London’s festival of contemporary violin makinG
a free annual opportunity to see, Hear & Play instruments by leading makers and experience the ancient craft of violin making from our members in Britain and overseas. generously supported by king’s place.
Next event Sunday 3 February 2019
Maker’s Day is a unique event in the British musical calendar, showcasing the living craft of violin making and promoting it to a wider audience of musicians. Whether you are actively seeking to purchase an instrument, or interested in broadening your interest in the violin, it provides the opportunity to see, hear and play instruments from a wide selection of contemporary makers from Britain and overseas, as well as meet the people who make them.
Maker’s day is one of the founding traditions of the British Violin Making Association and takes place each year with about 40 stands for makers who are members of the association. Exhibitors typically come from as far away as France, Germany, Cyprus and Poland. From the beginning, the BVMA has applied one simple rule that exhibitors must be showing instruments that they have made themselves in order to be eligible for the exhibition. The sale of instruments by other makers, whether living or dead is prohibited in order to maintain the unique and very special nature of the event. (Bows, to help with trying the instruments are tolerated, but must not be for sale.) An exception is made for a limited number of ‘trade stands’ that sell parts of instruments, such as tonewood, varnish pigments or fittings as the day is a useful time for makers to connect with their suppliers. We also extend an invitation to any violin making school and allow them to exhibit whatever work they feel necessary to promote their educational goals.
Although Maker’s Day is primarily an opportunity for musicians to meet makers, it has also become a very important event for violin makers to compare each other’s work, drawing many other violin makers to the event, and making a significant contribution to the goal of raising of standards in contemporary British making.
Dealers, auction houses and other musical organisations are welcome to show their support for the day by advertising in the accompanying brochure, which is distributed free to visitors and exhibitors.
The BVMA would like to express their enormous gratitude to King’s Place for their collaboration since 2017 and the enormous boost it has given to the event.
quartet in residence
Over the years the highpoint of the event has been a concert played on the instruments. In 2017 with a move to King’s Place we decided that instead of a young quartet of music students, maker’s would benefit most from a highly experienced established quartet as partners for the day, because they have more experience and can be more authoritative in their views about instruments than a young quartet on the cusp of a professional career. The Brodsky Quartet became the BVMA’s quartet in residence for 2017-2018, and in 2019 the Kreutzer Quartet took over the role. Although judging by the quartet is strictly not a competition, it provides a brilliant opportunity to showcase contemporary making in the hands of London’s leading chamber musicians. The quartet’s contribution throughout the day is an enormously important part of the event. If you would like to sponsor the quartet in residence for the next maker’s day, we would be delighted to hear from you.