William Forster

William Forster II, also known as “Old Forster”, is regarded as one of the most skilled British makers. Born 1739 in Brampton, Forster learned the arts of making spinning wheels and violins from his father. He traveled to London, intending to make a living from these trades, but floundered in his efforts. After work as a gun-stock maker and repairman, he finally established himself as a maker. His Stainer-modeled instruments drew much attention, and his violin making business flourished. Forster made three basses for the private band of George III and made a cello known as the “Royal George” for George IV. Forster also worked as a music publisher, making an agreement with Haydn and publishing over a hundred of the famed composer’s works, including symphonies, quartets, and other compositions. His later instruments followed the style of Amati.