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Mark Aitchison

My relationship with Cardiff Violins has developed over that last 20 or so years. I purchased my first viola from Chris and Cecile aged 14, then aged 18 they advised me and helped me to select the instrument that would allow my playing to develop through university and with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. Then in 2008, I decided that for my performance to be enhanced, I would need to invest in a better instrument. Over a period of 5 months, I visited Cardiff Violins and both Chris and Cecile were extremely accommodating; these visits occurred when I had a spare hour before a rehearsal somewhere in the city. Fortunately for me, the same viola was always there, proudly waiting for a play. Making the decision to purchase it was one of the best I have ever made. An Ian Ross viola from 2004, with the most sublime tone across the entire register. Without the patience of Chris and Cecile, it would not have happened. They then helped me purchase my first violin when I decided that I needed an instrument that I could teach beyond grade 3 violin on. A very difficult task on the viola. They pointed me in the direction of a very capable and inexpensive instrument that fitted the job description perfectly. So well, in fact, several of my students have visited Cardiff Violins and enjoyed the advice and knowledge of Chris and Cecile during the purchase of their first instrument.