Join us for mulled wine, mince pies and a workshop tour 5 – 9pm Thursday 17 December during Newbury’s Late Night Christmas festivities. In the meantime please feel free to enquire about the informal instrument care workshops we can offer for players and teachers.

Sam Kemp

It is always delightful to hear news from the young musicians who rent our instruments. Congratulations to young violinist Sam Kemp who secured a place at the Purcell School for young musicians and started this term.

Sam started playing violin with Jo Richardson at Berkshire Maestros in September 2012 when he had just turned seven years old and he has come a long way in that relatively short time recently gaining distinction at Grade 5.

At Purcell Sam is enjoying composition, performance, orchestra and music history as well as piano and violin technique – which has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for playing!

The move to Purcell sadly means that Sam’s family have left Newbury for Hemel Hempstead but they do pop in for strings occasionally.

The instrument Sam rents from us is a French Sabin Mirecourt model which we highly recommend for young players as the sound quality is particularly good in small sizes. For more details on our rental package click here.

Quartet Violin for Sale

In 1991 I was asked to make a violin for Father Francis, founder of the Douai Abbey concerts. Today Father Francis is sadly no longer playing due to arthritis and the violin has come back to me for resale.
It is fascinating to see how the violin has evolved over the past twenty five years and I am very pleased with how it sounds. It has a flexible tone largely due to my “English Amati” influenced arching and I would recommend it as a good quartet instrument.

It is a much sought-after goal to have a varnish that is neither too hard, which chips, or too soft, which becomes sticky and unstable. To make the varnish for this violin I had mixed my amber resin varnish with citrus solvents instead of the normal, relatively fatty turpentine. This meant the varnish laid on very thinly and eventually sank into the wood, resulting in a varnish that is in effect welded to the wood and has worn really softly without chipping.
This instrument is now for sale at £8,500. To book an appointment to trial the violin please contact us.

D’Addario Strings Presentation Evening

We are very excited to be hosting a D’Addario Strings Presentation Evening by New York violinist Lyris Hung 6.30pm Tuesday 2 February 2016 at Berkshire Maestros at Stoneham Court, Reading.

This is a great opportunity to understand more about string technology, performance and maintenance. There will also be a chance to test strings on your own instrument and discounts will be available. Numbers will be limited so please contact us on 01635 35465 or to book your place.

Here is some feedback from our D’Addario String competition winners in the summer:
Tom Mungall reports that the strings are excellent, wonderfully resonant C string in particular;

Helen Page feels the Vivo strings worked particularly well with her rich sounding Jacob Ford violin, giving the instrument a brightness and edge that she was looking for;

Neil Warren has found the strings have an exceptionally vibrant and deep resonant sound. The strings have an exceptionally vibrant and  deep resonant sound far superior to standard strings.