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With the violin being around approximately 500 years and many fine examples from the past 350 years still much sought after and in a playable condition the contemporary violin restorer / repairer is the latest in a line of custodians of our musical heritage.

If you’ve ever stopped to think about how these relatively small wooden instruments manage to not only survive the stresses and strains of playing and the wear and tear of the events of centuries, but are still great sounding investments on the 21st century spare a thought for skilled violin repairers and restorers.

With the violin containing over 70 different pieces of wood incorporating animal hide glue joints, and with a likelihood of having many different owners over time it’s easy to see why a ‘pit stop’ or a more significant stay at the repairers is a necessity every now and then.

The substantial investment value of the fine antique stringed instruments and the fact that many of these instruments are favoured and played (although not often owned due to their price tag) by many great professional / semi professional musicians means that the instruments really need to be professionally maintained and repaired.

In order to maintain an instrument’s value, distinctive voice, condition and longevity it takes experience, knowledge and skill. For the violin owner it’s a case of finding a trusted and reputable craftsmen or company with the right pedigree and proven track record.

Gary Bridgewood of renowned London fine stringed instrument dealers, repairers and restorers Bridgewood & Neitzert explains more about the restoration and repairs side of their business:

“We have our own fully equipped workshop here in Stoke Newington and the staff are expert craftsmen who have trained and worked for some of the finest institutions around the world. They need to be because of the range of repairs and restorations that they have to undertake on a variety of stringed instruments, not just violins. For example we also repair and restore violas, cellos, basses and bows, and we undertake work on early and period instruments including lutes, viols and viola d’amores and of course we are well known experts for baroque violins.

Many of the instruments we work on are very old and valuable and all workmanship is guaranteed. We often carry out emergency work. Minor repairs tend to take about a week whereas larger repairs are generally arranged to suit the musician's schedule.

We also renovate instruments we have in stock before they are sold through the shop”.

For more information call Gary Bridgewood on 020 7249 9398 or visit http://www.vivaceviolin.com/

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