Virtuoso sets up niche violin business
A veteran violin teacher has set up a new business — with strings attached.
Christopher Darrell created Stringz Unlimited to cater to the Bermuda market with Thomastik-Infeld strings — but hopes to expand his niche business to cover the Caribbean as well.
Mr Darrell said he got the idea for the new company after trying to buy strings for his violin in Bermuda.
He added: “I went into town earlier this year because I needed some strings.
“I usually get them overseas and I was not impressed with the price point or the selection.
“I thought we could do better than this, so I got touch with the manufacturer so basically now I can import them at a better price point and offer a wider selection.”
Thomastik-Infeld, based in Austria, which makes the Dominant strings range sold by Mr Darrell, has been in business since 1919.
Mr Darrell said: “It's the best string for intermediate and beginners alike. Professionals use them and it's a better quality sound for intermediates and beginners.”
He added: “Their excellent tuning stability make them a popular choice for students and professionals alike.
“Virtually resistant to climate and temperature change they are therefore perfect for Bermuda's oftentimes humid weather conditions.”
Mr Darrell said that he aimed in time to sell “all things violin-related in Bermuda and eventually in the Caribbean — that's the ambition, anyway”.
The violin virtuoso, a teacher for 15 years, began playing violin in Bermuda at the age of six in the Suzuki programme and later moved to the Yehudi Menuhin programme.
He graduated with a degree in music from Boston University and taught at schools across the Island, including the Berkeley Institute and Warwick Academy.
Now he teaches on a private basis from a studio based at 82 South Shore Road in Paget.
Mr Darrell said: “The violin definitely has a lot more traction now than when I first started.
“It's an instrument that, like the piano, a lot of people want their children to get started on.
“Music gives them a broader perspective and a better appreciation of music.”
And he added: “Bermuda has a gift. As far as a music industry goes, it could be stronger. But there is definitely a strong undercurrent of musical talent that exists.”
The strings are at present available online at www.stringzunlimited.com.
Call 504-5339 or e-mail info@stringzunlimited for more information.