Sam is a luthier, making baroque-era stringed and bowed instruments and specialising in the englishe violet. He is also interested in other sympathetic string instruments.
Sam started his career by working as a music teacher, before completing a Musical Instrument Making course at Merton College (South Thames). Next he enrolled on the two-year FDA in Historic Craft Practice (Musical Instruments) at West Dean College, where he began specialising in the englishe violett. QEST funding supported his second year, as well as further studies of the englishe violett at museums in Prague and Nuremburg. He took measuring tools and equipment to create accurate records of the instruments, while also studying their history and makers. These collections include some of the best examples of violets from Europe’s most prolific maker, Paulus Aletsee, and Europe’s finest maker Johannes Udalricus Eberle.
Sam aspires to become the leading expert and authority on englishe violets and his research will inform his craft practice. He also plans to make barytons, octave barytons, lirone, and other instruments of historical significance, thereby preserving our understanding of these instruments for generations to come.
In late 2022, a performance with Sam’s englische violett was held in the Bayerisches National Museum, next to the instrument case that holds the original 300 year old example that his copy was based on.