The first-ever French Classical Music Affair 2015 was held at the Orchard Central on 24 and 25 October 2015, and we got invited to its private media event. Woot!

This is my first time attending an atas event and I have to say, Gramercy Music did a great job organising it. The venue of choice was spot on - 10 Square Orchard Central - as it was very accessible and was a conducive environment for musical instrument enthusiasts, classical music lovers and other like-minded guests to mingle and network.

For a layman like me, it was an eye-opening experience because I got to meet the men behind the beautifully crafted violins and cellos. These string-instrument artisan guests were none other than master luthiers Eric Lourme, David Ayache and Friedrich Alber.

Who are they?

Eric Lourme has been in the industry of crafting violins and cellos for more than 20 years. His skills and dedication have earned him the title, "Enterprise du Patrimoine Vivant" a.k.a "Living Cultural Heritage". Not surprisingly, many of his instruments are being used in Orchestras worldwide!

Ahem, by the way, one of his five-digit violins was labelled "Sold" during the event. I'm sure the quality must be really good!

David Ayache was very shy. I guess he was nervous. He owns a studio in Montpellier. He does not only manufacture quartet instruments, he also repairs them. Although he is a man of few words, his biography in the event booklet portrays a different side of him - a man of passion, who's on a mission to make the best violin.

The start of his luminous career began when he took up an apprenticeship to start learning the art of violin-making. He went on to complete his training in instrument-making atSEMA on a scholarship.But David didn't stop there. He joined other renowned luthiers to enhance their skills, where he was awarded the CAP from the school of violin-making in Mirecourt, France. For another six years, David continued to better his skills by attending Frederick Becker to fully equip himself with the knowledge in the luthier trade in Montpellier. This man earned my respect!

Friedrich Alber is no stranger to the scene of string instrument-making. When I first stepped into the event hall, many were already crowding around him, bombarding him with questions about his violins. This is not surprising. His violins and cellos were the judges' favourite at the MUSICORA fair in Paris, where he won the first prize. He was also the finalist in the Paris Violoncelleenseine Competition. Impressive!

The event also showcased exclusive bows made by renowned bow-makers Pierre Guillame and J.P Bernard. Here's one uncle trying it out.

He doesn't look like someone who knows violin, right?! He really can play lor! I was right beside him when he tried out the different bows. His son can play too! They tried it out at the reception. Genes.

A representative from the French company, BAM was there as well.

BAM is one of the leading high-end string and wind instrument makers in the industry. I saw quite a few of their cases, and they look really unique. If you have any string instruments without a case for it, you might want to check BAM out. Hahaha!

Oh... and how can I forget? What's a classical music affair without classical music? Adding to the ambience was the live performance from the celebrated Quartett Bonaparte from the Music Conservatoire of Switzerland. How I wish I can play like them. I can barely play the recorder. Much envy, please!

Here, I made a video of the performance:

All in all, I felt really honoured to be invited to the event and would like to thank Gramercy Music for this wonderful experience, and the wine. Haha...

If you have not heard of Gramercy Music -

Gramercy Music started out in a 300 sq ft store in Odeon Katong Shopping Centre back in 1988. Back then, the company was a humble music retail store selling music scores, pianos and other musical instruments. As music grew in popularity and importance over the years, many new orchestras begin to sprout while the Singapore government also provided the much needed support for music studies in schools. Recognizing this trend, Gramercy invested much effort in meeting the demands of this growing business, capitalizing on the opportunity to expand. Today, we have hit that pitch, evolving into a reputable company that not only retails in pianos, string instruments and music scores, but also exporting worldwide. At Gramercy Music, our ultimate mission is to create a "One Stop Music Centre" for music enthusiasts worldwide. By keeping up with the newest trends and demands, we hope to continuously create value for you. [extracted from Gramercy Music]

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