John & Arthur Beares


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Stradivari’s 1715 ‘Schneiderhan’ violin to be lent to the Senior Prize Winner of the Menuhin Competition London 2016

As a principal sponsor of the Menuhin Competition London 2016, we are delighted to announce that the Senior Prize Winner will receive Antonio Stradivari’s 1715 ‘Schneiderhan’ violin, on a one-year loan from a generous patron of the Beare’s International Violin Society.

We are very grateful to Maxim Vengerov who took time out of his busy schedule to play the Golden period Stradivari violin for us at the Royal Academy of Music. You can watch the full video below or alternatively please visit our YouTube channel.


There is nothing like a 301-year-old violin sound, and the ‘Schneiderhan’ has wonderful colours. For the First Prize Winner to play this Strad is the next step of their development and is the greatest gift a violinist could have at the start of their career.

A word of advice to the winner of the ‘Schneiderhan’: remember the instrument owns the violinist! The instrument was my best teacher. Get to know each other and the violin will mould to your playing with its own distinct voice. No one will ever play the same sound – that is the beauty of a Strad.

The Menuhin Competition was created by a legend of the violin world, and it is his legacy to his art and the great tradition of violin playing. I wish all the participants the very best of luck, and, hard to do I know, to just enjoy yourselves!— Maxim Vengerov


The ‘Schneiderhan’ gets its name from the Austrian violinist Wolfgang Schneiderhan, first concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and leader of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who owned and played the instrument for around nine years during the 1950s and 60s. The violin has a colourful past with a variety of ownership, including musicians, dealers and noblemen alike. The fact that it was owned and played by some great musicians is testimony to its fine craftsmanship and rich tonal qualities.

J & A Beare are delighted to be sponsors of the Menuhin Competition London 2016. The firm has long enjoyed a close connection with the most established soloists but we are also very keen to encourage and support younger players at the beginning of their careers. The Menuhin Competition is a great way to do this as it is so much more than just a competition – as past entrants have often told us — Steven Smith and Simon Morris, Managing Directors

Click here to find out more about the Menuhin Competition London 2016 and their exciting programme of events.