Toby's Cello

LA Bête Noire

I played since I was 11, and with much pleasure, on an instrument by the then just-starting-out Dijon-based luthier Günter Siefert. Over the years and the tune-ups, a close friendship has grown between us, and as my craft was honed, so was his, but much more so. He has now become one of the great modern masters of French lutherie, and in collaboration with his associate Richard Arcos he is making instruments that are played by many renowned international musicians.

In 2018 I finally gave in to his entreaties to level-up to a newer instrument of his, and in November of that year he presented me with (to my ears) his masterpiece, a modified Gofriller model; after I tried it out, and in reference to its dark varnish, he nicknamed her la Bête Noire (the Black Beast). Its deep, rich voice and powerful delivery make it a real treat to play, and the ease of sound production combined with the breadth of its tone palette have made my musical life complete.

Find out more about Günter Siefert on his website

at the Budapest Music Center in Jan. 2019