Alfred Charles Langonet

During the 1930s British viola players as a whole became increasingly interested in the sound possibility of larger instruments with George Wulme Hudson, John Wilkinson others producing a number of extremely fine instruments measuring sixteen-and-a-half inches and larger, establishing a…

A 16 5/8 Inch English viola by Alfred Charles Langonet, Rustington circa 1930.

 

BBC Proms 2017

BBC Proms 2017

  I’m advertising in the BBC Proms programmes this year, so I hope you’ll have a little enjoyment seeing my advert as you listen to the world’s greatest orchestras come to London. And of course, the Proms being what it…

 

Thomas Smith

St James Square in Piccadilly was home to a vibrant community of violin makers for much of the eighteenth century beginning with John Barrett who first arrived around 1714 at the Harp and Crown. From the 1720s Peter Wamsley was…

A good English violin by Thomas Smith circa 1750

 

Richard Brueckner

Richard Bruckner was chiefly a restorer of violins, and consequently his instruments are rare and very little is know of his life. From around 1880 he and his brother Franz established a workshop in Berlin, and by 1900 Richard had…

A good English violin by Richard Brueckner, London 1902.

 

Spur Violins

A conversation between a Jazz musician and a luthier sparked the beginning of a quest to produce an ideal violin for on-stage performance more than twenty years ago. The luthier in question was Paul Davies from Australia, the violinist was…

The Spur Semi-Acoustic Violin

 

Circle of Johannes Keffer

Instruments from the Salzkammergut region of modern-day Austria are of particular interest, especially violas which always seem to be of excellent quality. There were various makers producing regional work in this area with a relatively high proportion of contralto and…

A good Austrian viola from the circle of, and probably by a member of the Keffer family, Salzkammergut circa 1790.

 

Johann Christian Ficker

There are three Johann Christian Fickers working in Neukirchen, and about 20 members of the family who made musical instruments recorded in total as well as other makers in Neukirchen who worked with them, so as with Klotz violins in…

A good German violin by Johann Christian Ficker, Neukirchen circa 1790.

 

Hawkes & Son

Hawkes & Sons (Boosey & Hawkes after 1930) were a very successful company selling orchestral sheet music and specialising in military band instruments, established in 1865 and setting up an instrument factory in Edgware, North London. Violins sold by Hawkes…

A good violin for Hawkes & Son, Piccadilly, circa 1910. £4,500

 

Joseph Panormo

A very fine English violin by Joseph Panormo (circa 1768 – 1837) worked alongside his father for almost all of his career, but his individual style becomes more apparent, as does that of his brother George after the early 1800s.…

A very fine English violin by Joseph Panormo, London circa 1820

 

Nicolas Vuillaume

Nicolas Vuillaume was the younger brother of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, who worked in the Paris workshop from 1832 to 1842 before returning to Mirecourt in order to oversee production of Vuillaume’s “Stentor” and “St Cécile” models. His Paris instruments are very…

A French violoncello by Nicolas Vuillaume, Paris 1842 after the 1711 "Duport" Stradivari

 

Cambridge 2017: Andrea Amati

Cambridge 2017: Andrea Amati

I am delighted to be returning to Cambridge on 11 July to deliver an informal talk on Andrea Amati. Over the last four years, my Cambridge talks seem to have become a regular event in the diary, open to the…

 

Steffen Nowak

Steffen Nowak’s violin is an interpretation of Carlo Bergonzi’s work taking it’s inspiration from work of the late 1730s. Bergonzi’s own work is incredibly experimental and varied within the context of classical Cremonese making of the Golden period. Steffen’s violin…

A good contemporary violin by Steffen Nowak, Bristol, 2014 after Carlo Bergonzi

 

Padraig Barden

Padraig Barden is one of several contemporary makers whom I enjoy representing. This particular violin is based on Yehudi Menuhin’s 1734 Guarneri del Gesu, the “Lord Wilton”. Padraig’s personal style tends to leave his instruments slightly lightly built. The effect…

A good contemporary violin by Padraig Barden after the 1734 "Lord Wilton"

 

Henry Jay

Henry Jay worked meters from Thomas Chippendale’s legendary workshop and there may be more than simple coincidence to this. His works are some of the most detailed and fastidious of late eighteenth-century London. This example takes a Stradivari pattern of about 1680 as it’s origin, with the same strong and low Amatise arching and stridently angular soundholes. A powerful violin with enviable colour and versatility.

A fine English Violin by Henry Jay, London circa 1760