Tim Baker graduated from the Newark School of Violin Making with distinction in 1981, and joined W.E. Hill & Sons where he trained as a bowmaker and repairer. In 1984 he joined J&A Beare Ltd, where his time was divided between bow making, restoration and the study of old bows.
With the encouragement of Charles Beare, Tim has developed a special interest in English bows from 1750 onwards, giving a number of lectures on the subject both in the US and Europe. He was a major contributor to ‘The British Violin’, published by the British Violin Making Association (BVMA).
In 1992 Tim was invited to join the jury of the bowmaking competition at the Manchester International Cello Festival, and has returned several times, as well as judging competitions in Europe, China and the USA. For over 20 years he has been a regular visitor to the Violin Society of America’s Summer School at Oberlin in Ohio, and in 2006 worked with colleagues to establish a similar professional development course at West Dean College in the UK. He is short course coordinator for the BVMA which now runs a wide variety of courses at different venues throughout the year.
Since the end of 2000, Tim Baker has worked independently, concentrating on bowmaking. His bows are strongly influenced by the mid-19th century French makers, in particular the Peccatte School. When making a bow, Tim believes the selection of wood is the single most important consideration. With the right choice of pernambuco, a bow can be made with good playing qualities, which will allow the musician to draw the optimum sound from their instrument.
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