Joseph Bein grew up in a multigenerational musical family. For more than a century the Bein family has been a part of the world’s musical community. Players, teachers, classical conductors, instrument dealers, baroque musicians, sound engineers, soloists, Suzuki students, chamber musicians, and lots and lots of PRACTICE have been the common thread within the Bein family.
Joe has been working at the forefront of the violin world for almost two decades now, surrounded by the world’s finest instruments with incredible proximity to world renowned musicians. His path to the violin business began during his high school years when he started accompanying his father, the late Robert Bein, on business trips to London and Boston. It was there that he began to develop relationships with Robert’s vast network of his closest colleagues and friends. Thanks to his father, Joe learned at an early age how to treat people with respect and integrity. The relationships built during this time of Joe's life are some of his closest colleagues today.
Robert began by training Joe in the study of instruments and the cataloging of the greatest makers. He also set the stage by teaching Joe how to conduct business with great integrity and professionalism. Robert was a world-renowned violin expert, and amateur cellist, so Joe also grew up in a home that was always filled with Bach’s cello suites and chamber music provided by his father, grandparents, and family friends. Joe was not only constantly in the presence of a vast array of Chicago Symphony members, but also musicians from all over the world who came to visit Robert at Bein & Fushi, which had become one of the top rare sting instrument dealerships in the world. Welcoming visiting friends into his home is a tradition Joe and his family continue to this day.
Over the years, in addition to becoming an exceptional salesman, Joe has worked to develop his expertise in violins. After his father died, Joe was the principal historian and archival researcher at Bein & Fushi responsible for accurately determining an instrument’s correct provenance. Joe has spent his entire career maintaining and adding to his father’s extensive photographic archives, while at the same time personally holding close to 200 Stradivari instruments.
“I had the best role model possible in my father, Robert Bein. He cherished empowering
those around him and seeing friends succeed.”
Today Joe Bein carries on the Bein family traditions as an instrument dealer and Suzuki parent. Concertmasters and Principal players from many of the world’s top orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Seattle Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Utah Symphony have worked directly with Joe to acquire their personal instruments and bows.
Joe has been invited to lecture and share his expertise on violins all over the world in cities like Hong Kong, New York, & Los Angeles. He is a frequent lecturer for the The Stradivari Society, Northwestern University’s Summer Violin Institute, The Colburn School of Performing Arts, and the Chicago Violin Making School. Joe was particularly honored to lecture at The University of Chicago at a recent concert for Chicago’s Grammy nominated Spektral Quartet and also spoke at a Chicago event for the visiting Board of Directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Joseph has cultivated an incredible network, many of whom were also his father’s closest colleagues and friends. This extensive network within the classical music world has helped in acquiring some of the rarest pieces for the most discerning artists.
Joe has also attended important violin exhibitions, including the 1994 Guarneri del Gesù exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, the “Carlo Bergonzi, A Cremonese Master Unveiled” exhibition held in Cremona in 2010, and the landmark 2013 “Stradivarius” exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. Joe is currently a member of the Violin Society of America and has recently joined the Board of Directors of Chicago’s famed Spektral Quartet.
The Bein family, Joe, his wife Nancy, their three children, and their dog Chewbacca, live in suburban Chicago. Joe is a proud Suzuki dad with kids studying cello, violin and piano. Joe also coaches his children's basketball, soccer, and softball teams. He recently coached his daughter’s team that won the championship this summer in the Chicago Welles Park Softball league. Joe is also an avid runner and devoted Cubs fan.
Oh and one more thing, Joe and his brother Chuck take home cooking very seriously. Over the years “Bein Iron Chef” nights have actually become a family tradition. Most recently, Joe recovered from his devastating loss to Nancy in "Battle Butternut Squash" to win the most recent "Battle Pig"