Mr. Zhu Mingjiang is a contemporary Chinese master violin maker. He followed Mr. Leung Kwok Fai to make violins in the 1970s. In 1991, he opened his own workshop. and began to participate in the “American International Violin Making Competition” in 1986. He won the violin craftsmanship award for the first time he participated in the competition. After more than 20 years, A total of 19 awards were won in the event, including two gold awards and two silver awards. It is not easy to win the “American International Violin Making Competition”. Since the new rules of the competition were established in 1984, the gold medal has been suspended in 6 of the 14 competitions. It can be seen that it is not easy to win the gold medal .
Mr. Zhu Mingjiang has been interviewed by many international media, including the American “Time” magazine and the British “Strad” stringed instrument magazine, etc. and has been labeled “within the top 5% of violin makers in the world today.”
Many of the luthiers at Ming-Jiang Zhu workshop have been awarded for their workmanship as well. Altogether, the workshop has won 23 awards from top international competitions including the Violin Society of America, including 2 gold and 3 silver medals.
The instruments of the workshop are crafted following Italian traditions and standards of craftsmanship. Ming Jiang Zhu Workshop constantly produces exceptional and exquisite instruments that are powerful in tone.
Maker Bio: Ming Jiang Zhu
Ming Jiang Zhu (1955-2014) was one of the world’s most respected contemporary violin makers and an incredible success story worthy of international attention.
Though young Mr. Zhu was born to two accountant parents, he anticipated a gruelling life working in harsh conditions on sugar plantations as was the usual option for young people in Panyu province. As a teen he started working in construction, a more lucrative industry, and soon his keen interest and skills in woodworking and painting set him apart from his peers.
He had never held or even seen a violin in his life, but at age 20 he was one of 25 fortunate students selected to study at the then-new Guangzhou Musical Instruments School in China. The institution has since produced many famous world-class makers.
By age 22 he applied current scientic research and hands-on practice at the Guangzhou Musical Instrument Research Institute to his craft. His first entry in the VSA international violin making competition in 1986 (age 31) saw him wimnning a Certificate of Merit for Workmanship.
In 1991 he opened his own home workshop in a corner closet-sized space of his tiny 215 square foot apartment crafting his own brand: Mingjiang Violins.
In the following year he won an astonishing three awards in the Violin Society of America (VSA) Competition. The unprecedented wins earned him an interview and story with Time Magazine in 1996 entitled, “They’re Made Where?” and smashed negative stereotypes in the Asian violin trade.
Mr. Zhu went on to win an impressive nineteen (you read that right, 19) VSA awards over the next 20 years, including two Gold Medals in Violin Making [1994 and 2006] and a Silver Award in Viola making . These impressive and enviable accolates saw him gain much respect in the luthier world as well as practice rooms, concert halls, and well beyond.
He was a member of the Entente Internationale des Maîtres-luthiers et Archetiers d’Art from 2008, served as a juror for craftsmanship at the first International Chinese Violin Making Competition in 2010, and was Vice President of his local violin making association.
Tragically Mr. Zhu succumed to complications from liver cancer in late 2014 after serious heart issues in the years leading up to his death. Heartwarmingly his beautiful legacy lives on through the workshop he lovingly founded and which continues to produce instruments in his celebrated style and superb methods under the management of his brother-in-law.
1986 The 7th American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 1986
1990 The Ninth American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 1990
1992 The 10th American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 1992 Violin Sound Award 1992 Viola Craft Award 1992
1994, the 11th American International Violin Making Competition, the gold medal for violin in 1994, and the craftsmanship award for viola in 1994
1996 The Twelfth American International Violin Making Competition, Viola Silver Award 1996 Violin Craft Award 1996 Violin Sound Award 1996
1998 The Thirteenth American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 1998
2000, the 14th American International Violin Making Competition Silver Medal of Violin Craft 2000
2002 The 15th American International Violin Making Competition Viola Craft Award 2002
2004 The 16th American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 2004
2006 The 17th American International Violin Making Competition Gold Award for Violin 2006 Viola Craft Award 2006
2008 The 18th American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 2008 Viola Craft Award 2008
2010 The 19th American International Violin Making Competition Violin Craft Award 2010
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