Viols - Violins - carved heads

Musicians who play our instruments

Claas Harders - Gamba, Lirone

Claas mit Gambe

"the instruments I play built by Henner are a 7-string Colichon (based on a model from 1689), a copy of a Barak Norman from 1692, a treble viol (the first treble he made) and a Lira da gamba.

In fact I use the Colichon most of the time - I am playing it since 1994 - and the longer I use this instrument, the happier I feel to do so. The back and the ribs are made from cherry, which gives it a marvelous sweetness especially on the top string without lacking a full but not brutal sound in the deeper registers. Another thing I adore whenever coming back to the Colichon after having played on other instruments, is the ideal shape of the neck."

Fretwork - consort of viols

Das Gambenconsort Fretwork

The english viol consort 'Fretwork' plays on 4 renaissance violas by me, which are based on the Francesco Linarol in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.


I have enlarged and reduced the size of this instrument so that I can give a string length of about 50 cm for the two tenor instruments in a, 73 cm for the bass in D, and about 92 cm for the large bass in I got in A. The sound boards are flat in the longitudinal direction and bent over two curved cross bars. 


All four viols have flamed birch ribs and backs. No soundpost and no wound strings! 

Erin Headley - Lirone

Erin Headley mit Lirone

I am particularly pleased that Erin, the pioneer of the Lirone, has chosen an instrument from me. The instrument she is playing is not as indicated on the current CD after Gaspar da Salo, but after Antonius Brensius, 1592.


' Henner's is the fourth lirone that I have owned over the past 20 years and it is definitely the most beautiful and flexible one that I have ever played; it easily responds to all variations of pressure and bowspeed, making the mesa di voce, the esclamazione, the piano and all other nuances effortless and three-dimensional. Especially unique to this instrument is its 'throaty' quality, as if it has a real voice, something that is essential for an instrument whose main role is to accompany singers.' [Erin Headley] 

Laura Vaughan - Melbourne

Laura Vaughan mit Ihrer Colichon Kopie

Laura's playing on a Colichon copy of us. Here's what she says:


'Henner's large Colichon 7 string bass, made for me in 2007, is one of the loveliest viols that I have played, even including the original instruments that I have been lucky enough to use. The sound is warm, the instrument is extremely resonant, very responsive and carries very well also. It invites the player to make a beautiful sound, is beautiful to look and is an instrument that I look forward to working with for many years to come.'

Jörg Meder - gamba, violone

Jörg Meder mit Gambe

Jörg plays 2 of our instruments, 

- a 6-string bass viol after Paolo Maggini (around 1600) 

- a violone after P. Maggini 8" + 16"







photo: Bernd Bodtländer

Silke Strauf - Viola da gamba

Silke Strauf

Silke plays a copy of the medium sized Colichon from the Grumbt collection with a pirate head (the first head Susanne carved for me is on this viola da gamba!)

Annalisa Pappano - Lirone

Analisa Pappano mit Lirone

Annalisa plays one of my Lirones after Antonius Brensius.

Markus Kuikka - Lirone

Markus Kuikka - Lirone

Markus Kuikka is a Finnish cellist and viol player. Recently he got one of my lirones.


This is what Markus says about his Lirone:

'The lirone Henner made me is beautiful not only by looks but also by it’s sound. It is my first of a kind and very enjoyable to play. It transforms the atmosphere all of a sudden to something celestial. I am sure when heard the sound of lirone first time back in history it must have been a fantastic experience - it still is.'

Sophie English - Cello

Sophie English mit ihrem Cello

London based cellist.


Sophie's earliest memories are being surrounded by string instruments in her grandfather's (Dietrich Kessler) workshop. Today she has performed with artists including Sam Smith, Jess Glynne, Tom Odell, Aquilo, Rag'n'Bone Man, The Beach and Camilla Cabello. Alongside live performances and session work, Sophie also pursues her interest in orchestral playing with ensembles throughout London and the UK. Her projects have found coverage across international press and she has performed in locations around the world as far as Manly Beach, Australia. 


Sophie plays a cello by Susanne