Violins have always been an important part of my work. I use several different models which I choose both for their acoustic quality and the inspiration I gain from the beauty of their design and workmanship; my favourite makers include Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, Antonio Stradivari, GB Guadagnini, Paolo Maggini and Carlo Bergonzi.
In 2019 I had two wonderful violin commissions: a Maggini model violin for the principal second violinist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin, and a copy of the Stradivari ‘Habeneck’ violin for the sub-principal second violinist of the Hallé orchestra. Both in their different ways were looking for a similar sort of sound; rich, warm, with a good lower register and capable of blending, but with power and projection too. For more detail on how I approached these commissions, see my Work in progress page.
I have also been commissioned from time to time to make slightly undersized violins. For those I have chosen an early Guarneri del Gesù model which is slightly less than full size – perfect for players who have small hands but who were keen to maintain power and richness of sound.
Whatever model I use, I aim to make violins which are responsive, and that have character and personality from new, developing further as the instrument is played. I choose the materials carefully for optimal sound quality and appearance.
My violins are owned by orchestral and chamber music players, students and teachers, and by the collections of the Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, York University and the Benslow Loan Scheme.