Newark-trained Gareth Ballard is a violin maker based on Lambeth Walk. We are very excited to be stocking his lovely instruments because they sound every bit as good as they look! Here is what Gareth has to say about himself:
"My love of violin making is very much a marriage of the arts and sciences. I became interested in acoustics in my early teens and went on to be a professional musician, later taking a degree in Music and composition.
I started violin making in 2001 when I drove to Italy to find a maker to teach me. I stayed for 2 years and then studied a further 3 years at the Newark School of Violin making in England.
In 2015 I was commissioned to oversee a documentary project to build a violin using a 3D printer which has been released in 27 languages."
A very nice Strad copy, loosely based on the Titian of 1715, this violin rings really well. Everything becomes easy to play on such a resonant instrument.
Gareth made this violin having spent many years looking after a Nicolo Amati violin. It has an extremely flexible sound and can play both incredibly quietly and very loudly with ease. The instrument oozes colour and sophistication.
Guarneri model Violas
We have two lovely violas by Gareth, made after the famous 'Conte Vitale' viola by Andrea Guarneri. It is known to be one of the greatest violas in existence.
'Ole Bull' del Gesu copy
This violin is an amazing copy of the 1744 Ole Bull del Gesu, one of Guarneri's last works. This violin excels as a copy in two main ways: the varnish captures the texture and brilliance of the original; and Gareth has re-created the gutsy sound as well. This is a powerful instrument which would relish the task of soaring above a big romantic orchestra.