The world’s best violin maker is Korean

The world’s best violin maker is Korean


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2014

The winners of the International Violin Makers Competition have been announced in Moscow.

Top in the modern category is Sunghee Hong (pictured), who works at the Stradivari college in Cremona.


Sunghee Hong

Best in the imitation instrument category is Milena Noventa, from Parma.

Maria Strelnikova (Moscow) and Andreas Preuss (Tokyo) took the viola prize; best cello maker is Eduard Schwen (Hamburg). Top bow maker is Luboš Odlas from the Czech Republic.


  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    What? No accusation of bias?

  • Andreas Preuss says:

    Best violin maker in the world??

    Dear Mr. Lebrecht,

    not that I want to say that Mrs. Sunghee Hong didn’t deserve the Gold medal, but ‘best violin maker in the world’ is stretching the term a bit too far. Or would you say too that a tennis player who wins one Grand slam in his career is automatically world rank number one?
    There are other competitions with other judges and there were recently violin makers winning prizes in different competitions and winning in both categories, sound and workmanship.
    In any case winning a competition is being the best compared to the rest of the participants and not to the rest of the world. And then we can ask ourselves the question, what weights more? Winning with several instruments a bigger number of medals or winning with one instrument a medal plus special prices?
    Writers of articles should sometimes a bit more considerate. As much as I wish Mrs. Sunghee Hong to become ONE OF THE BEST violin makers in the world in future it is not fair to burden her with such extreme expectations.
    Any violin maker as much as any layman knows that the title of ‘best violin maker in the world’ belongs unquestionably only to Antonio Stradivari.

  • Yehoschua Edlis , Israel says:

    Did somebody know about violins made by ” Hyun Eum Musical Instruments Co Ltd ” made in Korea ? Thanks for answering !
    Y. Edlis .