Charles Rufino, born in New York in 1952, has been immersed in the art of the violin since 1974. His apprenticeship at the Newark School of Violin Making in England included periods of study at the great London workshops of J&A Beare, and W.E. Hill & Sons.
He returned to New York in 1977 for further training in violin making and restoration under V.Y. “Nigo” Nigogosian. In 1980 he traveled to Chicago to begin a four year association with Carl Becker & Son of Chicago, personally assisting Mr. Becker in the creation of a number of Becker instruments.
In 1984 Charles Rufino opened his own studio in New York making violins, violas, and cellos, and working actively with leading musicians. Today his instruments are played in orchestras across the United States, from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to the Santa Barbara Symphony.
His extensive studies of traditional violin making and related cultural topics have given him a unique perspective and Mr. Rufino is an active teacher, lecturer and consultant. In 1986 he helped Nigo Nigogosian establish the now world-famous Oberlin Restoration Workshop and was the staff lecturer. Charles Rufino has delighted audiences for years with his witty and enlightening illustrated lectures, including his Art and Lore of the Violin, a journey through time and cultural history. One of his more recent projects was an invitation by the Yamaha Corporation to assist in the design and development of a new violin.
Charles Rufino has a strong commitment to education. In 1995 he established The Long Island Violin Shop to share his expertise with string teachers and their students. He is a longtime member or the String Industry Council of the American String Teachers Association.
Charles Rufino was elected to full membership in the American Federation of Violin Makers in 1989 and the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers in 1994, among numerous other professional affiliations. Mr. Rufino is a longtime resident of Huntington, New York, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He enjoys playing the viola in a community orchestra so that, like Bach, he can be “in the middle of the harmony.”