All Graeme Thatcher's instruments are meticulously handcrafted from aged timber, giving each one its own rich, distinctive voice. If you are looking for an Italian quality, handcrafted instrument made from quality materials with carrying power, excellent sound quality and a beautiful finish – choose a Thatcher instrument.

Italian Tradition

Italian tradition perfected in New Zealand

Graeme Thatcher's violins, violas and cellos are made in the classic Italian tradition, but utilising modern acoustical science. Over the last thirty years he has devoted much of his time into research, the restoration of old instruments and the making of new instruments.

"A sighting and test drive of one of Graeme’s instruments very quickly leads one to only one conclusion: that Graeme Thatcher is the real item, a genius, a gifted and experienced Meister-Geiger-Bauer, a Master of an arcane art. Living in New Zealand has isolated his exposure to the rest of the world, so he is not well known. One day he will be recognized and appreciated." Dr H. Powell Baker (Los Angeles, USA)

Handcrafted Instruments


All of Thatcher's instruments are handmade at home from scratch in his Hamilton, New Zealand workshop. Each instrument is electronically balanced and tap toned before and after the 'f' holes are cut and base bar is fitted. Next the fingerboard, sound post, and bridge are carefully tuned to match the instrument. The final critical adjustment made after assembly of the body is the testing of the air volume – to match the instruments dimensions.

Quality materials

Quality materials

Thatcher's violins, violas and cellos are made using only the best quality materials. The process of making begins with the selection of materials. Special aged timber is chosen for each instrument, ranging from imported maple, Swiss pine and sikta spruce to New Zealand mangeao – a rare, native timber that has the unmistakable velvet tone of Stradivarius and Guarneri.

"Since November 1995 I have been in the possession of a violin made by Graeme Thatcher. It is a superb instrument, made from first class timber, beautiful looking, easy to play, has a gorgeous tone and unlimited dynamic abilities." Yury Gezentsvey

Carrying power

Carrying power

Thatcher's violins, violas and cellos have amazing projection and volume, easily heard when you play solo in front of an orchestra.

"I have played and owned a variety of violins, but never a violin that has had the tonal range and power that I needed. That was until I met Graeme Thatcher. Not only are his instruments visually exquisite to look at, they have the most amazing carrying power to fill the largest concert hall." Andrew Davison (Auckland, New Zealand)

Shino Shibata

Excellent sound quality and tone

The tone of my instruments has been described as being very Italian, with a rich, warm sound quality that resonates clearly.

Every instrument has excellent projection, with clear harmonics and four evenly balanced strings. My instruments are easy to play and show their true tonal characteristics and sound quality from the beginning. After only a little playing, you will find the sound will become even more refined, responsive and focused. The more often the instrument is played, the quicker this playing in process will be, with the biggest improvement occurring in the first few weeks.

"Graeme's violins have beautiful tones. Each violin has a life flown into it by him." Shino Shibata, (Japan)

"I recently bought a violin for my daughter. Her United Youth Orchestra members have commented on how they like the sound of her violin, and when competing in the Hamilton competitions her adjudicator wrote: ....immediately your violin sang and there were many moments of great beauty in your playing..." Teresa Fernando (Hamilton, New Zealand)

"The sounds are pleasantly mellow, yet clear. Upper register notes are especially easy to make, while the tone, colour and volume across all four strings are well balanced. Many people: parents, teachers, and fellow students have complimented the great sounds that are coming out of this extraordinary instrument." Jason Yan, (Hamilton, New Zealand)

Built to last

You can play Graeme Thatcher's violins, violas and cellos in any country in the world and use them as touring instruments. They’re not affected by climatic conditions due to the application of a special sealer and undercoat, which protects against changes in humidity and air pressure – causing the timber to become stronger and lighter in weight.

"I have found my 'Thatcher' viola most rewarding to play. It has now matured with a dark, round tone and quick response; harmonics are particularly clear. Those searching for a quality modern instrument, would do well to give a Thatcher viola serious consideration." Gareth Clemson, (Scotland, UK)

Dr Janice Foy

Easy to play

Pick up a Thatcher instrument and you'll find it immediately easy to play. Each instrument shows its true tonal characteristics from the first note – and after only a small amount of playing you’ll find the sound becomes even more refined, responsive and focused.

"Mr. Kiwi, my 'cello, was crafted by the ultimate violinmaker, Mr. Graeme Thatcher. The sound created by playing the Mr. Kiwi is made so easily you might think you are dream playing! The height of the strings to the fingerboard makes it so easy to play with no worries of getting tendonitis - a common ailment among string players." Dr Janice Foy (Los Angeles, USA)

Beautiful Finish

Beautiful finish

If you’re after a beautifully finished instrument, as well as one that plays easily, with rich tone you’ll love Thatcher’s instruments. Approximately fourteen very fine coats of both coloured and clear varnish are applied to each instrument. The varnish is then finely sanded with water paper, and polished to give the timber grain a three dimensional mirror appearance.