My first encounter with Cardiff Violins was not, in fact, for the purpose of purchasing a violin, but researching the instruments used in the BBC drama Sherlock, for the website Sherlockology. Having played the violin from a very early age myself, the subject was of particular interest to me and I was excited to learn more about the instruments chosen for the television series. Chris and Cécile were exceptionally helpful, giving detailed descriptions and accounts of the violins used onscreen and why they had hand picked them amongst countless others. It was fascinating to learn the history of the 19th century German violin chosen for the second series and its journey to Cardiff Violins, and then onto the Sherlock set to be played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch while portraying Sherlock Holmes in the episodes ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ and ‘The Reichenbach Fall.’
Thanks to Cardiff Violins, today I find myself the current custodian of this very special violin. It is a magnificent instrument and from the very first moment I played it, I fell in love and understood why they had chosen this one in particular. Not only a beauty aesthetically, it possesses such a rich and mellifluous tone, that every violinist who has heard me play this violin, has immediately asked if they could play it themselves!
Living in the south-east of England there is a severe lack of experienced string instrument suppliers and restorers in the area and it was wonderful to finally find Cardiff Violins, with whom I had confidence that I could entrust my own violins and bows that had been passed down to me from generations in my family. They have since fully restored two such bows and I am absolutely thrilled with them both; they look spectacular and it is a joy to play with them. I have another violin that is in desperate need of being brought back to life, and would not dream of taking it to anyone else.
I am very pleased to have found such patient and dedicated individuals, who have both the passion and knowledge to ensure whether you are a novice or experienced musician, you can leave Cardiff Violins reassured you have found exactly the right instrument for you. And if you believe as I do, that finding ‘the right violin’ is like finding your life partner, then, in my opinion, there are no better matchmakers than Chris and Cécile.