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“My work is to me a personal commitment to instruments, players and audiences alike.  I hope in our own way we are all performers.” Paul Harrild

Paul Harrild has always been interested in the arts, and it is no wonder that his initial education at an art school led him to become a very celebrated violin maker and teacher at the world famous school of violin making in Newark (Nottinghamshire) from which he recently retired. He generously imparted his knowledge and craft to his students for 21 years. His instruments are loved by professional musicians for their sound qualities, responsiveness and fine craftsmanship.  Paul’s making evolved from his background in fine arts , and  his exploration of graphics, painting and sculpture, endowed him with an array of skills to produce instruments of exceptional quality.  Paul emulates the makers of Cremona and Brescia, whilst retaining the freedom to acknowledge a variety of influences and show his own creative style.  His understanding of colours, pigments and varnish show in the superb fake-aging that ornate his copies of master works by the most celebrated Italian makers. Paul is also well known for his work on the Glen Collins’s ‘Prince of Wales’ cello, on which he painted the feathered motive on the back. Paul has now returned to his first love and is producing very nice artwork from his holiday home in Norfolk. 

Please call us on 029 20 22 77 61 to view Paul’s work!

See some of Paul’s work here :

Guarneri Del Jesu copy violin 

Benjamin Banks viola copy

15″ viola, 2018

Andrea Guarneri model, 16 7/8″ viola





Orchestras sold to include:

  • BBC Symphony, BBC Radio, BBC Welsh Symphony, London Philharmonic, Scottish National, Bournemouth Symphony, English National Opera, Freelance London orchestral players

Youth Orchestras sold to include:

  • UK Harrow School of Young Musicians & Benslow Music Trust

Countries sold to include:

  • UK, USA, China, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark,
    Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Korea


I’ve been looking for a new viola for a while now after studying for 4 years in Cardiff.

I knew that Cardiff Violins would certainly be one of the shops worth looking in. I was not disappointed. Joe, one of the staff members had heard I was searching, and sent me a lot of information about their instruments and invited me to come and have a look.

Upon arrival, a wide range of violas were set out and I was able to try them at my leisure. One in particular, a lovely Paul Harrild, stood out for me but was unfortunately out of my price range. Paul and the staff at Cardiff Violins were more than helpful in offering funding advice and working out a situation to enable me to purchase the instrument. Next year I hope to start auditioning professionally and this will hugely assist me. I cannot say how grateful I am – it is a beautiful viola!
Beth Fuller-Teed

Having played 15 or 20 instruments of yours over two days I found there were at least 10 violas that I would have enjoyed buying. Then you showed me the one I eventually bought, which was made by Paul Harrild and which I could not help wanting to pick up time and again yesterday after trying another.  Paul’s instrument is a gorgeous amber colour, a real beauty to look at, and has the richest tone, even and smooth throughout the register.  It is a sonorous instrument, which is one of the things I look for in a viola, and a much better C string than many others, then it will sing with that baritone voice through the G and D strings where the sound simply bounces out, and is brilliant (but not strident) higher up the A string.  I love it to bits, and my wife is just as pleased as I am!  Perhaps one day I will meet Paul, I would like him to know how much pleasure his instrument is giving.
Peter Samworth

I would like to take this opportunity to highly recommend the work of Paul Harrild. I have seen over a hundred of his instruments and I have been amazed by the consistent quality of his work. All his instruments have a full and rich sound and respond beautifully over the full dynamic range. I have been most impressed by the even-ness of sound over all the strings. Paul is a most adaptable maker, capable of making and copying meticulously any instrument his buyers require. I own a violin and a viola and I have been delighted with their development over the years that I have played them. Many of my pupils and colleagues now play on Paul’s instruments and they are now highly valued in most of the leading British orchestras. I have no hesitation in strongly recommending these fine instruments to you.
Peter D. Lewis
Principal Viola of the BBC Radio Orchestra

I have known the work of Paul Harrild for some years now and have always admired the aesthetic and tonal beauty of his instruments. I have played many, many violins by the finest makers of the 20th Century. Having been in possession of a Paul Harrild violin, late Del Gesu model, for some time now I can confirm that it ranks with the very finest instruments of the century – marvellous workmanship, appearance and tone – and fully capable of meeting the demands of virtuoso repertoire. I enthusiastically recommend these instruments. Bravo Mr Harrild.
Stephen Redrobe
Violinist & Teacher