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Renaissance Workshop Company
The foremost manufacturer of early musical instruments worldwide

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The History
The company's success is mainly due to its founder Jonathan Askey.

Mr Askey has been involved in running the early music business since he joined J Wood & Sons Ltd. back in 1972. He managed Woods Bradford music shop, 'The Early Music Shop' (EMS) for many years and helped to turn it in a Mecca for early music enthusiasts. The Early Music Shop was set up in 1968 along with a workshop manufacturing replicas of medieval and renaissance instruments with the brand “Woods”.

Jonathan Askey drove the workshop until 1999 when he bought it and changing its name he founded the Renaissance Workshop Company Ltd. with the express purpose of going on with the development of the product range and with the enlargement of the customer base.

Located in the same building, having been in the past part of it, and sharing the same product catalogue, the Renaissance Workshop Company (RWC) grew under the shadow of the Early Music Shop (EMS) and not all the customers realised that the EMS had become a mere dealer of RWC.

Due to poor health, Mr. Askey reluctantly decided in 2004 that he would have to wind down the workshops that was effectively his life¹s work. The Early Music Shop was offered first to re-purchase the workshop but they declined and so Mr. Askey sought for other partners (about the untrue rumour of closure of the RWC).

Among all the offers, Mr. Askey chose a new partner to take on the day to day running of the company while he acts in an advisory capacity and be involved with the development of new instruments and kits. As this new partner is Spanish and the lease run out on the previous premises it seemed a logical step to move RWC production to Spain. After considerable thought, Toledo (one of the Spain¹s oldest cities) seemed to offer just the right atmosphere for a workshop manufacturing early musical instruments.

Our top quality range of instruments and kits are being produced to the same high standards but in much sunnier surroundings than Bradford!

All necessary spares are available as usual and our excellent kit building backup will become bilingual, either English or Spanish once the workshops are completely settled in their new home. We cannot hide that the move has brought a delay in the standard rate production mainly caused by administrative bureaucracy but we can proudly say that our new workshop in Toledo is the rightful heir of the 40-year old one in Bradford(*).

You can appreciate this legacy in the quality of our instruments and kits. Beware of imitations.

(*) The comprehensive catalogue, designs, techniques and quality of Renaissance Workshop Company (RWC) is the result of the natural evolution and improvements of a workshop that was born and run within the 'Early Music Shop' selling its products with the brands 'Woods' and 'EMS' for 31 years and afterwards for financial reasons, in 1999, as a separate company but still with the same staff, in the same premises, with the same catalogue and having the Early Music Shops in Bradford and other locations as its main dealers.

In the other side, The 'Early Music Shop' has been publishing about themselves during 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009: "New workshops, New Products, New Designs, New Instruments, New Kits'. "A completely new workshop has had to be created around several of the existing staff. New models have been devised... Fresh manufacturing techniques will enable us to produce the kits and completed instruments... The emphasis will be set firmly on the production of a completely new range of affordable instruments and kits..." "New EMS Crumhorn Kits. We are excited to anounce the first in a new line of woodwind kits, launched at the recent Frankfurt Music Trade in early April (2009)"


Copyright © 1999 Renaissance Workshop Company Ltd.
Last modification: 17 de septiembre de 2010
Phone & Fax:(+34) 91 450 30 50