Florian Leonhard

Director

Florian Leonhard has dedicated his life to studying, restoring and making violins. After Mittenwald he worked for W.E. Hill and Sons becoming Head Restorer. Today he leads his own team of restorers. Informed by 30 years of research, Florian’s bench copy instruments are sought after for their acoustic and visual closeness to the originals. A regular contributor to books and articles and having published his book, The Makers of Central Italy, Florian is currently conducting research on the Tuscan makers for a book due to be published this year. Florian is regularly called upon as a jury member for violin competitions, and has held the position of President at the Pisogne Making Competition in Cremona. Florian Leonhard Fine Violins is widely considered both the leading dealership and restoration workshop in the world.

Thomas Wei

Head of Sales

Tom actively engages with musicians to find them the very best instrument. For 15 years, he has worked closely with Florian and our restorers and makers to ensure that a bespoke service is supplied to every client who visits. Prior to this role, he pursued his studies in violin performance in Taiwan, moving to London in the early 90’s where he studied at the Purcell school and then the Royal Academy of Music. This background has proved invaluable, and affords him an understanding and passion to help fulfil the particular needs of the musician looking to get the very best from their long hours of practice. When he’s not working with musicians and instruments, Tom spends much of his spare time on the river with the Lea Rowing club in Hackney.

Ji-Yong Lee

Head of Workshop & Director of Korean Business

Ji Yong leads an international team in our London workshop, one of the world's few large-scale restoration workshops. Ji Yong trained at Mittenwald School of Violin Making. Having worked with Florian since 2004, Ji Yong has developed a superb expertise for restoration, constantly working with the finest instruments in existence. Every member of the team is trained to Florian and Ji Yong's exacting standards, applying techniques finessed over centuries to preserve and restore instruments in the most conservative manner. Our restoration practices are of the very highest quality, precision and craftsmanship, balancing forward thinking with tradition and conservation.

Joe Stupple

Director of U.S Business

Joe has worked for FLFV since 2009, and oversees the running of our New York shop. After studying Music at Manchester, Joe jumped at the opportunity to have a job in the music world. His first project was to coordinate the publishing of The Makers of Central Italy. After representing Florian on one trip to New York, Joe loved the place and the people he met there so much that he continued to develop business across the pond, conducting a number of notable sales. Our New York shop opened in 2014 and it continues to flourish. In his spare time, Joe likes going to concerts and playing squash.

Jonathan Solars

Managing Director - New York Shop

Jonathan runs our New York shop. Having studied the violin from an early age, Jonathan attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied violin, baroque violin, and viola, and achieved a degree in Violin Performance. His tenure as Sales Manager for René A Morel provided the perfect education in the violin world. When Morel’s business closed in 2008, Jonathan formed his own consultancy, advising players, collectors, investors, and institutions, and completing numerous sales of top instruments in his own right. The opening of our New York shop in 2015 was a continuation of years already spent working together across the pond, and it is Jonathan's aim to proliferate the reach of Florian's expertise and to continue our track record of excellence working with musicians in the USA.

Arielle Masliah

Office Manager

Arielle joined Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2014 as the Project Coordinator and since then, her role has grown to London Office Manager. She moved from Paris to study at University College London and progressed to working in the City as a data analyst. She was delighted with the opportunity for something completely different at FLFV, and her multi-lingual skills and background has served her well in the esoteric world of fine instruments. She organises Florian’s Far East marketing, participation in international competitions, business development, and assist him with all the instruments’ certification. She is currently coordinating the forthcoming publication on The Makers of Tuscany. Whilst not a musician herself, she has been inspired by her experience of the classical music industry to take up playing the piano.

Rosie Carter

PA and Administrator

Rosie started working for Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in December 2016 as Florian’s PA and Office Administrator. She studied music at the University of Nottingham, and continued onto King’s College London where she completed her master’s degree in musicology. Knowing that she wanted to be surrounded by music and musicians, Florian Leonhard Fine Violins seemed the perfect place for Rosie to work following her studies. In her spare time, Rosie enjoys baking and going to the opera.

Elinor Bishop

Executive Assistant

Elinor joined Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in the summer of 2018 as Executive Assistant to Florian.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Music at the University of York, and a master’s degree in Music Education at UCL,
Elinor was keen to ensure music remained at the centre of her life. Elinor still plays the cello for fun, performing regularly with Belsize Baroque and with a cello club formed in York.
Elinor also enjoys spending time with her animals, friends and family.

Lauri Tanner

Bow Maker & Restorer

Lauri made his first musical instrument when he was 15 years old. He first studied to be a guitar maker, and worked as a guitar maker in Helsinki for five years. Developing interest in the restoration of historical instruments, he decided to take up studying violin making at Newark School of Violin Making, graduating in 2013. During his studies, Lauri turned his attention to bows, attending the BVMA course and VSA Oberlin summer courses, before starting at Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2015. Lauri has a great interest in the working methods of old violins and bow makers, and enjoys reading historical woodworking publications. Lauri also lends his services as a bow restorer to the Royal Academy of Music two days a month.

Melina Polizzi

Head of New Making

Melina was born in Venice, and grew up in Germany and Austria. She has always been interested in fine arts and crafts, which inspired her to move back to Italy. Melina completed her degree as a luthier at I.I.S Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, in 2011. Following her studies, Melina worked as an Assistant at Gregg Alf’s workshop in Venice and the U.S.A., before coming to work at Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2016 as a New Maker.

Mathias Pietri

Restorer

Mathias studied at the International School of Violin Making in Mirecourt, France. After this he worked as a violin making assistant to Christian Bayon in Lisbon, Portugal, before moving back to his native France to undertake an internship with Pierre Barthel in Paris. Mathias joined Florian Leonhard Fine Violins as a Restorer in 2014, where he enjoys the opportunity to work on a variety of high-end instruments. Outside of work, Mathias is interested in history and enjoys going to art exhibitions.

Adam Pelzer

Senior Restorer

Adam studied violin making at Mittenwald, and underwent further training as a restorer at Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles, California. He joined the team at Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2014, where he works on restorations, and is passionate about improving the sound of clients’ instruments by adjusting them together. Adam also works closely with the New York shop, flying out there on a regular basis to carry out the same work for our American clients. Outside of work, Adam enjoys playing the viola with the Fulham Symphony Orchestra.

Julian Doring

Restorer

Julian began playing the violin at the age of seven and studied violin making at Mittenwald School of Violin Making. After his studies, Julian worked in Nurenburg where he got to know many different aspects of violin making restoration, and joined the team at Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2016. In his spare time, Julian enjoys hiking and playing the guitar.

Tomek Pietraszek

Restorer

Tomek was born in Zakopane, the Polish capital of violin making. There he graduated from the High School of Fine Arts, followed by the Academy of Music in Poznan, where he studied violin making. Both of these schools gave him the opportunity to study violin making both from a musical and artistic point of view; he always tries to implement both of these in his work. After this, he worked in Claude Lebet’s workshop in Rome, before joining Florian Leonhard Fine Violins in 2016. Outside of work, Tomek is a happy husband and proud father and is interested in photography, travelling and traditional Carpathian music.

Mr Reginald

Mr Reginald is a small but notable member of the team. He is a natural at meeting clients and making them feel at ease. However, notwithstanding close scrutiny from his line manager, Arielle, he is frequently caught sleeping on the job.