VSA tone award winner
violin and viola


Ken: "World class instruments shall be accessible to professional musicians and students alike."
Violin making is a family heritage

The Su family is well respected luthier by violin makers and musicians worldwide. Ken’s father, Jian Neng Su, is a second generation luthier specialised in violin as well as performer in mainland China. After graduated from the Guangzhou Institute of Stringed Instruments Professions, mainland China, Ken came to America and found Ken Su Violins. His collaborator, Ken’s brother, Zhi Wen Su, is also a renown luthier. Together, they have created instruments that were well sought after by famous orchestral and chamber musicians, as well as soloists such as Massimo Quarta, Ruben Aharonian, and Sarah Chang.

In 1992, with the help of the Cultural Ambassador of the United States in China, Jian Neng Su made his pilgrimage visit the Library of Congress and examined its violin collections, including instruments by Stradivarius and Guarani. This inspiring trip greatly influences the design of Su’s instruments, especially the replica series.

In the same year, Su’s replica of 1715 Stradivarius won the Violin Tone Award of The Violin Society of America International Violin Competition.

In 1994, Ken Su and his father visited the United States again. In this trip they visited some of the most famous contemporary violin makers, including Hans Weisshaar.

In 2004, the Su’s family participated in the 16th Violin Society of America International Violin Competition and again won the Violin Tone Award.

In June 2006, the Su’s family opened their first violin workshop in America, the Ken Su Violins. Located in San Mateo, California, the workshop specialized in instruments retail, rental and repair as well as various support to music programs in school districts of neighbouring communities.

In June 2009, in order to accommodate the growing demand, Ken Su Violins moved to a newly expanded location. In the same year, Ken Su Violins launched their instruments wholesale campaign in America, providing high quality instruments that are affordable for musicians for all ages.

In November 2010, Ken Su won the Merit for Tone Award in The 19th International Competition of The Violin Society of America. And in November 2014, Ken won the Merit for Tone Award in similar competition for his work on viola.

Despite of these achievements, Ken is hard at work to bring new sounds out of these ancient instruments.

  • VSA Tone Award

    Violin 1992

  • VSA Tone Award

    Violin 2004

  • VSA Tone Award

    Violin 2010

  • VSA Tone Award

    Viola 2014

Pride and Memories

Decades of excellence in the making of violins and viola
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Su's family has created instruments that were well sought after by famous orchestral and chamber musicians as well as soloists.

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