The Harrison-Frank Family Foundation Loan Programme
The Harrison-Frank Family Foundation
The Harrison Frank Foundation was set up in 2014 and part of its purpose is to own and lend a collection of mostly Italian violins to young professional musicians.
Mr Richard Harrison, originally from the US, is a naturalized British Citizen who was also an amateur violinist and who wanted to give something back to his adopted country. A chance meeting in 2012 with the violist Louise Williams at the Wigmore Hall on a Monday lunchtime, when the BBC announcer exhorted the audience to talk to their neighbours, led to the idea of purchasing a violin to lend to a young player.
There are now 41 violins and 5 bows in the collection which are owned by the Trust. Mr Harrison’s idea was that some excellent young players leave their conservatoire with instruments that may be rather inadequate- often having to hand back a fine instrument which they have been able to borrow from their conservatoire- for the concerts, auditions and competition which they are engaged in playing.
All the instruments have been acquired in collaboration with J&A Beare and they have been very involved in setting up, maintaining and running the scheme. It is possible that more instruments may be purchased in the future.
Loans are arranged on a renewable annual basis, with an idea of extending to between 3 and 5 years, until the musician is established and earning enough to think of buying their own instrument. The instrument can then be released to lend again to a younger player.