Violins, violas, celli, bows and baroque bows for string players. Beginners, amateur players, teachers, collectors and professionals have bought from Philip Brown Violins since 1985.
Professional, expert knowledge and highly regarded workshop skills.
We provide our customers with expert professional advice on purchasing the right instrument, valuing items, repairs and restorations. We’ve built up a broad client base over the last 30 years including young players, professional soloists and members of well known orchestras within the UK and Europe. Please be advised that we do not pay Teacher commissions.
Our highly qualified and experienced staff offer reliable advice and excellent customer service. We offer an excellent stock of instruments and bows, representing some of the best of English, French and Italian instruments available.
We sell instruments from £600 to £500,000, offer an approval service for those who wish to try before they buy and a highly regarded rental service. We always have a good range of bows in stock including 18th century originals.
Bows suitable for those interested in period performance are made in the workshop by Philip and his team. We are based in Newbury town centre, within a few minutes walk of the station. Making an appointment is recommended.
Why Choose Us?
Philip Brown Violins has an established, professional and authentic approach which is respected throughout the trade. Please do contact us.
What We Do
Philip Brown Violins offers a professional, trustworthy approach, expert knowledge and an excellent standard of workshop skills. A strong team of highly qualified and experienced staff offer consistent and reliable customer service.
Philip Brown decided on a career in musical instrument making from the young age of 14 after being inspired by instrument maker Alan Lamb and the musician/collector Peter Davies. The latter’s passion and knowledge of stringed instruments nudged Philip towards a 4 year course in Lute and Viol making at the London College for Furniture.
The workshop’s inspirational teaching team included; Roger Rose, Steve Barber, Ian Harwood and Norman Myall augmented by the sharp insights of lutenist Christopher Wilson. Chris worked tirelessly with the students often staying behind for hours to develop designs and historical ideas.
A steep learning curve with many late nights and a lot of hard work led to Philip emerging as the only student of the year to be awarded a distinction. Visiting master luthier Dietrich Kessler, presenting the award told Philip, ‘looking at your work, it’s really very good so I want you to tell me what’s wrong with it!’. Philip gave Kessler a list of further improvements which could be made and he’s wondered ever since if perhaps it was this insight which led to his award.
Philip’s fellow students included Martin Haycock, Tom Neitzert, Gary Bridgewood, Charles Riche, Craig Ryder and Claire Ryder – an inspiring team who’ve all gone on to great things in this field.
Philip left college with a healthy book of orders for instruments to make. He set himself up in Wapping, sharing a riverside workshop with Martin Haycock before returning to his home town of Newbury. Here he continued to make lutes and began taking orders for violin restorations and repairs. The demand for violin work grew organically and has been the mainstay of Philip’s work for many years.
English violin and bow makers have become Philip’s special area of interest.