David Rattray has been active as a maker and restorer of violin family instruments for three decades. In 2012 he celebrates 25 years as Instrument Curator at the Royal Academy of Music, responsible for its world famous strings collection with a new role and the honour of becoming John Rutson Senior Research Fellow.
An Honorary Associate of the Academy, his close association with some of the world’s greatest musicians and the opportunity to study many classical Italian masterworks is reflected in his own work, where he constantly strives to capture the tonal essence and visual impact of the originals. A dedicated maker with a deep understanding of classical construction methods, his instruments are played by eminent musicians across the globe.
Rattray has been involved in a broad range of violin-related endeavors, from lecturing and curating exhibitions, to the reconstruction of the Mary Rose fiddles and the copying Paganini's 'Cannon', and as Director of the Vivaldi Project – a new Venetian-style Baroque orchestra, the largest instrument commission of modern times. A member of the Ente Triennale Scientific Committee, Cremona and jury member of the Antonio Stradivari International Violin Making Competition 2009. Authority on Scottish lutherie and author of Violin Making in Scotland 1750-1950 published in 2006, his first book, Masterpieces of Italian Violin Making 1620–1850, is now in its second edition. As Curator of the Becket Collection of historical musical instruments his book on the collection was published 2010.