Biography

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After more than 8 years making instruments with Brooklyn violinmaker Samuel Zygmuntowicz including 4 years as his Workshop Foreman, Justin Hess now makes award-winning instruments out of his own studio in Philadelphia.

Justin’s appreciation for string music was originally kindled by his mother, an orchestral cellist. This and his aptitude for woodworking, inherently high standards, and attention to detail translate naturally to making instruments.

He attended the North Bennet Street School’s acclaimed violin making and repair program in Boston where he was honored with an award for Distinguished Craftsmanship upon graduation. He went on to work with Christopher Germain and with Frederick Oster, focusing primarily on restoration, before moving to New York City to concentrate on making new instruments with Samuel Zygmuntowicz in 2012.  In 2020 Justin opened his own studio in Philadelphia dedicated to making fine instruments for demanding musicians.

Participating in two international Violin Society of America biannual competitions Justin was awarded a Gold Medal for Violin in 2018 and a Silver Medal for Violin Workmanship in 2016.

JH 2018 Gold Medal
JH 2016 Silver Medal