Peter Smith

By Newark College
World class craftmanship at Newark
Peter Smith
World class craftmanship at Newark


Course Coordinator and Teaches Violin Making and Repair at Newark College since 2003.

Peter Smith trained at Ealing Strings of London in 1978 at 16 years old and apprenticed as a restorer working on classic Italian and English instruments, among others. 

He then started violin making before enrolling at the Newark School of Violin Making in 1985 to study and become a viola and cello maker. After graduating, he moved to Manchester as a restorer and maker, specialising in violas for members of the Halle orchestra, including the lead viola player, among others.

At that time, he based his model on the Italian maker, Andrea Guarneri, and over the coming years modified the instrument for size and to meet the requirements of contemporary playing and acoustic response.

Later in his career, Peter became a teacher at the Newark School of Violin Making and Repair and is currently the course leader with his own workshop outside of Newark in a small village.

He still specialises in violas, and the current model is of his own design, whilst maintaining the influence of the much-respected Guarneri model, combined with influences from Stradivarius models and great English makers such as Parker and Forster, modernised to meet the requirements of the current time and is developing a whole family of instruments from violin to cello.

The new model reflects his extensive experience and concepts developed over time, including current making within the trade, reflecting the requirements of the player, but in his own inimitable style.