Violins, violas, celli, bows and baroque bows for string players. Beginners, amateur players, teachers, collectors and professionals have bought from Philip Brown Violins since 1985.
Professional, expert knowledge and highly regarded workshop skills.
We provide our customers with expert professional advice on purchasing the right instrument, valuing items, repairs and restorations. We’ve built up a broad client base over the last 30 years including young players, professional soloists and members of well known orchestras within the UK and Europe. Please be advised that we do not pay Teacher commissions.
Our highly qualified and experienced staff offer reliable advice and excellent customer service. We offer an excellent stock of instruments and bows, representing some of the best of English, French and Italian instruments available.
We sell instruments from £600 to £500,000, offer an approval service for those who wish to try before they buy and a highly regarded rental service. We always have a good range of bows in stock including 18th century originals.
Bows suitable for those interested in period performance are made in the workshop by Philip and his team. We are based in Newbury town centre, within a few minutes walk of the station. Making an appointment is recommended.
Why Choose Us?
Philip Brown Violins has an established, professional and authentic approach which is respected throughout the trade. Please scroll down to read more about Philip himself. Please do contact us.
What We Do
Philip Brown Violins offers a professional, trustworthy approach, expert knowledge and an excellent standard of workshop skills. A strong team of highly qualified and experienced staff offer consistent and reliable customer service.
Philip has grown his business into a highly regarded workshop and retail outlet serving customers from all around the world including Japan, US, Europe and China. The success of a number of Philip Brown Violins former employees now running their own workshops in New York, Victoria, Canada, France and London is testament to Philip’s professional outlook and offers him an excellent global network of colleagues in return. An upgrade to a conveniently located Georgian premises in 2019 accurately reflects the high standard of workmanship and customer support offered.
Philip’s early career in musical instrument making from the young age of 14 was inspired by instrument maker Alan Lamb and the musician-collector Peter Davies. The latter’s passion and knowledge of stringed instruments nudged Philip towards a four year course in Lute and Viol making at the London College for Furniture.
Fortunately for Philip, the workshop’s inspirational teaching team included; Roger Rose, Steve Barber, Ian Harwood and Norman Myall augmented by the sharp insights of lutenist Christopher Wilson. Chris worked tirelessly with the students often staying behind for hours to develop designs and historical ideas.
A steep learning curve with many late nights and a lot of hard work led to Philip emerging as the only student of the year to be awarded a distinction by master luthier Dietrich Kessler. Fellow students including Martin Haycock, Tom Neitzert, Gary Bridgewood, Charles Riché, Craig Ryder and Claire Ryder have all been inspired to achieve ambitious goals in this field.
Philip initially set up business in Wapping making lutes. He shared a riverside workshop with Martin Haycock before returning to his home town of Newbury where he began taking orders for violin restorations and repairs. The demand for his expertise in the area soon grew organically to become his core business for many years.
Inspired by his tutor Roger Rose, Philip first became interested in bow making whilst at college in the late 1980’s. His experience of handling fine old bows like Dodds, Tourte, Mauchand and Tubbs adds value to his making process. Philip’s bows are now used by leading players and in many music institutions around the world.
He was delighted to be approached to work on the Anglo-French re–creation of the ‘24 Violins Of The Sun King’. Having made all the bows for the orchestra Philip can be called a bow maker of the French court. Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ETxgA3hG6M
Philip’s professional development continues with master classes in bow making at Oberlin College, Ohio and at West Dean College in the UK. He continues to host the industry’s leading bowmakers in his workshop to share best practice at the highest level.
Philip writes Expert articles in the international Magazine “The Strad” and the British Violin Makers Association newsletter. English violin and bow makers have become Philip’s special area of interest.
Philip’s speaking engagements include expert lectures at Lutherie (British Violin Makers Association) conference and several invitations to speak to groups of special interest.
Amongst his customers are:
Leonid Gorokhov, professor of Cello at Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover, Germany is also the teacher of BBC Young Musician of the Year winner Laura Van Der Heijden, London Baroque, Jonathan Manson, Philip Handy, Marlborough college, Eton College, Wells College, Orchestra of Enlightenment, … to name a few.
Throughout his career Philip sold many Italian instruments such as:
Testore £150.000 (several)