Feedback from Cello Owners

feedback from cello owners - Stephen Orton

Stephen Orton

Principal cello Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Chilingirian Quartet cellist

‘I’ve been the happy owner of this cello for ten years now. Robin and I have evolved the set up over the years and I think it’s sounding better than ever and feels incredibly free. Audiences and colleagues tell me that I can be heard clearly in both chamber and orchestral concerts which is very reassuring. I also love the fact that I can go on a series of demanding tours and have absolute confidence that my cello will cope with the temperature and humidity changes. I do feel lucky not to have to worry about an old instrument with lots of repairs.’

Stephen Orton plays a copy of a c.1740 Montagnana cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2001.

To see a video of Stephen Orton playing his Montagnana copy, visit the Video Gallery.

feedback from cello owners - mikhail nemtsov

Mikhail Nemtsov 

Principal cello Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and Pierre Fournier award winner 2011

‘In 2014 I tried Robin’s three models in a large performance space. I quickly realised that the Stradivari model was for me. It had great sweetness combined with focus; it was powerful and projected sound very well, but in a balanced way. I’ve had my cello now for two years and I feel the instrument has no limits: the more I play, the more I discover in it, and I can hear sound colours evolving all the time. I’ve had fantastic feedback from my colleagues and audiences and feel privileged to have such a great cello.’

Mikhail Nemstov plays a copy of a 1726 Stradivari Marquis de Corberon cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2016.

To see a video of Mikhail Nemstov playing his Stradivari copy, visit the Video Gallery.

feedback from cello owners - yvonne marie parsons

Yvonne-Marie Parsons

Freelance cellist

‘I was considering a mortgage for a better cello but it was hard to find a decent instrument even for £100,000.  When Robin gave me one of his Guadagnini copies to try, I sat in the music room for about three hours and couldn’t put it down, it was absolutely amazing, so I decided to commission my own Guadagnini copy. The day after I collected him (he’s called Symba) I took him on tour and I’ve been playing him non-stop ever since. He’ll be six years old this July and he sounds wonderful.’

Yvonne-Marie Parsons plays a copy of a c.1755 Milan period Guadagnini cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2012.

feedback from cello owners - samara ginsberg

Samara Ginsberg

Freelance cellist

‘For years, I struggled with a cello that was too big for me and finally realised that I needed a smaller instrument. I managed to borrow one of Robin’s Guadagnini copies for an extended period and the cello did everything I asked it to, right from the start. It made me a better cellist, so I decided to commission my own copy. It’s given my career a real boost, partly because I have a better cello which is the right size for me and also because of the confidence that brings.’

Samara Ginsberg plays a copy of a c.1755 Milan period Guadagnini cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2016.

To see a video of Samara Ginsberg playing her Guadagnini copy, visit the Video Gallery.

Matthew Sharp with Robin Aitchison cello

Matthew Sharp

Cello soloist and baritone

‘When I heard that Robin had made a copy of the Montagnana which once belonged to my teacher Boris Pergamenschikow, I asked to try it. We met back stage at King’s Place and the cello felt like a rocket launcher! This cello occupies a frequency which can always be heard and allows me to channel my musical intentions in a focussed, fabulous, sensual way. I have never had so many people coming back stage after a performance and saying, ‘What is that cello you play?’ – even though I’ve performed on many exceptional Italian instruments in the past.’

Matthew Sharp plays a copy of the c.1735 Ex-Pergamenschikow Montagnana cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2013.

To see a video of Matthew Sharp playing his Montagnana copy, visit the Video Gallery.

Josh Mountford

RNCM student September 2018 onwards

‘The Montagnana copy felt natural right from the start and sounds the way I’ve always imagined a cello should sound. The first time I tried it I was shocked it could fill the whole room with so little effort. Tutors say how well the cello projects; even its pizzicato can fill a hall. The cello fits well in every context; playing a sonata it’s never overpowered by a grand piano and the sound quality is always there, even at pianissimo when I’m playing a Brahms sextet. It was a huge bonus to have the cello in time for my conservatoire auditions; I felt more confident each time, knowing I had such a good instrument.’

Josh Mountford plays a copy of the c.1735 Ex-Pergamenschikow Montagnana cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2017. 

Oliver Mansfield

Freelance cellist and cello teacher

‘I just wanted to say a big thank you to you both for helping me find the perfect cello (Robin Aitchison’s Strad copy). I received a really good recital mark and I feel that your help, experience and patience in finding me such good tools was one of the key factors in helping me achieve my result.’

Oliver Mansfield plays a copy of a 1726 Stradivari Marquis de Corberon cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2007.

Joseph Davies

Cellist, composer, and cello teacher

‘I was looking for a new cello and had tried many antique and modern instruments before playing Robin’s Guadagnini. My main criterion for purchase was quality, and Robin’s cello seemed leagues ahead in this respect. It took me little time to decide on commissioning my own. I was struck by the speed and subtlety of response and the complex tone that the Guadagnini offered. The instrument was very comfortable to play, and I’ve realised since that this is partly due to some of Robin’s innovations in design. The cello is responsive without being passive. The great appeal is that they offer players the chance to personalise and experiment freely with their instruments. The changes were quite specific and they can affect the cello’s physical profile as well as its sound. The finished cello was even better than the model I tried earlier in the year and I felt comfortable performing on the cello right from the outset. The cello is wonderfully balanced: the tone quality is rich but well blended across its entire range. It is very versatile, and has been used for Bach, Berio, Beethoven and Carter. Robin has even said that it would happily support a baroque set-up. Audiences comment on the quality of the instrument very frequently.’

Joseph Davies plays a copy of a c.1755 Milan period Guadagnini cello made by Robin Aitchison in 2011.

For more feedback from cello owners, visit Robin Aitchison cello owners.