Burgess, Violin Maker - Multiple Awards

Violin Maker, Viola Maker and Cello Maker

David Burgess is a multiple award winning violin maker, viola maker and cello maker with instruments in the permanent collection of the Stradivari Museum and the Smithsonian Museum.



David Burgess has won more violin making contests of truly international scope, won them more consistently, and won them against a greater number of competitors than not only any living violin maker, but any violin maker in history! Never before has a maker, during his lifetime, established such a large body of expert consensus about the tonal, artistic and functional merit of his instruments.

He has been designated "hors concours" by both the Violin Society of America and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, meaning that he is no longer allowed to compete in their violin making contests by virtue of acknowledged excellence.

Click On The Following Topics

What's the big deal about violin making contests?

Are old violins better than violins by a living violin maker?

Who actually makes Burgess Instruments?

Is there any integrity in the violin trade? (Auction price manipulation and other dirty tricks)

What about violin makers who antique or make copies?


Do people "antique" excessively? Photos of the "Messiah" by violin maker Antonio Stradivari, probably the most valuable violin in the world.

Sure looks new, though. This shows that you can be even prouder of a new looking instrument than with one which shows the ravages of time.

Front of the Messiah Stradivari
Messiah Top
(click to enlarge)
Back of the Messiah Stradivari
Messiah Back
(click to enlarge)


What about the sound?

A short video clip of a Burgess violin in a live performance

Article on David Burgess by the Violin Society of America


Proper Humidity, Very Important For Your Instrument

What Kind Of Person Do You Want To Deal With? Old-Fashioned Ideas About Marketing Etc.

Pictures – Click on Image

Here is the back of a violin that David Burgess has started to carve to shape using a large curved chisel in his workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Award winning violin maker, viola maker and cello maker, David Burgess, can make you a new, contemporary, custom violin, viola or cello with a sound that's right for you.     The basic outline of the scrolls for two violins has been cut from two blocks of maple. Some people want a custom copy of a violin, viola or cello. David Burgess believes in making a unique string instrument rather than trying to recycle the work of other violin makers from the past.     Two 'bookmatched' pieces of maple have been joined to form the back of a Burgess violin. Instrument Trivia: cellos are also called violoncellos; a luthier is one that makes or repairs stringed instruments, such as violins, violas and cellos; new instruments often sound as good or better than old instruments.

A picture showing a violin back that has been sawn to the rough shape of the outline and the form on which the ribs are built. Since 1982, David Burgess has been designated hors concours by both the Violin Society of America and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, meaning that he is no longer allowed to compete in their violin making contests by virtue of acknowledged excellence.     Pile of shavings after planing a set of Burgess cello ribs to final thickness. Many violin makers don't even know how to do this, and use a machine called a thickness sander instead.     Side view of a Burgess cello scroll.

Back of a recently completed Burgess cello.     Detailed view of the corner and purfling on a Burgess cello.     Some of the numerous awards Burgess has won in violin making competitions, including Gold Medals or first place finishes for both workmanship and sound at the Antonio Stradivari international competition in Cremona Italy, the Violin Society of America international competitions, the American Federation of Violin and Bowmaker competition, and the Louis Spohr international competition in Germany.

For more information about Burgess violins, violas and cellos,

Contact David Burgess at:

1510 Glen Leven

Ann Arbor, MI 48103


Phone: (734) 668-7803

Burgess Violin Maker Main Web Site: http://www.burgessviolins.com

List of violin makers, viola makers, and cello makers who are past Violin Society of America Competition winners: LINK (will need to scroll about halfway down the page)

Home     Significance of Contests     What About Copies?     How To Check Your Hygrometer

Humidity and Your Instrument     Where's the integrity?     Marketing Strategies     Old Versus New

Humidity Control Products     The Sound     The Varnish     Article by the Violin Society of America     Who Actually Makes Burgess Instruments?

Silly links the web designer stuck in here