist she has performed concertos by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Vivaldi with orchestras in America.
Katie has most recently recorded on Sarah Jarosz’s Grammy winning album “World On The Ground”, Rosanne Cash’s album “She Remembers Everything”, and The O’Jays final album “The Last Word”. She has also performed with NYC’s Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular with the famous Rockettes. Katie earned both her Bachelor and Masters degrees at Manhattan School of Music.
A native of Texas, Haven is a small yet integral member of the team. A natural extrovert, she is always there to greet customers and make them feel loved and at home. She excels at showering customers with affection in search of endless petting and lots of happy tail-wagging. Giving customers her undivided attention can be exhausting, however, so in-between appointments, she can often be found in sunny spots having a nap.