The International Instrument Makers Exhibition 

Once again, Bolton Castle will be home to the UK's finest gathering of makers of medieval instruments, in the magnificent setting of the Great Chamber. This year, we welcome makers from the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. Click on the images to be taken to the website of each maker. 

Admission to the International Instrument Makers Exhibition is included in your Festival Pass.



New this year at Medieval Music in the Dales we are delighted to welcome Marco Salerno. Based in Girona in northern Spain, Marco has been a professional luthier for over twenty years, specialising in bowed and plucked strings. He's also a multi-instrumentalist with a longstanding interest in early music. 


Luthieros is the Koumartzis family, a family of musicians and makers based in northern Greece. They specialise in ancient Greek instruments, now expanding into medieval Byzantine instruments, and also Greek folk instruments. Many of us enjoyed the sound of the Lutherios lyre played by Stef Conner at MMitD 2018.This is their first time exhibiting in the UK and we are delighted to welcome them. They will be giving a demonstration and presentation of their instruments on Saturday at 12.30pm in Queen Mary's Chamber. 


Another first-time exhibitor this year is Giuseppe Severini, who is based in Sicily. Giuseppe studied Medieval History before moving on to specialise in making and playing the mandolin. This led on to the reconstruction of stringed instruments of the Middle Ages including vielle, psaltery and organistrum. It's a pleasure to welcome him to his first exhibition in the UK!


Returning to Medieval Music in the Dales, Ardival Harps was founded in 1992 with the aim of 

making a range of harps appropriate for a wide spectrum of musical and playing styles using locally-sourced materials and where possible based on historical Scottish, Irish and European sources.

Over twenty years and 1000 harps later they have sent their instruments all over the world, have developed annual harp courses for beginners and players and have been privileged to have their harps used and enjoyed by many, many people both amateur and professional.


The Early Music Shop offers the world's largest collection of medieval, renaissance and baroque musical instruments, and are bringing to the festival a collection very much focussed on the medieval. The Early Music Shop has been a supporter of Medieval Music in the Dales from the beginning - and they are even based here in Yorkshire!


Jean-Daniel Talma makes wind intruments from wood, horn and bone.  His work comes from "a long tradition of popular flute-makers. These artisans, peasants, workmen and shepherds have hands down an aesthetic of sounds and of knowhow that are the witnesses of a culture intimately linked to its environment. My creations are inspired by this work... each horn, bone or branch of wood gives birth to a unique instrument."


Maker of fine renaissance woodwind instruments. Eric is an internationally renowned maker and researcher in the field of historic woodwind instruments from the Renaissance period. Eric plays curtal, bagpipes, recorder, shawm, rauschpfeife and crumhorn and is the director of the early music ensemble Piva. 


George Stevens is a designer and maker of fine quality hand-crafted early musical instruments of the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods and has been making lutes, harps and other plucked instruments since 1989 for amateur and professional musicians around the world. He is also a writer, historian and published musician. ‘I usually have quite a wide variety of woods available for specific jobs and prefer to use mainly native and European species. Particular attention is paid to set up, playability  and players’ individual requirements.’ It's George's third visit to Medieval Music in the Dales.


Jim Parr makes shawms and bagpipes in various styles. It all started more or less by accident when Jim bought his first set of bagpipes: "although they were beautifully made, they didn't work very well and I spent the next year sorting them out and getting them to play. Having done that, I thought I might as well get myself a lathe and do it from scratch, and that was that." Jim is also giving a demonstration of reed-making in the Castle Bolton Meeting Room at 4.30pm on Friday (free with Festival Pass).


Ben Margotton is based in the Ardeche, making both historical and original insturment. He studied instrument making at the Bédarieux School, which he describes as a revelation. He says: "We can never know, with certainty, what sounds came out of those instruments that have only survived painted in manuscripts or carved on the pediments of monuments.... If one wants to recreate an instrument from antiquity or the middle ages, then there must be a lot of research,  but also compromises with the unknown".  It's his fourth year at MMitD.


Philippe Bolton has been a builder of recorders since 1974, the year he obtained a Médaille d’or at the conservatorium of Lille. He creates copies of historical instruments from the 15th – 18th centuries, and all
of his flutes are constructed entirely by hand. Philippe Bolton is a Maître Artisan and received in 1991 the Grand Prix Départemental et Régional des Métiers d'Art de la SEMA.

Please note: Philipe will be exhibiting on Friday and Saturday but is not with us on Sunday.


Erik Martens is an engineer by profession, with a natural curiosity about how things are made. He has been playing tenor shawm since 2008, and now makes Spanish shawms, having trained under and continued the work of John Hanchet. The Shawm Shop also supplies reeds and rommel pots made by Lizzie Gutteridge, as well as a range of accessories and music. Lizzie is also leading workshops on shawms (one for beginners and one for more experienced players) and playing bowed strings.


Terry Mann makes a range of early and folk woodwind and stringed instruments in his workshop in rural Cambridgeshire, including bagpipes, medieval recorder, whistle, three-holed pipe and banjo. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and an award-winning composer. Terry is again leading workshops on hand drumming and the pipe & tabor at this year's MMitD, as well as a led session in the Tavern for people who are new (or new-ish) to medieval music and want to build up their repertoire.


Benjamin Simao makes woodwind and soundbox instruments in his Brittany workshop. He grew up in an artisan tradition, loving "the fragrances of wood and the beauty of the gesture of the artisan. His approach is archaeological and tied to historical evidence and processes; he shapes each instrument by hand using traditional tools and techniques. He is also a multi-instrumentalist. This is his third year at Medieval Music in the Dales. 


Ugo Casalonga is an artisan luthier based in Corsica. He founded his workshop Casa Liutaiu out of the desire to make Corsican instruments better known - especially the Cetera. "At the age of 16, I above all wanted a Cetera, but no one was making them... I couldn't afford the services of a professional, so I had the slightly mad project of making one myself! And so it all began..." This is his fourth year at Medieval Music in the Dales. 


Tim Cranmore is the UK's longest established recorder maker, specialising in baroque instruments.  He has recently added a range of medieval models under the name Malvern Minstrelsy, including recorders, flutes and tabor pipes. This is Tim's second visit to Medieval Music in the Dales.

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