Internationally recognized for his expertise in fine violins, Charles Magby has provided instruments and musical services to the world’s leading players and orchestras for four decades. He is highly respected by his colleagues in the trade, and has retained his commitment to serving the needs of students and professionals in the local community.
Since 1976, Fine Violins Ltd., his Guilford, Connecticut-based company, has served clients locally as well as in the greater New York City and worldwide music community. Fine Violins offers sales of violin family instruments as well as their repair and restoration. The full service workshop includes appraisals, rentals and ongoing support for the wide range of musicians it serves.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Magby has been a musician since the age of 11, beginning on the cello. His professional career started in 1969 with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra where he became the principal cellist in 1973. In 1976, he began graduate study in cello at Yale with the legendary master cellist Aldo Parisot, and he continues to perform professionally in Connecticut. He also received special recognition from the Taos School of Music in New Mexico, being the only person ever to be asked to attend beyond the allowed two year limit.
During his time in New Haven, he maintained instruments at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. During the tenure of the renowned expert Charles Rudig at both Christies and Sotheby’s auction houses in New York, he assisted Mr. Rudig by making important instruments ready for sale at those firms.
Few stringed instrument makers or dealers have the depth of musical training and performance experience in combination with bench training that Mr. Magby brings to his customers. He has individually maintained the instruments for numerous highly visible players for over thirty-five years. His training as a violinmaker began under the direction of master maker David Caron in 1975, and continued periodically for many years.
During his decades in service to the music industry’s acclaimed and emerging violinists, he has appraised over 1,000 violin family instruments (violins, violas, cellos) and bows, and restored and repaired countless instruments. His expertise spans antique stringed instruments, classical (including Stradivari and Guarneri violins) and modern instruments. His skills with tonal adjustment and set-up are sought after and appreciated by many professional string players, and are informed by his classical training combined with four decades of experience.