‘I first met John Dilworth in 1979 when he made a quite exquisite copy of my early Venetian viola. Apart from its beautiful appearance, this reproduction has a fine tone and I have used it on many occasions. Since that time John has made many fine instruments and many reproductions of a Maggini viola which I also owned at one time. It has always been a pleasure to recommend John’s instruments to colleagues past and present, and indeed we currently have three Dilworth instruments in the ECO’

Quintin Ballardie OBE FRAM
Director of the English Chamber Orchestra


‘I have been lucky enough to own two of John’s violas, Maggini and Grancino model instruments. These are always a delight to play due to the rich palette of colours they produce across the whole range of the instrument with great ease. They are both fine examples of the work of a master craftsman’

Johnathan Barritt
Principal violist, English Chamber Orchestra
Professor at the Royal College of Music


‘For the last ten years I have played almost exclusively on my ‘Dilworth’ cello, a beautifully crafted copy of the ‘Gore-Booth’ Stradivari. From the outset I was impressed by its rich, full, but never strident tone, its evenness across the whole range, and its ability to carry in orchestral solos in the largest concert halls. It gives me immense pleasure to play in solo, chamber and orchestral performances and continues to draw praise from colleagues and audiences alike.’

Graham Bradshaw
Co-principal ‘cellist, BBC Symphony Orchestra


‘…in the world of modern instruments his violins are unparalleled. They already sound ‘old’ when they are brand new. Mine is no exception, and my last fourteen years with it have been decisive. Monsieur Dilworth est sans pareil!’

Christian Garrick
Jazz violinist extraordinaire


‘I have been playing a Maggini model viola made by John Dilworth for over three years. Right from the start it had a warm, even and very clear sound. The tone blends beautifully in an orchestral section as well as projecting very clearly when playing solo. John is a real craftsman. Using well-chosen wood enhanced by a beautiful varnish, everything adds up to a viola that is as good to look at as it is to play.’

Martin Kelly
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music


‘Finding a viola with a ‘baroque’ set-up is no easy thing. During the nineteenth century, most violas were ‘modernised’ and made smaller- so finding an instrument and then restoring it to its original set-up is a risky business. The ‘baroque’ viola that John made for me is an ideal solution. Based on John’s highly successful ‘Maggini’ model, my viola is a delight to play- it ‘speaks’ easily, has beautiful tone quality throughout the range, and looks like a viola that might have been made in Bach’s day.’

Nicholas Logie
Academy of Ancient Music and English Baroque Soloists


‘I have had the opportunity both to play and hear John’s instruments in performance, and have thus learned that when created by a master luthier, a modern violin, viola or cello can possess the mellowness, soulfulness and maturity of sound more readily associated with the old masters. I cannot recommend them highly enough’

Richard Markson
Cello soloist and conductor
Senior Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London


‘John is an exceptional craftsman and restorer, someone I trust implicitly with my instrument’

Lawrence Power
Viola soloist, Nash Ensemble and Leopold Trio


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