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Vision and music in perfect harmony

Allegro has another new friend from Harrogate Phil’

Viola player Gillian Charters from Knaresborough came to Allegro Optical through our connections with the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra. Harrogate Phil’ is a semi-professional chamber orchestra based in North Yorkshire. We have helped a number of string players within the orchestra and they recommended us to Gillian.

The problem

Gillian is a myopic long-term varifocal wearer, but she was finding the middle distance area of her current lenses very restrictive. Particularly at the distance of her music stand. Gillian was wearing a very good varifocal lens design by Zeiss, a well-respected lens manufacturer. Unfortunately, the lenses still didn’t provide a wide enough field of view at the required distances.

Many orchestral musicians often share a music stand and are required to read the music from one side. When wearing varifocal lenses this becomes challenging, as they are set up and designed to give clear vision while looking straight ahead. Violinists and viola players present particular dispensing challenges, as they play with their instrument under their chin and their head slightly to one side.

An elegant solution

An occupational lens design could have corrected her vision for playing. But she would have been unable to drive in them, so that was out of the question. We dispensed Gillian with our adapted progressive lens design with a much wider field than that offered by her current lenses. The new lens design gives her a wide central field and much clearer vision to her left and right. The lens design maintains good distance vision and her reading area is wider than in her previous lenses.

We took into account Gillians head and playing position and the offset position of the music stand allowing her to play with ease.

Harrogate philharmonic orchestra

Clarity in Music and vision

Gillian collected her new glasses and sunglasses and was thrilled. She commented on how wide her field of view was in the new lenses.

Gillian said “It was such a joy to come to an optician that understood my needs as a viola player. As an amateur musician, I have enough things to bring along to rehearsals – without remembering additional glasses!  I can now use the same glasses for playing as for driving, work, gardening, yoga and canvassing!.”


An optician faces many challenges when dispensing a Musician. Both regarding their working distances and their seating and head position. By asking pertinent questions and with a certain amount of knowledge of the playing set up, we can resolve these issues. Allegro Optical is a specialist optician and is very familiar with correcting musicians vision at all distances. Thanks to our unique approach and cutting edge lens designs we can produce individual solutions to suit their needs, which are not available elsewhere.

We approach the vision problems from the musician’s perspective and we have built up a considerable following as a result. At Allegro Optical we are very passionate about the complex visual needs of musicians and presenters. We can provide a range of tailor-made solutions using specialist technology for those affected by reduced visual clarity.

Our clients are wide ranging, from professional classical musicians to keen amateur musicians from all genres. We also help those who have taken up a new instrument later in life.