About Rathbone & Brown Classical Guitars

I 'm Ian Brown, owner of Rathbone & Brown Classical Guitars and thank you for visiting my website.

I have been dealing in classical guitars for over 20 years. In 2013 I visited the annual 'Music China' expo in Shanghai and was simply astounded by the quality of some of the classical guitars being exhibited by Chinese luthiers. The level of craftmanship matched and even exceeded that of many expensive high end European luthier instruments with which I am familiar but at a fraction of the price.

I came away with not just a completely new perspective on what I thought I knew about classical guitar building but also a new guitar that I purchased in person from master luthier Yulong Guo, who 5 years later in 2018 gained world renown by winning second prize in the luthier competition at the prestgious 'Festival Internacional de la Guitarra' held annually in Granada, Spain and attended by luthiers and classical guitar players from around the world.

So if you are looking to acquire a high end classical guitar but find the concert level instruments of European luthiers (excellent as they may be) are beyond your financial reach then please read on. 

Chinese Lutherie On The Ascent

In the late 1960s and early 1970s when Japan first started exporting classical guitars to Europe and the USA, western luthiers didn't take it seriously but within a decade Japanese master luthiers such as Masaru Kohno and Ryoji Matsuoka began to make their mark in world lutherie and today some of their instruments are valued in the thousands of pounds.
I firmly believe that today Chinese luthery is on that same path, led by the likes of the aforementioned master luthier Yulong Guo.

Rathbone & Brown Classical Guitars are the sole UK agent for rising star luthier Niu Liuha, a former understudy of Yulong Guo. His instruments have to be seen, held and played  to fully appreciate their beauty and level of craftsmanship. That is why I strongly urge anyone viewing this website and interested in acquiring a high end classical guitar, to visit  in person to view and try instruments from the model range.

To make an appointment to view / try  instruments :-

Call / SMS / WhatsApp to  07971 380728

 email  : - enquiries@rathboneandbrown.com


Please view and subscribe to my YouTube channel at the link below :



The Classical Guitar in China

The love for European classical music in China is well known through the likes of piano maestro Lang Lang and violinist Vanessa Mae. What is probably less well known is the love in China for the classical guitar. No surprise then that Chinese luthiery is on the rise to meet the demands of young students of the instrument, and Chinese luthiers are producing some of the  finest classical guitars in the world, 

Just as Vanessa Mae inspired a generation of Chinese violinists, classical guitar players such as Xuefei Yang (pictured) will do the same for the classical guitar.

Watch a video of her excuisite playing  HERE

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