Jan 06 2020
Bridgewood & Neitzert have been serving London, the UK and the world with their expert repair and restoration of string instruments for almost 40 years. Their busy shop in Stoke Newington is full of beautiful instruments and extraordinary skilled luthiers!
We spoke to founder Gary Bridgewood to find out more.
How would you describe your shop in three words?
Leading Violin Dealers
How did the business get started?We opened our first workshop with two other colleagues, Robert Louis Baille who now runs a prestigious shop in Seville, Spain and Craig Ryder, a very fine bow-maker who settled in Paris. Both Robert and Craig left for Paris in a black taxi whilst Tom Neitzert and I stayed here and started our partnership in 1982.
What does your shop specialise in?
Expert repairs and restoration, sales of violins, violas, cellos, double basses, bows, cases, strings and accessories, both modern and baroque set up. We have a large selection to suit every taste and budget! We’re also here for advice, expertise and consultation.
What additional services do you offer?
We have two floors of workshops at our Stoke Newington shop and have some of the finest luthiers in Europe. We pride ourselves on making any repair no matter how small or how extensive. We’ve repaired double basses back to health that have fallen off the back of an aeroplane or violins that have been driven over and look impossible to put back together. Sounds impossible but that’s what we do! We offer the same for bows and cases.
We also specialise in baroque and classical period instruments and are known worldwide for this, we have a large selection of baroque instruments for sale, and for conversion work – putting instruments back into period set-up. We offer specialist string sales and have the widest possible selection, these are sent all over the world.
We have a dedicated team handling our hire scheme where students can hire good sounding, easy to play instruments.
We are conservators for the National Trust, recently we visited Buckingham Palace to repair their Basse de violon. We manage the hire scheme for the Viola da Gamba society, for those looking to hire viols and a similar scheme for the lute society.
What’s your favourite item for sale in the shop right now?
There are so many that I love! A wonderful baroque cello by Jacob Haynes made in London 1745, a fantastic violin by Johannes Cuypers, the Hague 1773 but my favourite is a violin by a rare maker called Marcell Pichler, Austria 1677 with a beautiful carved lions head.
Name a favourite piece of music. (From any genre you like, absolutely no judgement!)
Ginette Neveu Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor recorded in 1945
Do you get involved in your local community? If so, how?
We have been involved since its inception with the Stoke Newington Early Music festival, such great players as Monica Hugget, Catherine Mackintosh and Emma Kirby have performed. We support music at Sutton House possibly London’s oldest house. We have also supported a local radio station and sponsor many musicians in their concert activities.
Visit Bridgewood & Neitzert at:146 Stoke Newington Church StreetStoke NewingtonLondon
N16 0JU+44 (0)207 2499398