Having sat in a principal oboe chair for over thirty years, Alaster Bentley is one of the very few repairers who can really test instruments using a players instinct and intuition. His meticulous attention to detail and his vast knowledge are coupled with an extraordinary gift for problem-solving when it comes to the mechanics of the oboe and cor anglais, and with this background and a “common sense” approach, he is, in my opinion, quite simply the finest oboe repairer in the country. The work that he has carried out on my instruments has never been anything short of superb.”

Maxwell Spiers – Cor Anglais – Royal Ballet Sinfonia

Alaster Bentley is a consummate professional in everything he does. As an oboist he is a true artist with a style and flair in his playing that few can match. He brings the same level of excellence to his work as a repairer. Of course, it is a great advantage to us players that he can test the instruments himself and bring them to the finest point of adjustment, and this he does, with great attention to detail. He will always work until the instrument is perfect no matter how long it takes, and I would have no hesitation in recommending his work to any one at any level of the profession. His work is always of the highest standard.”

Ruth Contractor – Principal Oboe – Scottish Ballet

droppedImage_2Many thanks for your careful and comprehensive oboe service – it is a relief to at last find someone who has all of the experience in the playing world combined with expertise in the repair world, to look after the one thing we rely on every day – our instruments. My oboe feels like
it should now – from top to bottom.”

Jeremy Foster

I handed my Cor Anglais over to Alaster, safe in the knowledge that it was being overhauled, tried and tested by a top professional player. The instrument was returned looking and feeling as good as new – a fantastic

Phillip Harmer – 2nd Oboe – English Chamber Orchestra

shapeimage_11Al is an extremely approachable and friendly man. After years of playing principal oboe in ballet repertoire at the highest level, he must have come to appreciate the necessity of having a perfectly working instrument which has led to him developing an equally impressive talent in instrument repair. He has a fantastic eye for detail and I don’t think he’d let any instrument leave his workshop without being happy he could take it into work and play it himself the next day. He spent considerable time with me before and after the service explaining his work. And even coupled with the price of petrol for the return journey (it took just over an hour from my flat in London) this was still the cheapest service I have ever had by over £100 and much more importantly – the best service I have had. There is something profoundly reassuring about having a player of Al’s ability and experience lending his time to instrument repair. The first time I visited Al’s workshop he also fixed a broken circuit board in my car, but I’m not sure if that comes as standard!”

Michael O’Donnell – 2nd Oboe – Irish Chamber Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia

droppedImage_1I had my cor anglais serviced by Al. He did a fantastic and thorough job, very meticulous and efficient. Al is a conscientious worker who has very high standards which he will never lower. I will definitely be using him again, and recommending him to my colleagues.”

Louise Hayter