Three of the five directors of London violin dealers J.&A. Beare have stepped down from their directorship roles. Charles Beare has retired as a director, but will continue to act as an expert consultant on matters relating to the authenticity of instruments, according to a statement on the company's website. Beare, who has been active in the business since 1961, wants to devote more time to other projects, including a book on Venetian violin and lute makers.

Two more directors, Frances Gillham and violin maker Peter Beare, are both leaving the business, the latter to pursue making full-time. The remaining directors are Steven Smith and Simon Morris, who have been with the company since their own violin dealership, Morris and Smith, merged with J.&A. Beare in 1998. Morris confirmed that despite the company no longer having a Beare as one of its directors, there is no question of the name of the firm changing. 'It is very much business as usual,' he added.