Francis Kuttner studied violinmaking at the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria in Cremona, Italy, and worked privately with the accomplished decorative woodcarver/violinmaker Francesco Bissolotti, an early proponent of the traditional Cremonese construction method.

Working from the original forms and models of Antonio Stradivari from the extensive collection at the Museo Civico di Cremona gave Francis Kuttner a comprehensive insight into the working methods of classical Cremonese violinmakers that was to serve him well on his return to San Francisco in 1978.

Francis Kuttner has been awarded numerous (9) Gold and Silver medals for his violins, violas and cellos in international competitions in New York (1980) Ottawa (1984) Cremona (1988) Manchester (1991) and Paris (1991, 1999). He has been designated "Hors Concours" by the Violin Society of America and subsequently served on juries for three of their competitions. He has also served as a judge for international competitions in Mittenwald (twice), Paris (twice) and Cremona. He divides his time between workshops in San Francisco and Cremona. (See photos below.)

Member, The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
Member, The Violin Society of America
Member, Entente Internationale des Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art

For their superb sound qualities” the ASQ have chosen to play the Ellen M. Egger quartet of loaned instruments constructed by the San Francisco maker Francis Kuttner about twenty years ago. Cellist Sandy Wilson tells me that the Kuttner set is, superb to play — wonderfully adjusted and I dare even say ‘easy’ and responsive in every way.   — Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International

View from my terrace in Cremona, where I cook varnish. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Traditional method of attaching the rib. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sculpting the edge. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Violin detail. CLICK TO ENLARGE