Launceston man adds string to bow

A VIOLIN bow from South Launceston will be awarded as a prize in a prestigious European music competition.

And its Tasmanian maker has been invited to join the judging panel.

Luthier Philip Smith will fly to Valletta next month for the Malta International Music Competition, a internationally renowned contest for composers, ensembles and solo musicians.

Mr Smith will be the sole Australian representative at the four-day competition, and has been named violin maker-bow maker in residence.

He has provided one of his works for second prize in the violin category - a French-inspired snakewood bow, valued at about $3500, crafted in his backyard workshop.

``Initially they just asked me if I could make them a bow, but I asked if I could come along as well,'' Mr Smith said.

``They put me on the judging panel and made me violin maker in residence.

``I've never been to Malta before, so it should be pretty interesting.'' 

Mr Smith began his musical life as a player, training at the Victorian College of the Arts and Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music before moving into instrument making. 

During his tutelage he worked at the famous Samuel Kolstein and Sons in New York, while a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust scholarship allowed him to study in Paris from master archetier Jean-luc Tauziede.

He now works from his South Launceston home and has supplied modern and baroque bows to professional orchestral musicians across Australia.

The Malta International Music Competition will run from July 27 to 31.

Philip Smith, of South Launceston, has made a prizewinning violin bow.

Philip Smith, of South Launceston, has made a prizewinning violin bow.

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