Follow us on Facebook

Paul Harrild

"My work is to me a personal commitment to instruments, players and audiences alike.  I hope in our own way we are all performers."

Paul Harrild has been working as a violin maker for 32 years.  His instruments are loved by professional musicians for their sound quality, responsiveness and fine craftsmanship.  Paul's making evolved along with his exploration of graphics, fine art painting and sculpture, endowing him with an array of skills to produce instruments of exceptional quality.  Paul emulates the makers of Cremona and Brescia, whilst retaining the freedom to acknowledge a variety of influences and honour his own creative style.  Paul also makes copies on request, as well as undertaking work in the Baroque tradition including the decoration of instruments, his 'Prince of Wales' being a fine example.  He also teaches at the Newark School of Violin Making 2 days a week.

Orchestras sold to include:

  • BBC Symphony, BBC Radio, BBC Welsh Symphony, London Philharmonic, Scottish National, Bournemouth Symphony, English National Opera, Freelance London orchestral players

Youth Orchestras sold to include:

  • UK Harrow School of Young Musicians & Benslow Music Trust

Countries sold to include:

  • UK, USA, China, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, 
    Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Korea

Testimonial from Beth Fuller-Teed

"I’ve been looking for a new viola for a while now and after studying for 4 years in Cardiff.

I knew that Cardiff Violins would certainly be one of the shops worth looking in. I was not disappointed. Joe, one of the staff members had heard I was searching and sent me a lot of information on their instruments and invited me to come and have a look.

Upon arrival a wide range of violas were set out and I was able to try them at my leisure. One in particular, a lovely Paul Harrild, stood out for me but was unfortunately out of my price range. Paul and the staff at Cardiff Violins were more than helpful in offering funding advice and working out a situation to enable me to purchase this instrument. Next year I hope to start auditioning professionally and this will hugely assist me. I cannot say how grateful I am – it is a beautiful viola!"

Testimonial from Peter Samworth

"Having played 15 or 20 instruments of yours over two days I found there were at least 10 violas that I would have enjoyed buying. Then you showed me the one I eventually bought, which was made by Paul Harrild and which I could not help wanting to pick up time and again yesterday after trying another.  Paul's instrument is a gorgeous amber colour, a real beauty to look at, and has the richest tone, even and smooth throughout the register.  It has a sonority which is one of the things I would look for in a viola, and a much better C string than many others, then it will sing with that baritone voice through the G and D strings where the sound simply bounces out, and is brilliant (but not strident) higher up the A string.  I love it to bits, and my wife is just as pleased as I am!  Perhaps one day I will meet Paul, I would like him to know how much pleasure his instrument is giving."

Information provided by Paul Harrild on the instruments pictured in gallery at bottom of page:

  • Paul Harrild Original Viola:

16" of my own design, based on a classic method of design.  This instrument has proven very popular with violinists that also play viola.  The viola gives a full range of tonality/colouration and ease of sound production.  Much suited to professional players and students alike.

  • Guarneri Copy Viola:

16 3/8" copy based on an Andrea Guarneri of 1676.  This viola is made without shoulders on the peg box (which the original has) for ease of playing.  This copy has, over the years found great favour with players in orchestras such as the BBC Symphony, English National Opera, London Philharmonic, Scottish National & BBC Welsh.  Having made over 100 copies and sold worldwide this model of viola has a proven track record for quality of sound.  It has also been a popular choice amongst quartet players.

  • Leduc Copy:

A copy of Guarneri Del Gesu, 1745, known as the Leduc.  This violin is probably the last ever produced by Del Gesu, as the label indicates being dated 1745, one year after his death.  It was common practice at the time to sell on any remaining stock after death and label accordingly.  This violin is a great favourite of mine to make because it displays many eccentricities of the great maker.  The copies have produced a full and rich sound that has great projection, as is required by discerning players.

All instruments are for illustrative purposes only, please call 029 20 22 77 61 to enquire about current stock.

Click thumbnails to enlarge: