The Maker

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.

see more


Hugh’s instruments are each the product of thoughtful passion.

Every step is made with the intent to create the best possible sounding instrument that is also a pleasure to play.

The process starts with an idea of sound. The individual design, choice of materials, woodwork, varnishing and set-up all contribute to realising this goal. Hugh believes a handcrafted instrument offers a player the best chance to fulfill their musical dreams.

see more

Contact the Workshop

An artist’s community in a historic Art Deco building.

P: +61 (0)2 6262 7166

Rooms E104-108, Gorman House Arts Centre
5 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon ACT 2612


Instruments for sale

Hugh makes violins, violas and cellos. He makes instruments of varying sizes and models drawing on the traditions of the great makers of the past. Yet it is the strength and passion shown in the instruments of today’s modern makers that particularly inspires him.

Hugh usually has examples of his instruments to try and is very happy to discuss a player’s needs and particular wishes in their new instrument.

see more

Commissioning a new instrument

The first step is to get in contact with Hugh. He is very friendly and happy to talk about what a player is looking for in an instrument.

Even if you can’t put all your desires into words together we can usually find the right instrument. Commissioning an instrument is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the story of the life of an instrument – right from its birth. This intimate connection between a player and their instrument can help develop, extend and even refresh their musical expression.

see more