My love of violin making is very much a marriage of the arts and sciences. I developed a keen interest in acoustics, in my early teens, as I became very active making music. For the first 14 years of my working life I was a professional performing musician and composer. In 2000 I gained a BA Honours Degree in Music specialising in composition which took me as far as Vologda in Russia, where I had a piece performed by the Vologda University Choir and the Hildesheim University Orchestra and Choir. During this time my passion for the violin grew to the point where I felt I had to become an actual violinmaker.

In 2002 I went to Italy to search for a maker, to get me started, and was lucky enough to find one in Jesi; Giuseppe Quagliano. Returning to England in 2004 I started a 3 year Diploma at the celebrated Newark School of Violin Making.

Since my graduation I have divided my time equally between repair/restoration and making new instruments, gaining experience in Austria and France before returning to England. After 3 years working in the workshop of Bridgewood and Neitzert in Stoke Newington (North London) I decided to set up my own workshop in Central London where I am today.

In 2015 I was commissioned to oversee a project to build a violin using a 3D printer which has been released in 27 languages.

What distinguishes my violinmaking from other makers is how I use the computer to perfect the arching and remain more faithful to the instrument I might be copying.

Gareth Ballard