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Hiroko Umezawa

Stringed instrument consultant / dealer

Born near Tokyo in Japan, Hiroko first came to the UK in 1993 to study the violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In 1996, at the invitation of Rachel Douglas, she joined Frederick Phelps Ltd in north London where she worked for seven years, gaining a thorough understanding of the stringed instrument business and dealing with all aspects of customer service. Particular highlights included trips to Japan to exhibit English instruments in the annual Tokyo Violin Exhibition.

In 2004, Hiroko joined well known London dealer J&A Beare Ltd, working as a sales manager for over ten years. She dealt with a wide range of clients, including world-renowned musicians, foundations, orchestras, students and dealers from all around the world, and handled instruments and bows across the full spectrum of the market, including the very finest examples by Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, François Tourte and Dominique Peccatte. It was during this time that Hiroko first developed her passion for and skills in matching instruments with her customers’ varying requirements.

Hiroko set up her independent London business as a consultant/dealer in April 2015, in order to further her ability to offer a personal and highly-tailored service to prospective buyers and sellers of stringed instruments. She is able to take full advantage of a wealth of knowledge and experience, a long-standing relationship of trust and collaboration with Charles Beare (now at Beare Violins Ltd), and links with a network of dealers around the globe.

Hiroko also hopes to play a role in forging connections between her native Japan and the rest of the world through the buying and selling of fine stringed instruments.

Hiroko Umezawa

Services

Based in London, UK, and with over 20 years of experience in the stringed instrument industry and links with dealers worldwide, I help my clients buy and sell their instruments (violins, violas, cellos and bows).

A "violin" can encompass anything from an old masterpiece made in the 17th and 18th centuries to one made by a highly-skilled contemporary craftsperson. If you are thinking of purchasing an instrument, I will carefully assess your requirements, asking for your budget, size, tonal preference, etc., and then search for instruments that are potential matches.

London is a global centre for the violin trade as well as for classical music in general, and therefore the ideal location for my work. There is a great deal of market activity, with many well-established violin shops and auction houses who hold their sales every spring and autumn.

In the case of old instruments, a respected certificate of authenticity is key to a purchase or sale. Using a trusted relationship with a world-renowned authenticator, I am able to coordinate the preparation of appraisals and check the authenticity of old instruments.

If you are in Japan and thinking of selling, take advantage of the free valuation held in Tokyo which I co-sponsor with a major London auction house once a year. I will definitely be at the venue, so please let me know.

From students to performers, foundations and orchestras, I have facilitated many purchases and sales that have met the diverse needs of each client. Please feel free to contact me.

Hiroko Umezawa

Contact

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