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I have known Hector Lidgate for over twenty years and during this time I have had the pleasure of owning one of his hand made cellos.

As a professional cellist, my previous cello was made by Joseph Hill C.1780. It was a wonderful instrument that unfortunately needed constant attention and was worryingly fragile. Hector’s cello, on the other hand, has never had any problems.

In my experience, many string instruments are made to a renowned maker’s pattern and it is pure luck as to how the instrument sounds.

Hector’s approach to making and restoring instruments is more scientific and enables him to match the front and back plates to ensure an excellent quality and evenness of tone throughout the range. His instruments are well set up and Hector is always willing to adjust them to suit personal requirements.

I have a number of pupils and associates who have bought his cellos and violins, all of whom have been delighted with their quality and tone.

I am happy to talk to anyone who is interested in purchasing an instrument from Hector Lidgate. Tel: 07770 580381.

Robert Hoppé

Professional Cellist and Cello Teacher

“We decided to buy a ‘decent’ instrument for our daughter at Grade 6 as it was clear that this was needed to help her progress through to the higher grades, however not being string instrument experts we felt that buying a mature instrument of reasonable standard of some value could be a risk, and frankly a bit of a lottery. Buying bespoke meant that not only did we have the provenance but we also had direct contact with the maker and all the background to the technical specifications employed throughout. 

Our daughter named the viola Hector. Not only does it have a rich resonant sound but it looks superb. After her first lesson with the Hector her viola teacher asked if she could borrow it to perform in her orchestra the following weekend.

It’s a lovely instrument and our daughter has grown with it over the last few years. As an asset we were never really expecting a return on the investment but having recently reinsured Hector it was  pleasing to see that the valuation for this modern English instrument had shown a modest increase in it’s valuation.” 

Claude Valentini

Father of a Talented Viola Student

“I bought my wonderful cello made by Hector Lidgate in January 2016. I had been considering treating myself to a better cello for several years, but when Hector suggested that I take his latest creation home to try it out I fell in love instantly.

The tone is rich and the instrument is incredibly responsive and even-toned throughout it’s range. The set up makes the left hand action very easy and allows for much more fluent shifts. The responsive tone and string set up make string crossing passages easier. These two attributes make the cello so much easier and enjoyable to play.

I did try out some more expensive cellos, just to compare, but I would have had to pay a lot more for a similar instrument made by a bigger or better known maker.”

Sally Swift

Dip ABRM; CT ABRSM; ATCL Mus Ed; CSKA ; Member of EPTA and ESTA

“When new students ask me where to buy a violin I recommend that they go to Hector at Lidgate Violins. Hector is very helpful and usually has just the right sized instrument on hand. For students wanting to buy a reasonably priced violin he offers good quality and good value instruments. Most importantly, and unlike many instrument shops, Hector sets up the instruments properly so that they can sound their best. 

Hector is knowledgeable, friendly and cares about the quality of the violins he offers. My students very often go back to Lidgate Violins when they need larger instruments.”

Sophie Roseveare

Berkshire-based Violin Tutor

“At my suggestion, Hector took a viola that I have owned for some time but had never been happy with, as its response had been slow and the volume inadequate.

I had always felt that the instrument – a well made amateur one – had a fine tone locked away in it that needed professional attention to bring out.

Hector has done just that by re-tuning the plates, and my viola is now one that is a joy to play and can hold its own against the most expensive instruments”.

Andrew Bellis

Professional Viola Player & Bow Maker