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The ‘Banks Ensemble’ at St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury
BANKS ENSEMBLE PHOTO ROB PRIESTLEY

LETTER of the MONTH

BANKS A LOT

On 16 November 2019, a rare and possibly unique gathering took place, to form an ensemble of 18 instruments by a single 18th-century English maker in his home town of Salisbury. Benjamin Banks produced violins, violas and cellos from his Catherine Street workshop from around 1770, the business passing to his sons James and Henry until their departure in 1811. The ‘Banks Ensemble’ met for the first time in St Thomas’s Church, where Banks was a churchwarden and is buried.

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About The Strad

In a French-themed issue, the Ébène Quartet discuss their huge Beethoven project and we examine the early violins of J.B. Vuillaume. There’s a look at Michel Colichon and Nicolas Lupot, and Jean-Luc Ponty gives his Sentimental Work. Plus a Masterclass on Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata.