London Office & Workshop Team

International Colleagues

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
London Office

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.

Julian Doring

Workshop Manager
London Workshop

Julian manages the workshop at FLFV London and enjoys leading an innovative and highly skilled collaborative team. After training at the Mittenwald School of Violin Making, he worked in Nuremburg, where he decided to focus on restoration and developed an interest in varnish making and retouch. A perfectionist with a sharp eye for detail, Julian is fascinated by the use of technology in restoration and continues to expand his knowledge by attending workshops, researching and applying advanced restoration techniques. A violinist himself, Julian enjoys working alongside musicians to ensure their instrument reaches its full potential.

Melina Polizzi

Head of New Making
London Workshop

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.

Lauri

Head of Bow Making and Restoration
London Workshop

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.

Joe Stupple

Head of Business Development
London Office

Joe has worked for FLFV since 2009, after studying Music at Manchester. His first project was to coordinate the publishing of The Makers of Central Italy. After representing the company on one trip to New York, Joe continued to develop business across the pond, resulting in the opening of our New York shop in 2014 and having since conducted a number of notable sales in the States and back at home. In his spare time, Joe likes going to concerts and playing squash.

Arielle

Office Manager
London Office

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.

Justina

Administrator
London Office

Justina is from Melbourne, Australia, and began playing the violin at the age of five. She has a Law LLB degree from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Music (Violin Performance) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. She has freelanced as a violinist and educator in Australia and France, where she undertook further study in chamber music and orchestral playing.

Passionate about new music and community engagement with classical music, Justina has also worked in the Contemporary Music Department at Schott Publishing and was the Shop Manager at Thwaites Fine Instruments and Bows in London. Justina joined the team at FLFV in 2019.

Patrick

PA to Florian Leonhard & Office Administrator
London Office

Patrick joined FLFV in early 2020 as an Office Administrator and PA to Florian, after graduating the year before with a master’s degree from Bristol University in film scoring; a discipline he remains active in during his spare time. He comes from a very musical background and obtained his Batchelor's degree in Music with German.

Yoav Finkelstein

Restorer
London Workshop

As a child, Yoav studied the violin at the Jerusalem Conservatory of Music. After working for several years as a computer programmer, he decided to follow his early passion to become a violin maker. He moved to Italy and attended the Parma School of Violin Making, where he learned the craft from the influential Violin Maker Renato Scrollavezza. Yoav then spent five years as a restorer in Tel Aviv, working intensively with local players. At that time, he was also appointed Violin Maker for the Keshet Eilon International Mastercourse, where he had the opportunity to meet both world-leading and upcoming musicians.

Upon joining Florian Leonhard’s team in 2019, Yoav moved to London with his family.

Ines Lecher

New Maker
London Workshop

Ines was studying Photography and Fine Arts in Vienna when she decided to train in violin making at Newark School of Violin Making and Repair. After completing her degree as a luthier, Ines moved to Berlin. Here, she mainly focused on restoration, whilst getting to know the different aspects of making by dipping into the world of Baroque instruments.

Ines joined the FLFV Team in 2020.

Georg

Restorer
London Workshop

Born into a musical family in Rostock, North Germany, Georg grew up surrounded by music and culture. His father is a violinist and his mother a teacher of Music and Art, so he soon became involved in drawing, painting, playing and singing classical music and enjoying taking part in opera and theatre throughout his early life. Gradually his passion for music, combined with a fascination for craftmanship and art, led Georg to study violinmaking at the violin making school in Mittenwald. After his studies Georg spend some years in South Germany and Switzerland focusing on new making and sound adjustment, before making the move to join our London team in 2021.

Elinor

Administrator
London Workshop

Elinor has lived in London all her life and began playing the cello when she was 3 years old. She studied Music at the University of York, and went on to do a Masters in Music Education at UCL.

She initially began working for FLFV in 2018 and has recently returned, combining it with her cello teaching practice. Elinor also writes for Music Teacher magazine, and teaches Early Years classes for her local music service. Outside of work, Elinor enjoys cooking and walking her dog.

Rebecca

Administrator
London Workshop

Rebecca is a violinist and violist appearing with a number of the UK's leading ensembles—from historical performance on period instruments, to contemporary classical, and dance band music. She has degrees from Oxford and the RNCM, studying with Remus Azoitei and Maciej Rakowski respectively. Their instruction proved invaluable for her own teaching at both Chetham's and St Mary’s Edinburgh specialist music schools.

Having first encountered FLFV over ten years ago as a client, Rebecca is enthusiastically involved with innovative approaches to sound and setup with the workshop teams. She has also enjoyed working on Florian’s latest publication ‘The Makers of Tuscany’.

In her spare time you may find Rebecca lost in Golden Age Thinking: a condition which began not long after her appointment as Violinist of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra.

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.

Adam Pelzer

Managing Director
West Coast

Adam runs our recently opened West Coast shop, offering the company’s trademark high levels of restoration, sound adjustment and instrument sales.

After finishing his A-Levels with a focus on Mathematics and Chemistry in his hometown of Krefeld in 2008, Adam started his journey in the field of lutherie by attending the violin making school in Mittenwald, from 2009-2012. While he adored the craft of making - fulfilling his dream of making his own viola - Adam discovered his passion for restoration after attending a restoration course lead by the renowned firm, Hans Weisshaar, during his time in Mittenwald.

This new calling brought Adam to Los Angeles in the fall of 2012 to start his career as a journeyman at Hans Weisshaar. He studied restoration techniques under the guidance of Genichi Sato, who also helped him cultivate efficiency in all things related to set up.

In 2014, Adam joined the team at Florian Leonhard in London, where he got the opportunity to further his skills in restoration under the guidance of Florian himself and his workshop manager, Ji-Yong Lee. The years progressed, as did his skills and significance of projects, and Adam eventually began working on instruments made by the finest Italian masters.

With his forte being sound adjustments and conducting business-related travels, Adam has helped strategise our US operations, in part by setting up the workshop in the NYC branch. Further opportunity has brought him out to the west coast, where he opened a branch as managing director.

Besides his love for nature and travel, Adam has fond memories of playing in his school quartet and later at the Fulham Symphony Orchestra in London. All the while, Adam’s priorities lie in animal rights and integrating these values into his professional work. Restoration of course is still his passion, and Adam makes efforts to replace obsolete techniques involving animal products with cruelty-free alternatives, merging tradition with innovation.

Perry Chan

Managing Director
Lion Strings Hong Kong

After helping Florian develop business in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia for many years, Perry Chan opened Lion Strings Hong Kong in 2019, marking an important new chapter in collaborating with our London and New York shops.

Perry began studying the violin when he was five years old and achieved his Advanced Diploma of Violin Performance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He remains active in musical education as well as the classical music industry, and such a background has prepared Perry well for his current role.

Perry’s goal with Lion Strings is to deliver Florian Leonhard’s ethos and services throughout Asia. He is passionate about and experienced in assisting musicians and music lovers in finding their perfect match in an instrument.

Perry is a Gold medallist in weightlifting with the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong; he spends his spare time weight training and is also a professional fisherman.

Ji-Yong

Managing Director
Seoul

Ji Yong began working with Florian in 2004, after training at Mittenwald School of Violin Making in Germany. He soon went on to lead an international team of restorers as our Workshop Manager in London, daily looking after some of the finest instruments in existence. In 2021 Ji Yong made the move back to his native Korea to open FLFV Seoul, which upholds Florian’s world-renowned expertise and the company’s mission of uncompromising high levels of service to our clients and their instruments.

As Managing Director in Seoul, Ji Yong has established a local base from which to continue the London company’s heritage of excellence in restoration and instrument sales. After 23 years in Europe (7 years in Germany and 16 years in London), he was delighted to return to South Korea, getting to know the local community of musicians, and continuing to offer the highest levels of service and expertise.