Violinist Ionel Manciu provides an up-close look at his Gennaro Gagliano violin ahead of his appearance with the Mithras Piano Trio at Music at Paxton

I came about this instrument a year ago. In light of my recent achievements, one of the teachers at Guildhall approached me saying that there might be a possibility to be considered as one of the candidates of the Tompkins Tate Musical Instruments Trust. I was delighted at the time, since the violin I was playing had to be returned within a year and I didn’t  have an instrument of my own. I sent them my CV, a few recommendation letters and recordings. After that, I was left anxiously waiting for the outcome. Luckily, I was successful with my application and that’s how it all started. 

The instrument is quite easy to play on. I love its rich and deep tone, as well as its beautiful singing quality. My previous violin was also nice, but the complete opposite in terms of character. It had a treble quality and required a certain way of playing. I was still very lucky to have played on it, I learned a lot. 

The very first time I tuned the instrument I realised that there was something special about it. I instantly fell in love with its rich and deep sound, and felt like I identified with it immediately. Its singing quality lends itself perfectly to chamber music.

Ionel Manciu will appear with the Mithras Piano Trio at Music at Paxton, Saturday 30 July at 7.30pm, performing Cecilia McDowall ’Cavatina at Midnight’,
Beethoven Piano Trio in E flat, op. 70 no. 2 and Tchaikovsky ~ Piano Trio in A minor, op. 50. More information can be found here.

Formed in 2017, the Mithras Piano Trio has won many of the most prestigious prizes open to young chamber ensembles and in 2021 they were selected for the BBC New Generation Artists programme, following in the footsteps of illustrious artists such as violinist Alina Ibragimova, the Belcea Quartet, pianist Steven Osborne and the Ébène Quartet.

Photos courtesy of Ionel Manciu