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Upon leaving school, Patrick trained as a Horticulturist at Greenmount College in Ireland. Following his graduation, he went to work at the family Nursery & Garden Centre, Cloughreagh Nurseries, for 10 years. One could say this time proved to be instrumental for Patrick as it was during this period that he developed a passion for instrument making, undertaking night classes to make an acoustic guitar. Following completion of the guitar, Patrick discovered that his enthusiasm for instrument making surpassed that of horticulture. Enrolling at the Newark School of Violin Making, he committed to completing the full three-year Diploma in two years alone, through hard work and determination. His devotion for violin making made this commitment possible, passing the course in 2005 with Merit and receiving a Beares Diploma.

His interest in violins continued into the world of bows, travelling to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2006 to study bow making. Returning home to Ireland in 2007, Patrick established Patrick Joseph Barden Violins, where he tirelessly attempts to recreate the sound, varnish and style that can only be described as “Cremonese”. Despite completing his academic violin making studies over a decade ago, he has since continued researching, developing and experimenting with the methods of Cremonese makers, to furthermore attain an authentic sound with every new instrument.

Testimonials for Patrick Barden’s violins :

‘When we started looking for a full sized violin early this year, I had already had quite a strong idea how the violin should sing and sound. I also had to consider the comfort and the ease of playing. It wasn’t an easy task to find ‘the one’! After long and extensive search in London, my mum decided to travel to Cardiff after hearing good things about Cardiff Violins. The journey took us four hours one way. But we thought it would be worth it. And we were right. Here in Cardiff, after four hours journey, I met Patrick’s violin. It was one of the first few I tried on the day and I kept coming back to it every time I played other violins. I was drawn to the pure brightness and warm depth in the sound – it was my dream combination.

Since then the Patrick’s violin has been with me and it took me through North London Festivals, ABRSM grade 8, The Yehudi Menuhin School audition, RCMJD U12 competition, NCO U11 summer camp and NCO U12 audition, as well as a few solos, quartet and orchestra performances for various concerts. When I played to audiences, I was often asked about the violin and received compliments on the sound I produced with it. This kind of comments really gave me a big smile.

I call the violin ‘my Patrick’, because it’s one of many violins Patrick made but only one that belongs to me.

I am now studying violin as my first study at The Yehudi Menuhin School. I have just done my first lunchtime concert and assessment, which was a massive challenge each time. But I know they are just the beginning, and I am so excited just to think of all the new challenges and learning I will be facing, and I am so grateful that I have my Patrick with me, going through all the exciting experience together. It is like my musical partner. I feel very privileged.’

Yamoto Tumioka, London/Yehudi Menuhin school

Well, since he wrote this lovely testimonial, Yamoto has been very busy with many recitals, the last of which can be heard here. This is Yamoto and ‘his Patrick’!