Scottish Luthier Brian Rattray has Died, Aged 83


A local of Inverness, distinguished Scottish luthier Brian Rattray initially deliberate a profession in structure, regardless of having had an curiosity in instrument constructing. He studied in Edinburgh, and his first job took him to the Swedish metropolis of Malmö in 1963.

Rattray made his first forays into lutherie after he heard guitarist Julian Bream‘s album Lute Songs. Impressed by the recording, Rattray set about constructing a contemporary recreation of a Renaissance lute. By 1979, he felt able to make instrument constructing his day job, and he opened his store in Colinton, on the outer fringe of Edinburgh.

Rattray’s profession was marked by an admirable variety of approaches. He specialised in each trendy and Baroque violins, and notably loved making copies of devices by Gagliano, but additionally managed to construct violas, classical guitars, and lutes — and on one event, even a viola da gamba.

Very similar to his method to instrument-making, Rattray’s clientele was broad. Amongst his common purchasers had been famend classical gamers corresponding to Steven Isserlis, Alexa Butterworth, and Leonard Friedman. Nonetheless, he was additionally beloved by distinguished Scottish fiddlers corresponding to Aly Bain and Marie Fielding.

Rattray closed the doorways of his enterprise in 2006 in order that he and his spouse Aili might retire to the small city of Cove, inside the Scottish borders. Free of the strain of full-time work, he continued to construct guitars at his leisure.

Rattray is survived by Aili and their two sons. Our condolences to Rattray’s household, associates, and colleagues.