My Rudolf Pilsel cello quickly became the talk of both students and professors after I performed the Elgar Concerto on it with the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. “Who had made such a wonderful sounding instrument?”, they asked. Following that performance, Rudolf soon had several commissions from my fellow students.
Since then the cello has been with me throughout my career, as a much loved and trusted friend, often commented upon for the quality of its tone, and gradually revealing more of itself as the years have gone by.
More recently I acquired another cello by Rudolf. It’s an equally beautiful instrument, but quite different, with its own unique sound and personality. Which is my favourite? Always the one I’m playing at the time!
Susanna Wilson 2017
I have owned a cello made by Rudi Pilsel since 2012. It has a rich warm tone throughout the whole register which carries beautifully. I am absolutely delighted with the instrument. It so easy and a pleasure to play and has attracted many complimentary comments from colleagues.
Ian Ludford, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
The second and third Pilsel cellos were made for me and my sister way back in 1986 to 1987 and I still play on my Pilsel today. I have always found it a wonderful cello to play with a lovely warm sound on all the strings and plenty of strength in the higher registers. It has a sustained consistency of tone throughout the whole range and is equally suitable for performances of Bach to Elgar to contemporary music. The Pilsel cello is ideal for solo, chamber and orchestral work and I thoroughly recommend it as a great concert instrument for cellists of all levels.
I am the happy owner of two violins made by Rudolf (Rudi) Pilsel (2002 and 2014), one viola (2008) and one viola bow. Each instrument has its own characteristics. I choose one of the violins for solo work and the other, which has a one-piece back, for chamber music. The viola is rich toned with a bell like quality in the upper register. Each is a delight to play.
I also own a 1953 Frederick Weller violin and an undistinguished but serviceable 1970s viola. Why so many instruments? Well, my wife and daughter are also violinists. They too appreciate the quality of the Pilsel instruments. I have always found Rudi to be helpful, a source of wise advice, and a reliable supplier of accessories and services like rehairing of bows.
Veteran violinist and connoisseur of fine violins based in Cheshire.
“Rudi Pilsel, how pleasant to deal with such a fine fellow. Having just bought one of his violins, I can’t say enough just how much I am enjoying playing it. Its is a beautiful instrument and very responsive in all registers. I can honestly recommend him and his instruments.” 11th April 2019
Professional violinist, teacher and founder of Key Strings based in Alsager, Cheshire.
“I have been a professional violinist for fifty years and for forty of these I have played on an instrument by Rudolf Pilsel. I was first introduced to Rudolf’s workshop by a friend and was a little doubtful but when I saw his violins I remembered a passage in William Reeve’s book “the Violin Hunter” where Bergonzi described Cremona violins and I had the same feeling looking at Rudolf Pilsel’s beautiful instruments: “…at first glance it will appear that the varnish has only been laid on a hour before. No matter how long you possess the instrument, each time you see it you will think that the varnish has just been applied. then as you stare, the hidden quality of the colour manifests itself. There is exquisite beauty in the purfling, the f holes and the perfect corners.” The pegs made of naturally yellow boxwood” I fell in love with the instrument and on playing it the sound enriched my soul. Several of my colleagues were equally excited about the instrument, and to this day the sound of the violin still engages and enthralls the listeners. If these violins had a Cremona label they would triple their value. The instrument has given me a lifetime of pleasure!
Keen Cheshire based amateur violinist
I absolutely love my violin. There was never a doubt in my mind when I asked you to make a violin for me. Over these months and knowing you were making the violin has been something to look forward to. As soon as I lifted it up I felt it was perfect for me. The tone is so rounded, delicate and subtle. It is an absolute dream to play. I feel it is part of me.
Violinist based in North Staffordshire.
I feel very fortunate and privileged to have met Mr Pilsel and to be able to own one of his violins. It is a very special instrument in that it has a wonderful warm tone and fantastic projection. I will never forget the first time I played my violin. I was amazed at its quick response and the rich palette of colours it produced across the whole range of the instrument. It was so easy to play!
It is widely considered that we are currently living in a renaissance of modern violin making with instruments equally matching the tonal qualities of great Italian and French instruments. So, who needs a Strad, Guarneri or Vuillaume when you can own a Pilsel, at a fraction of the price.
Violist and teacher based in South West London
My beautifully crafted viola made by Rudolf Pilsel has brought me great pleasure and given me years of happy memories. I have enjoyed playing it in quartets and orchestras, and in doing so have raised money for numerous charities. Many people have commented on the wonderful rich tone it has when I have performed on it.
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