John & Arthur Beares


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Established in 2011, the Beare’s International Violin Society aims to bring patrons and performers together in order to support new talented artists. The instruments act as both an excellent long-term investment and charitable vehicle whereby they are lent out for playing purposes to some of the world’s most renowned performers.

The Beare’s International Violin Society was first envisaged and established in 2011 to encourage the sponsorship of artists through loaning, or investing in, fine musical instruments. The Society’s principal aim is to facilitate long-term loans of instruments by matching investors with both established and up-and-coming musicians. The Society is able to offer loans on a shorter-term basis, for one-off concerts, festivals or tours. We are also in regular contact with instrument foundations, and pass on players’ names in recommendation.

Steven Smith and Simon Morris have been Directors of J & A Beare since 1998 and Managing Directors since 2012, but they both started off their respective careers as musicians. It is this understanding and experience as players themselves that underpins the Society’s main objective: that of helping gifted musicians play on instruments of the highest possible quality. Some of the players who have so far benefited from this scheme include Vadim Repin, Janine Jansen, Nigel Kennedy, Alan Gilbert, Lawrence Power, Jessie Ann Richardson and Ning Feng, as well as the exceptionally-talented student musicians Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Soo Been Lee and Kristine Balanas, to name but a few.

Thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to use this amazing violin. I hope it will help me to become a better musician.
— Soo Been Lee, First Prize Winner of the 2013 Moscow International David Oistrakh Violin Competition

Patrons naturally benefit from the cultural aspects of the Society’s work and hugely enjoy the interaction between themselves, the artist, and the instrument. Typically, sponsors love to frequent the artist’s concerts, socialise with them and follow their careers. In addition to these benefits, patrons can be sure of the quality and maintenance of the instruments on loan. The condition of all instruments is regularly monitored by the Beare’s workshop, who also carry out any restoration or repair work as and when is needed. The Society can also guarantee to the owner that the insurance for their instruments is covered.

Patrons and players often form a very satisfying symbiotic relationship. As well as the financial investment, patrons benefit from a personal relationship with the player and from the satisfaction of asking them to play private concerts for their friends. — Simon Morris, J & A Beare Managing Director

In addition to the International Violin Society, Beare’s has always been and continues to be heavily involved in sponsorship of the arts. We have strong, long-standing associations with the Kronberg Academy, to whose students we consistently lend fine instruments, and the Royal Academy of Music, for whom we hold regular instrument valuations and an annual Bow Prize Presentation. We are also proud to have been sponsors of the Menuhin Competition London 2016 and, through the Society, are loaning a Golden Period Stradivari to the Senior Prize Winner Ziyu He.

To find out more about our current sponsorships and partnerships, please visit our Partners page.


Loan recipient of the Beare’s International Violin Society, Janine Jansen is pictured here with J & A Beare Managing Director Steven Smith.

Violinist Kristine Balanas with Managing Director Simon Morris. Kristine was loaned a 1736 Stradivari violin specifically for a concert in 2014.

Violinist Kristine Balanas with Managing Director Simon Morris. Kristine was loaned a 1736 Stradivari violin specifically for a concert in 2014.

Soo Been Lee

Young violinist Soo Been Lee is a former loan recipient of the Beare’s International Violin Society.

Beare’s Managing Director Steven Smith with Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, loan recipient of the Beare’s International Violin Society

Get in Touch


We are looking to expand the Society’s circle of patrons and increase the number of loans we operate. If you have an instrument you would like to be included in the Society’s lending programme or have any further ideas for support, please email us at


If you are a player looking to borrow a fine violin, viola or cello through the Beare’s International Violin Society, please email with a biography, video of your playing and reasons for seeking a new instrument. While we are currently working at capacity in regards to the number of loans we facilitate, please get in touch to be added to our list.