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William Whedbee

Fine Violins, Violas, and Cellos
Available Exclusively from Bein & Fushi

An outstanding Chicago-based maker, Will Whedbee has been represented by our firm for many years. His work is regarded as among the best in the country.


Whedbee's cellos have become so popular in recent years with working musicians and serious students that he has concentrated almost exclusively on the making of cellos and has expanded his repertoire to several types and sizes. His normal model is a 29-1/8" Rugeri of wide build. Over the past several years, we have had many Rugeris in our shop-in several cases for extensive restoration-allowing Will to become completely familiar with this great cello maker's work. Francesco Rugeri was probably responsible for defining the dimensions of the modern cello and may be the most prolific of the Cremonese cello makers: Whedbee's model is historically important and wonderfully effective. His cellos are available in willow (similar to the wood used in the originals), with a smooth, warm sound, or in maple, giving more brightness and punch!

In response to repeated requests for a slightly smaller cello which would retain the quality and volume of the original, yet be easier for players with smaller hands, Whedbee has scaled this same design down slightly to 28 1/2", with a correspondingly shorter string length. Though the difference is so slight that it is rarely noticed, players with smaller hands have been delighted. If anything, the sound of these smaller instruments is slightly more intense and concentrated-a phenomenon familiar to owners of original (and slightly small-sized) Guadagnini cellos.

Conforming to the needs of professional players, Whedbee's violins, violas, and cellos are tastefully antiqued to replicate the appearance of the models he copies.

Violins and Violas

While his cellos may be better known, Whedbee also makes excellent violins and violas that are very highly regarded by professionals and serious students alike. His violins are built on a del Gesú model after the 1735-37 period. There is a gorgeous glow to the orange varnish. The sound is powerful across all four strings with a rich yet incisive character throughout. A Whedbee violin is an unsurpassed value.

The violas are based on a Brothers Amati pattern and are 16-3/16" in length. These instruments feature the same stunning varnish and powerful tonal qualities as his violins.

As with his cellos, Whedbee's violins and violas are skillfully antiqued, handsomely reproducing the appearance of the models he copies.

Exceptional Instruments in High Demand

Whedbee is one of today's most sought-after makers. Though we can often arrange for one of our local customers to bring one of his instruments in for viewing, we rarely have them available in the shop for immediate sale. We therefore generally welcome only serious inquiries. The average delivery time after receipt of an order (with a 20% deposit) is two months.

"I first noticed the Whedbee because it is so beautiful. I currently own a fine Rugeri cello and a Whedbee cello. I also have four students who play on Whedbees, so I know how good they are. The sound is incredibly clear, strong, and rich; you can hear it easily in the orchestra."

— Richard Hirschl, Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist and faculty member at The Music Institute of Chicago

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