It's not necessary to buy a Strad to have a very fine instrument these days, with the art of violin making at such a high level. If you are curious about who the best contemporary instrument and bow makers are, here is a good starting point: the winners of the Violin Society of America's 22nd International Violin and Bow Making Competition, announced on Friday in Cleveland.
Top makers of strings instruments and bows came from all over the world to Cleveland for the Violin Society of America convention this week, and the competition is just one part of it. Here are the winning luthiers and bowmakers in the violin and viola categories, chosen from hundreds of entries. Wherever possible, I've provided the link in case you wish to learn more about any of these makers. For winners in other categories, including cello, bass and quartet, please see this page.
Violin maker Gabor Draskoczy.
Silver Medal for Tone: Martin Heroux
Judges for the 2016 VSA Competition
Workmanship judges for instruments included Robert Cauer, Amos Hargrave, Wendela Moes, Jeff Phillips, Kelvin Scott and Paul Wiessmeyer; workmanship judges for bows were Noel Burke, Rodney Mohr and Robert Morrow. Tone judges for violin were Annie Fullard, Elmar Oliveira and Mari Sato; for viola were Lisa Boyko, Richard Waugh and Eric Wong; for cello were Ralph Curry, Jia Kim and Thomas Mansbacher; and for bass were Mark Atherton, Scott Haigh, Henry Peyrebrune. Quartet judges were the Cavani Quartet: Annie Fullard, Mari Sato, Eric Wong and Jia Kim.
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