Top Modern Violin Makers Honored in the 2018 Violin Society of America Competition

November 10, 2018, 6:04 PM · If you are curious about the best contemporary instrument and bow makers of the current century, here is a good starting point: look below at the list of 2018 Violin Society of America Competition winners, just named last week at the Violin Society of America's annual convention in Cleveland.

Their instruments were chosen for outstanding workmanship and tone from 350 violin, viola, cello and basses and 100 bows that were submitted by luthiers and ateliers from around the world for the VSA's 23th International Competition.

VSA 2018

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, bass and quartet, please see this page.

VIOLIN

David Leonard Wiedmer
Violin maker David Leonard Wiedmer.
Double Gold Medal for Tone & Workmanship:
Mira Gruszow & Gideon Baumblatt

Gold Medal
Justin A Hess
David Leonard Wiedmer
Philip Ihle

Silver Medal for Workmanship
Arie Werbrouck
Piotr Pielaszek
Yunhai Xu
Mark Schnurr
Gábor Draskóczy

Silver Medal for Tone
Ryan L Soltis

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Michael Doran
Gencer Cerit
Xiangwei Chen
Guy Harrison
Krzysztof Krupa

Certificate of Merit for Tone
Xiaowei Liu
Benjun Zheng
Eduard Miller
Yan Wang
Christian Pedersen
Michael Daddona
Qi Cao
Andrew Ryan
Jiwon Han
Artur Friedhoff

VIOLIN BOW

Gold Medal
Yongje Song

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Etzler Bernd
Ulf Johansson
Josephine Thomachot
Niall Flemming
Eric Gagne
Victor Bernard
Marie Chastagnol
Gary Leahy

VIOLA

Silver Medal for Workmanship
Piotr Pielaszek
Noemie Viaud
David Leonard Wiedmer
Dong Pil Im
John Simmers

Double Certificate of Merit for Tone & Workmanship
Fabienne Gauchet

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Louis Gord
Weitao Gong
Yunhai Xu
Jinlong Yang
Shiquan Zhaohao

Certificate of Merit for Tone
Haide Lin & Zu Liang Wu
Christian Pedersen
Xiaowei Liu
Stanley Kiernoziak
Mason Weedman
Don Noon
David Polstein
Fuzhen Jiang
Matthew Noykos
Theodore Skreko

VIOLA BOW

Gold Medal
Lucie Martinie

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Yongje Song
Victor Bernard
Gary Leahy
Suoyi Ma

CELLO

Gold Medal
Hayato NagaishiDamien Gest & David Leonard Wiedmer

Silver Medal for Workmanship
Dong Pil Im
Viateur Roy

Silver Medal for Tone
Mira Gruszow & Gideon Baumblatt

Double Certificate of Merit for Tone & Workmanship
Michael Doran
Charline Dequincey

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Peter Goodfellow
Yunhai Xu
Guy Harrison
Ian McWilliams

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Jason Starkie
Jonathan Hai
Yi Huan Wang
Jinlong Yang
Isabelle Wilbaux
Fabienne Gauchet
Frederik Bethke

CELLO BOW

Gold Medal
Yongje Song

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship
Marcin Krupa
Niall Flemming
Eric Gagne
Victor Bernard
Gary Leahy
Lucie Martinie

Judges for the 2018 VSA Competition

Judges in the violin category included Chris Germain, Feng Jiang, Primo Pistoni for worksmanship; Cristian Fatu, Nathan Giem and Ilya Kaler for tone. Here is a list of all the judges.

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Replies

November 11, 2018 at 01:49 AM · Laurie, wish you could have made it out for this one. Entries from 27 countries, according to the competition chairman. My mind is still reeling, from all the modern-legend makers who were present, to the old instrument exhibit, to the quality of the lectures, to learning how to communicate through the latest hand-held language translation devices.

November 12, 2018 at 12:37 AM · The results for Double Bass please?

November 12, 2018 at 03:51 AM · Here are the bass results, and you can find all the results on the VSA website by clicking here.

BASS

Double Gold Medal for Tone & Workmanship

Christopher Savino

Double Certificate of Merit for Tone & Workmanship

Trevor Davis

Evan Davenport

Certificate of Merit for Tone

Sam Morel

BASS BOW

Gold Medal

Victor Bernard

Certificate of Merit for Workmanship

Jordan Scapinello

November 13, 2018 at 01:46 PM · Thanks, it’s really interesting that some of the same names as the 2016 VSA awards with different results. Some silver medal both in 2016/2018 while some previous certificates of merit winners won gold medals and vice versa. I imagine the margin of difference at this level of violin making is very close. I’vm curious... is it because of different individual judges, variations in violins the same maker, or having different competitors that explains the varying results?

November 14, 2018 at 10:48 AM · Jorge, all of these things can come into play. (I've judged for the VSA at least three times)

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