Meet the Makers

Dennis Yi was born in a small village in the Xiangxi area of the Hunan province. He was the oldest, and most curious, of his four siblings. As a child he would carve wooden dolls and folk musical Instruments.

Dennis Yi

Over time, this became his greatest joy, and he pursued the craft of luthiery. In 2002, he left his hometown and came to Guangzhou, which is known as the Town of Music. He obtained a position at a musical instrument factory and began his instrument making career. In his first year, he worked as a mold maker and became very skilled.

In 2004, he met Mr. Li Zhijie, the foremost violin varnish expert in China. At that time he also met Mr. He Guanghong, who is the Golden Award winner of the second China National Violin Making Competition and the Outstanding Violin Maker of Guangdong during Music Guangzhou. He decided to learn violin making with Mr. He and devoted himself to the craft so much that he would forget about eating and sleeping from time to time.

After 3 years of intensive study, he finished his first master violin which received the highest praise and accolades from Mr. He En as well as the admiration of teachers and violinists in his region. He was also mentored by Mr. Li Zhijie. As his violins have improved greatly, Yi’s instruments have become very popular in Europe, America, and Asia. 

 

Marco Jian was born in Yulin, Guangxi Province in 1983. He loved wooden instruments as a child and was always curious about folk instruments. As a hobby, he would take them apart to figure out how they made the sound they did. He learned a lot about instruments in this way and had dreams of making his own very splendid instruments. In 2002, he left his hometown to pursue his dream.

Master Maker Marco Jian

In the beginning, he worked for a guitar company and learned how to construct guitars. He was very talented and won a place in the setup department. In 2004, after assisting an orchestra with their guitar setup, he was attracted by the violin melody “Butterfly Lovers”. “That is the voice I hear in my mind,” he said. From that point on violin making became his passion. He studied many books about it and was soon introduced to the outstanding violin maker of Guangdong, Mr. He. As a result of his enthusiasm, and evident talent, Mr. He appointed him as his studio apprentice. Marco was grateful for the opportunity and put his heart and soul into his studies. His independent thinking was apparent to Mr. He who encouraged and guided him in ways that few makers were able to experience. As a result, Marco’s violins are even more powerful than his imagination. Mr. He later introduced him to Mr. Li Zhijie, the most revered violin finisher in China, and Mr. He En, another outstanding violin maker of Guangdong.  Marco’s close association with these makers enabled him to pursue his passion and perfect his craft. Today he has become a highly sought-after violin maker. With his talent and a great ear, many famous violinists now invite him to adjust their instruments, fittings, change the bridge and replace their sound posts. Between 2007-2014, his master violins became a fixture in the homes of professional violinists in China and abroad. From 2014 till now, Marco has taken his outstanding violin making to a new level working with makers worldwide.

Danio Wu was born in Changsha, Hunan Province in 1983, and had an inclination towards woodworking from the start as a result of his father’s career as a woodworker. After graduating from school, he worked in his father’s business. He then met a violin teacher who shared with him the history of violin making.

Master Maker Danio Wu

He became immediately attracted to this fascinating craft. In 2004, he decided to go to Guangzhou which, in China, is considered the Town of Music. He was introduced to Mr. He Guanghong and began to learn violin making as an apprentice. Mr. He is the Golden Award winner of the second China National Violin Making Competition and the Outstanding Violin Maker of Guangdong.

Danio’s violin making improved enormously after being tutored by the master Mr. Chan Zhenwu, who was recognized as the Outstanding Violin Maker of Taiwan. After years of careful study, he finished his first violin in 2006. Soon after, this master violin was sold in America and has been praised for its superior tone and quality. Now his violins are sought after by many domestic and international professionals and amateur violinists alike. The main features of his handmade violins are their wonderful timbre and strong penetrating power. His violins have become very popular in America and Europe as well. Danio also excels at restoring and repairing valuable, older violins. In the past few years, he has restored several treasured violins for players locally and internationally.

 

Lelio Pan was born and raised in the small village of Qinzhou, Guangxi Province, China. He loved making music through singing and using found objects as instruments at a very young age. He would use leaves and wood pieces to make notes and sounds. In 2005, he graduated from school and decided to pursue a career as a luthier.

master violin maker Lelio Pan

Master Maker Lelio Pan

In 2006, he was quite taken with the voice of the violin after visiting Music Guangzhou. At that time, he met Mr. He Guanghong and decided to pursue violin making. Mr. He is the Golden Award winner of the second China National Violin Making Competition and the Outstanding Violin Maker of Guangdong.

Lelio was extremely diligent in his study and learned his craft very quickly. His handmade violins were praised by Mr. He En. In 2010, he finished making his first violin and sold the instrument to a famous European violin player. After Mr. He En passed away, Lelio was not sure that he could continue in violin making. Despite his deep feelings for Mr. He, Lelio continued his study under the supervision of Mr. Lizhijie, a leading violin varnish expert in China. Lelio was also mentored by Mr. Chen Weibiao, another Outstanding Violin Maker of Guangdong. Lelio’s violins have a distinctly beautiful sound and are magnificently pleasing to the eye. They have become very popular with violinists in America, Europe, and Asia. Please click here to see, and hear, the instruments we currently have that were made by Lelio Pan.