The late Ian Highfield will be remembered as one of the most talented violin makers of his time. A master copyist, he applied his remarkable skills and painstaking research to make replicas of authentic old instruments, mostly Italian and English.
Since graduating in fine art (sculpture and painting) and teaching art and music in schools, Ian developed an interest in making instruments.
He soon became devoted to researching the history of the violin, the nature of its construction and varnish. This resulted in his creation of many copies. Ian's work on developing varnishes and pigment to match those of the C18th and C19th is truly fascinating and his instruments are remarkable in both their look and sound quality.
"In fact, of course, all that is of no importance if the instrument does not do what I as a player want. It has a huge sound, open and free, with the nasal edge and the nutty brown sound of an old Italian instrument."
Leo F. Byrne. MA (Cantab), LRAM - August 2011
…… “This is the best violin - by any maker - that I have played in a long time.”
Cardiff Violins Testimonial:
"I have tried several of Ian's cellos and they are all beautiful instruments. What I've noticed about them is that they have a great all round sound as soon as they start to be played, even in the lower register. In addition to the sound they produce, they look fantastic with real care taken to make the varnishing look older. The cello I now own is a Vinnacia copy. Over the 9 months I have had it, the sound has developed to provide a really tone end that stands up to being in large cello sections. I've lost count of the number of times I've had positive feedback around the way the sound projects and also how beautiful the cello looks…including being asked how old the cello was!!"