Simon Morris & Steven Smith
Simon Morris and Steven Smith are trusted by musicians, collectors, and investors around the world for their exceptional expertise of fine instruments and service to their clients. Having first met as young chamber musicians, they went on to co-found the violin dealership, Morris & Smith in 1992. It is their love of fine instruments that has led to a successful business partnership at Beare’s, where they have been Directors since 1998.
Steven Smith, a director of Beare’s since 1998, grew up in an environment of music and violins. His father was a violin dealer whilst other family members were heavily involved in the music profession. At the age of fifteen Steven had already constructed a violin but decided to pursue his violin studies at the Royal Northern College of Music attaining a PPRNCM with distinction. For a time he played professionally with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony and as soloist with the London Festival Orchestra. He was also a founding member of the acclaimed Smith Quartet.
Since 2012, Steven has held the managing directorship of J & A Beare, along with Simon Morris. Being at the forefront of the International violin market, he is regularly invited as commentator for Bloomberg, BBC and numerous other media news companies worldwide. Being a specialist in managed stringed-instrument portfolios, Steven has sold to many of the world’s most prominent musicians, conductors, foundations, collectors and investors. Notable sales include instruments from the Fulton collection, some of the finest Stradivari instruments in existence, great Montagnana cellos and the exquisite ‘Vieuxtemps’ del Gesu, which he sold for the highest level ever achieved in violin history.
Simon Morris, a director of Beare’s since 1998, began his career as a cellist, becoming co-principal with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and working as a chamber musician. He subsequently played for almost 10 years with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, for which he now serves as a trustee board member. In 2008 Simon was invited to represent J & A Beare at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the firm’s receipt of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the only fine art business to ever receive the award.
As a commentator on the violin market he has appeared on the BBC, CNBC and Classic FM and contributed to the Financial Times, Independent, New York Times amongst other major publications. He has contributed articles to the Strad Magazine as well as publications such as the four-volume Antonius Stradivarius. Simon has brokered the sale of numerous fine instruments including many of the Stradivari and Guarneri instruments from the Fulton collection.
Simon has also enjoyed close connections with leading soloists and handled the sale of the exceptional Pietro Guarneri of Venice cello to Maestro Rostropovich, the ‘Gibson’ Stradivari to Joshua Bell as well as the fine J.B. Guadagnini now played by Julia Fischer. He is relied upon by musicians, patrons and investors around the world for his advice and expertise.