David G. Mann - Luthier

David began his career as a violin maker with a three year apprenticeship undertaken in the workshop of Barry Oliver, a Cremonese Master Luthier who had himself studied under Morassi and Bissolotti in Cremona.

Barry then kept David on in a permanent position, giving him the opportunity to further his knowledge and expertise in violin repair and restoration. He stayed until Barry's illness forced the closure of the workshop in 1990.

David then became a partner in The Violin Shop at Hexham in Northumberland with Nial Cain, who had also been apprenticed to Barry Oliver. Over the next decade David and Nial constructed over thirty instruments under the 'Cain and Mann' label.

Both makers became interested not only in the old Italian styles of Stradivarius and Guarneri but also in the construction and plate thicknessing of the semi modern Italian makers such as the Antoniazzi and Bisiach families.

This partnership continued until September 2000 when Nial moved back to his native Wales. Since then David has run the shop on his own offering repair and restoration services and continuing to make fine instruments when commissioned to do so.

David's two daughters are both professional violinists. Sarah, a classical violinist, lives and works in Cambridge. Claire, a traditional musician performs and records with Aaron Jones and with the bands 2 Duos and Real Time. She is also a tutor at The Sage Gateshead and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.

You can learn more about Claire at her website - www.clairemann.com.

Tonewood for Sale

Although personal inspection is best, we will recommend, advise, even try to match wood where a postal service is required. All wood is more than adequately seasoned and ready to work and most of our stock is ten or more years old. If you are in search of the very old or spectacular, do enquire. Price on application.

Our A, B, and C, gradings should not necessarily be equated with those of other sellers of tonewood, in particular our grade A backs which are rather better than usually offered in this country. Inspection recommended!