Hugh Withycombe

Hugh is an internationally recognised maker of fine stringed instruments. He combines the Italian tradition with precise English craftsmanship and an Australian spirit to create successful, reliable instruments full of character and life.

Hugh has always been interested in just about everything. From car mechanics to philosophy, codes, cooking and camping. It came as no surprise to Hugh that he should leave an interesting job helping to negotiate climate change treaties and start learning to make violins.

Hugh trained at the Newark School of Violin Making in England graduating in 2001. After working with Florian Leonhard Fine Violins and Frederick Phelps in London he returned to his home town of Canberra in 2003.

Hugh’s approach to making new instruments is influenced by his background as a cellist, philosopher and environmentalist. As a player himself, he strives to create instruments that are responsive to the varied demands of the musician. His past studies as a philosopher bring a rigorous analytical framework to his continual quest to make better instruments. Through his work as an environmentalist Hugh developed a heartfelt appreciation of wood, its beauty and functionality. He also came to understand the power of a beautiful object, in this case a beautiful instrument, to inspire a musician to reach higher levels of expression and performance.


Back length: 353 mm | String length: 328 mm

Upper bout: 167 mm | Middle bout: 115 mm | Lower bout: 207 mm