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Instrument & Bow of the Month – February 2024

Piero Parravicini was born in Bovisio, just outside Milan, in 1889. He then moved to Milan to study with Romeo Antoniazzi and later worked in the Monzino workshop for one year in 1924 before setting up on his own. He had a successful career in his own right and was awarded medals in Rome in 1925 and 1929, Cremona in 1949 and Rome again in 1954.

Parravicini is in some ways typical of the Modern Italian school in that his instruments are unantiqued. His work demonstrates the influence of the Antoniazzi family, particularly in his use of Classical Italian models with a rich orange varnish.

Parravicini died in 1957, having made around 600 violins as well as 10 violas, 12 cellos and 3 double basses. A prolific and very fine maker whose instruments deserve greater attention! I have always been interested in this maker as his work shows a high level of skill and real refinement. We are lucky to have 2 violas and especially the 2 violas here in the shop.

View Viola 1 View Viola 2

As for the bows…well, Emile August Ouchard can be regarded as one of the finest makers of the 20th century. He is a maker I love, probably more than Sartory, as you feel it’s one maker doing his thing! Sartory had too many workers, and although the end result is special…I prefer the one man and his tools approach!

This EAO viola bow is special. FX Tourte copy. I remember when it was for sale in the 1990’s whilst I was still a musician. It’s price was around £7000……Sartory viola bow were £8000. And sadly out of my reach, But I already owned a fine Lamy so probably didn’t need it! A colleague bought it and now I am selling it.

View Bow

The EF Ouchard is actually as good as an early EAO…if you get my drift. Elegant and still strong. It’s tough when the kids start getting better than the parents…but isn’t that what we want from our kids anyway?

View Bow

Come and try these fine violas and bows………..