My main aim is to take the time and care to help my customers, whether amateurs, serious students or professional players, to find the best instrument and bow to suit their needs. I offer a high standard of restoration and maintenance to violins, violas, ‘cellos and bows in the most appropriate way in order to best conserve the integrity and longevity of each individual instrument.
I was first captivated by the sound of the violin when I heard it being played at school. I was seven at the time, I think, and asked to have lessons. I started in a small group, but gradually, as the others fell by the wayside, continued on my own.
As I grew older, I became interested in how the violin was made, and even managed to carve a front and back of a violin during woodwork classes at school. Unfortunately there was no-one to help me get much further, but the seed was sown.
I went on to study the violin at Trinity College of Music in London, where I was fortunate enough to be loaned several fine Italian violins from the College collection. My teacher, Denis East, played on a beautiful, long-pattern Stradivarius violin. Exposure to these instruments, as well as the inspiration of my teacher, continued to fuel my passion for the violin.
While at College, I regularly went to view the many auctions that took place, in order to see as many instruments as possible. At the time there were often very fine instruments to be seen at most of the London sales. There were instruments by Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati, Begonzi and many other great makers. At this time, I was also visited by a number of violin makers keen for me to try out their instruments. I developed some strong friendships that still continue. One maker, Andrew Scrimshaw, understood my passion for the violin and offered to teach me how to make my first complete violin and develop my woodworking skills.
Since then I have continued making and restoring alongside my playing career, as well as learning the importance of setting up an instrument to the highest standard in order to achieve the best tonal results.