International violin expert takes on role at Birmingham Conservatoire

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 07 SEPTEMBER 2016
Florian Leonhard

One of the world’s leading experts on fine violins, who has dedicated his life to studying, restoring and making stringed instruments, is to take up a new role at Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University. 

Florian Leonhard has been announced as the Conservatoire’s International String Instrument Expert, further confirming Birmingham’s position as a major centre for classical music performance.

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This exclusive appointment will see him visit the Conservatoire regularly during the year to work with students and staff, deliver talks and be involved with specific strings events at the institution.

Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, and now based in the UK, he matches soloists such as Maxim Vengerov with world-class violins, as well as mentoring numerous young talents, including Alina Ibragimova and the recent winner of BBC Young Musician 2016, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

On taking up his new position, Mr Leonhard said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be involved with Birmingham Conservatoire as their International String Instrument Expert. It is always inspiring to witness the passion of talented musicians; they, along with their instruments, are the reason my profession exists!

“It is a great honour to be associated with such an important cultural institution as Birmingham Conservatoire.”

Regularly called upon as a jury member for violin competitions, his company – Florian Leonhard Fine Violins – is widely considered the leading dealership and restoration workshop in the world.

His firm has restored and supplied instruments by the Stradivarius and Guarnerius families for a number of renowned players including Leonidas Kavakos, Daniel Hope and Birmingham Conservatoire Principal, Professor Julian Lloyd Webber.

Professor Lloyd Webber said:

“We are delighted to welcome Florian to the Conservatoire fold! Florian has established himself as the expert everyone goes to when it concerns a fine string instrument.

Part of Birmingham City University and with a history dating back to 1859, Birmingham Conservatoire is one of the leading music academies in the country. Internationally renowned cellist Professor Lloyd Webber took up the role of its Principal in 2015, as the Conservatoire prepares to move to a new state-of-the-art facility next year.

Louise Lansdown, Head of Strings, Birmingham Conservatoire said:

“I am delighted to be able to welcome Florian Leonhard as our International String Instrument Expert. This is an exciting and unique collaboration that will create wonderful opportunities for our students and cement our links with the intricacies of the string instrument world. We have fabulous plans with Florian over the comings months and years.”

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