info@micheleashley.com

BOSTON

144 Moody St. Bldg. 18
Waltham MA 02453 USA
tel/fax (781) 642-1154

MONTREAL

5639 Darlington St.
Montreal QC H3T 1T1 CAN
tel (514) 922-0535

My Ashley cello is a wonder. It looks beautiful and sounds fabulous. I am delighted with it. Her instruments have a certain brilliance, but with the rough edges rounded off - a mellowness at the same time. I consider Michele Ashley to be one of the very best makers working today.

David Soyer - Curtis Institute and founding cellist of the Guarneri Quartet

In 1992, Michele Ashley copied and replaced my “Sleeping Beauty” Montagnana, which I had played on for 35 years and her instrument has given me great pleasure. It has all the attributes we seek in a cello - ease and evenness of response, plus a basic beauty of tone that would be an asset for any player.

Orlando Cole - Curtis Institute

Michele Ashley makes wonderful cellos. Every instrument old or new is individual in sound and character but hers have soul. I am thrilled with my Tecchler copy. It is truly a lovely instrument and I love playing on it. Her craftsmanship is superb and her varnish is lovely. I have yet to encounter any of Michele Ashley’s cellos that are disappointing in any way and the care she takes with each instrument and its owner is unparalleled.

Marcy Rosen - Mendelsohn Quartet/Mannes School of Music

Michele Ashley’s cellos have a remarkable vibrancy and depth of quality. It has been my pleasure to own two of them.One is a copy of a Gofriller which is not only handsome but it has an extremely powerful sound and at the same time real quality of tone.The other is an absolutely beautiful copy of my Brothers Amati which I enjoy playing daily and have found that it not only has a rich vibrancy but also a wonderful flexibility of tonal possibilities.

Bonnie Hampton - Julliard School of Music/San Francisco Conservatory of Music

MICHÈLE ASHLEY was raised in the U.S. and completed her secondary education in France, studying cello as well as ethnomusicology. She attended the International School of Violinmaking in Cremona Italy at the age of 19 where she studied under the tutelage of G.B. Morassi and Pietro Sgarabotto. Graduating in 1975, she established her own violinmaking shop, first in the foothills outside of Parma, and later in the city of Verona, where she studied briefly with Renato Scrollavezza, and afterwards apprenticed with Mario Gadda of Mantova for whom she worked and made copies for many years. Many of her instruments of that period are being played on in major symphonies throughout Europe and Asia.

In 1985 she transferred her activity to Boston, Massachusetts, where she has worked out of her own shop making violins and violas, but focusing primarily on cellos. To date she has made over 130 instruments owned and played by symphony musicians across the US, as well as by students and faculty of the Curtis Institute, the New England Conservatory, and the Julliard School of Music. In 2004, she opened a second shop in Montreal, Quebec, and lives and works between Canada and the US.

In 1992, Orlando Cole of the Curtis Institute (former member of the Curtis Quartet) commissioned her to make a copy of his renowned cello, the 1739 Montagnana "Sleeping Beauty." In the same year, she made another copy of an exquisite Nicolo Amati cello dated 1672 for the owner of that instrument. These two instruments, along with several models based on the Venetian maker Matteo Goffriller, are the prototypes that she has been working with for the past few years. She has also made copies of Bernard Greenhouse’s 1707 Stradivari, and is presently working on a magnificent example of the work of David Tecchler. She has made several instruments modeled on a Guadagnini cello that belongs to Carter Brey, first cellist of the New York Philharmonic. This instrument has a somewhat shorter string length which provides a comfortable reach for a player with a smaller hand while at the same producing a beautiful, even quality which projects easily in a large concert hall.

Ashley’s instruments are recognized for their powerful, even, and focused response and their broad, rich, tonal qualities. Players take pleasure in the comfort and ease of execution which her instruments provide. If you would like to try an instrument, please write or call for an appointment.