Tibor Szemmelveisz reports back from the 27th Makers’ Day in February 2024, which cultivated a meeting of minds between luthiers and players in central London

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The British Violin Making Association (BVMA) held its 27th Makers’ Day exhibition on 25 February 2024 at Kings Place, London. The BVMA, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, would express their gratitude to this unique concert venue for the special relationship they have built up in the last six years.

This event was run by a volunteer-based core of violin makers: Emma Hardy, Julian Pindar and Renato Carrano, with the purpose to support the members of the BVMA by providing this excellent opportunity for networking and connecting musicians and makers with each other.

Violin maker volunteer, Kathleen Thomas, was our voice in the ether. The smooth running of the event was the result of hard work from many students, skillfully coordinated by Paul Fremantle, a second career student from West Dean. 


Over 1000 visitors came through the doors that Sunday. Many of them were professional musicians, students from different colleges and amateur instrumentalists, with the intention of trying out instruments, bows or to find out about new products in the violin business provided by the 50 exhibitors. Everyone was looking for ways that they could improve their musical life with the help and self-made products of the exhibitors.

The central axle of this event has always been the cooperation with the Kreutzer Quartet. Its well-established members, Peter Sheppard Skærved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff and Neil Heyde, who are also individual performers and educators, again mastered the difficult task to put on a high level musical performance using instruments they selected on the day from the exhibitors present.


Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved


They combined incredible technical skills with musical understanding of wide-ranging compositions performed on stage. While other players take the bow following their performance and disappear into their changing rooms, the Kreutzer Quartet instead engaged with the audience, sharing their experiences about the instruments on which they performed. This kind of feedback is the key part for many makers to improve their working skills.

This year was another success and in the post-event meeting the committee assessed the various aspects of the event. We have already started gathering momentum for our next Makers’ Day on 9 February 2025.

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