14-year-old becomes a fourth-generation violin craftsman

14 0810 Nathan Benning Violin

STUDIO CITY | Fourteen-year-old Nathan Benning cradled a violin 14 months in the making, fitted it to a freckly chin, then launched into a deep and resonant minor violin concerto.

Its rich vibrato filled the showroom at Los Angeles violin shop Studio City Music, otherwise known as Benning Violins. With his new fiddle fresh from the family workbench, Nathan was the fourth generation of the Benning family to craft a premium concert violin.

“I got it,” declared Nathan, lowering his violin toward a green luthier’s apron worn just like his father, grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather and great uncle before him. “I’m happy with it. It’s a Stradivarius model. It sounds like a Strad.

“I feel good about it.”

As the morning sun cascaded across the 61-year-old Benning showroom this week, his father Eric Benning, a master instrument maker, beamed.