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Chris Hawnt

My experience with Cardiff Violins began with my quest to buy another cello.  I already owned a lovely old cello which was totally restored many years ago and I was now looking for a second cello which would widen my scope of sound and repertoire.  I had heard very good feedback about the Luis & Clark cellos, so I contacted Luis & Clark in Milton, Boston USA and they kindly sent me a comprehensive pack of information, DVDs etc.

Following further correspondence with Stephanie Leguia (Luis & Clark) she recommended that I contacted Cardiff Violins in Wales to see if they could arrange for me to try one of the cellos.  My first call to Cardiff Violins was answered by the delightful Cecile Limon who answered further questions I had regarding the Luis & Clark cello and carbon fibre instruments and said she would order one from Luis and Clark that I could try – without any obligation to purchase.  True to her word, Cecile contacted me a short while later and said the cello had arrived.  I arranged to travel to Cardiff with my wife and stay overnight at the Angel Hotel which is almost next to Cardiff Violins.

On the day of our visit to the shop, we were greeted at the door by Katja.  Cecile then greeted us and said she had arranged for Katja, the shop’s cellist, to spend the rest of the day with us.  My first impressions of Cardiff Violins were of a feeling of tremendous warmth from Cecile and Katja in a very relaxed atmosphere. We were then taken by Katja to a room that had been set up to try the instrument.

Soon I was introduced to The Luis & Clark cello by Katja, which I must admit looked stunning– but as always playing and hearing the cello is what it is all about.  I was not disappointed – the response; volume, ease of playing and quality of sound projected from the cello is very impressive.  A really beautiful instrument. I then met Chris King, who although very busy in the workshop, spent time with me discussing the instrument, strings, and the importance of a good set up to the performance of an instrument.  I next needed a new lightweight case for the cello, Katja and Magdalena again helped me choose the right case.

The next day we returned to the shop to collect the new cello and case and say our farewells to our new friends we had made – Cecile, Chris, Katja and Magdalena who had made our visit to Cardiff Violins a very enjoyable experience which I would highly recommend to anyone.