The Academy of Ancient Music has released a new film that explores the craft of an artisan cello maker, with the generous support of The Space.

Starring master craftsman Robin Aitchison, the film documents the process behind the three different models of cello he makes that are close copies of original instruments by Stradivari, Montagnana and Guadagnini.

Robin Aitchison comments: “For me, the real art of instrument making is about mastering this connection between the physical world of wood, dimensions and archings with the musical world of sound.”

The film is the first in a series to be released by the Academy of Ancient Music and The Space which explore the instruments, composers, performance techniques, and artistry of the baroque era. From instrument making to the lives of neglected female 18th century composers; from bowing technique to the pottery and painting of the time, these films give a greater context and colour to the work of AAM to explore, preserve and reveal some of the finest music ever written.

Speaking about the collaboration, the Academy of Ancient Music’s Chief Executive Alexander Van Ingen comments: “I’m delighted to present this film celebrating the exceptional craftsmanship of Robin Aitchison – a rare glimpse of a true artisan at work. Showcasing our instruments as well as our music is important, and I hope that many people will find it fascinating and engaging. This series of films, presented in collaboration with The Space, will offer an extra dimension to the music we perform; new routes to access the incredible, powerful world of baroque and classical music.”

The film features a brand new recording of Haydn’s ‘adagio cantabile’, from the second movement of Symphony No. 13 performed by cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. Nicolas joins by the Academy of Ancient Music for three concerts in March at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (27 March), Milton Court Concert Hall, London (28 March) and the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Netherlands (30 March).

The Academy of Ancient Music is an orchestra with a worldwide reputation for excellence in Baroque and Classical music. It takes inspiration directly from the music’s composers, using historically informed techniques, period-specific instruments and original sources to bring music to life in committed, vibrant performances.

The film is made with the generous support of The Space, a digital agency established by Arts Council England and the BBC to help promote digital engagement across the arts and cultural sector. The Space supports organisations by commissioning projects, building digital skills and capacity, and helping organisations reach wider audiences using digital content, media and online platforms.


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