Blog

No Nails Please!

When violins were first made in the early 17th century, they were simpler than they are today. They had necks nailed into place that were not designed to be removed. The nails were handmade and substantial so the neck stock had to be large to accommodate the nail.  Some of…

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Don’t ‘Shoot’ the Messenger!

When players visit me to have their instrument assessed there are a few areas that I pay great attention to. In fact, there is a list in my head of all the boxes I need to tick. The check list starts with ‘are any seams unglued?’ and goes all the…

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With the start of 2023 quite a few players have been getting in touch with instruments that they have not shown anyone for years. This is very exciting as it allows me an opportunity to share with them the history and story of their instrument. Some players know very little…

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Another Christmas is upon us and the year seems to have flown by. But before I turn to that I would like to offer my thanks to two orchestras. On Sat 26th November I visited the Kings Hall, Newcastle University to hear Nick Byrne play his beautiful cello. He played the…

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The Miracle of Wood

With wood fires burning longer hours now as we get into the colder months and wood being chopped and stored for the winter, I wonder how many players know what their instrument is made of! Well yes, wood, wood and more wood!!! The beautiful flamed wood of the ribs, the…

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A history lesson and concert rolled into one. Who knew it was going to be such an exciting evening?! Huge thanks to H. Rosi Song, who through her passion for playing cello and holding a Chair in Hispanic Studies at Durham University, is on the trail of a ‘shining light’….

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Fame!

‘fame’ 1. the state of being widely known or recognised ‘genius’ 1. a person with exceptional ability, esp. of a highly original kind. ‘admiration’ 1. pleasurable contemplation or surprise 2. a person or thing that is admired …….from Collins English Dictionary. Being extremely good at something and being admired for…

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Violin making in this country is in safe hands. A quarter of a century ago, I was a committee member and part of a team who created the BVMA, the British Violin Making Association. We brought together every violin maker and restorer across the country by establishing this organisation, and…

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Getting my Instrument Insured!

Many players who come to me ask various questions about insurance. It’s sometimes quite a baffling subject and I try to answer their questions as simply as I can. So, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the reasons why people insure…

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How Versatile is the Violin?

Saturday night, Alnwick Playhouse, and I find myself attending the ‘What A Wonderful World Festival’ on June 25.  The 4-day festival highlighted the never-ending questions of sustainability. Speakers, artists and activists took to the stage to share their thoughts with us. Saturday night was a display of amazing artists forming…

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