Rufino Instruments have been played in the following orchestras and chamber groups.

New York Philharmonic
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
St. Louis Symphony
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Other orchestras include:
Alabama Symphony
American Ballet Theatre Orchestra
American Modern Ensemble
Annapolis Symphony
Atlanta Symphony
Baltimore Symphony
Brevard Symphony
Bronx Symphony
Brooklyn Philharmonic
Cayuga Chamber Orchestra
Detroit Symphony
Ensemble Overtone (Japan)
Fox Valley Symphony,
Fukushima Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan)
Grand Rapids Symphony
Green Bay Symphony
Greenwich Village Orchestra
Harrisburg Symphony
Hartford Symphony
Kioi Sinfonietta (Japan)
Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Lincoln Symphony Orchestra
Long Beach Symphony
Long Island Philharmonic
Louisiana Philharmonic
McLean Orchestra
Melbourne Symphony (Florida)
Milwaukee Symphony
Music at St. Ignatius
New Century Chamber Orchestra
New Jersey Symphony
New West Symphony
New World Symphony
New York Repertory Orchestra
New York String Ensemble
New York Virtuosi
Orlando Philharmonic
Oyster Bay Music Festival
Pacific Symphony
Pan American Symphony Orchestra
Park Avenue Chamber Symphony
Pasadena Symphony
Philharmonia Virtuosi
Phoenix Symphony
Pierrot Chamber Players
Pit Stop Players
Puerto Rico Symphony
Queens Symphony
Rochester Philharmonic
San Diego Symphony
Santa Barbara Symphony
Sioux City Symphony
Solistas Mexico Japon (Japan)
South Shore Symphony
Staten Island Philharmonic
Taipei City Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra

I am the principal violist of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee. When I was shopping for a viola, one of my main criteria was that it had to be powerful enough to cut through the orchestra for incidental solos. I purchased one of your 16-inch violas almost 4 years ago and this instrument is FABULOUS. I can stand out when I need to, but it blends wonderfully for orchestral and chamber playing. I play in a quartet where the other players have fine old Italian instruments. I have no problem matching and blending with them. I am also impressed at how easy it is to play. I am a former violinist and while I am physically capable of playing a 16-1/2 to 16-3/4 viola it’s just not comfortable to me. Your 16-inch viola is not only easy to play, but it has the sound and power of a larger instrument. I just wanted to let you know how pleased I have been with your viola.

Kathryn Gawne

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

In 1996 I bought a violin made by Charles Rufino, an instrument remarkable for the tonal quality it displayed from the very beginning. To this day it is my primary instrument and its tone continues to improve.

In December of that year, during a very busy concert schedule, my eighteenth-century violin was stolen and I was without an instrument to fulfill my obligations! Charles graciously loaned me he instrument of my choice, which had been strung up for the very first time just days before. I was anxious how my very critical New York colleagues would respond! However often I had tried a new instrument, I was soon disheartened by a loud tone lacking color, suppleness, and elegance.

As I performed in professional engagements my colleagues and I realized this brand-new Rufino violin, despite never having been played for any length of time, was truly exceptional. I performed all over New York during the holiday season with this instrument with no negative comments from my colleagues, in and of itself remarkable, but a greater surprise was in store.

When my antique violin was recovered several weeks later I learned just how positive an impression the Rufino violin made. Imagine my reaction when I was asked why I stopped using the Rufino! Then I arranged to test the Rufino against a number of very fine antique instruments of great reputation and price at several concert halls in New York. Immediately one heard a violin of character, eveness, projection, and great color, rather than a cold “modern fiddle.” Soon after I purchased it and it has served me faithfully since then.
One year after purchasing my Rufino, I came to feel so secure with it that I have decided to sell my antique violin. I can give no greater testimony to the ability of this artist.

Dale Stuckenbruck

One of New York’s leading violinists, Dale is a Grammy-nominated artist who has appeared as concertmaster/soloist for numerous orchestras, chamber groups, Broadway shows, and film soundtracks.

我于2019年的秋天与Rufino先生在伊斯曼音乐学院相遇。当时的我已经为寻一把满意的小提琴奔波了三年之久。在拿起Rufino先生制作的琴的一瞬间,我就觉得:是他了!(没错,在我心里我的小提琴是个男孩子~)Rufino先生的琴不仅是外观上非常优雅美丽,发出的声音ಫ 1;净有力,还对于小提琴演奏者很友好:拉起来既不过分费力又很有存在感。在试过琴后,Rufino先生和他的学生十分热情地将这把漂亮的琴介绍给了我。现在他的名字叫刘昱珩,意思是如玉一般优雅美丽又富有魅力。很感谢能够如此幸运地与他相识,更希望在 410;来的日子里我们可以在更多更大的舞台上共同演奏、表达音乐。

I met Mr. Rufino in the fall of 2019 at Eastman School of Music. By that time I had been searching for a suitable violin for over three years. The moment I picked up the Rufino violin I was sure that this is it! His violins all are elegant and beautiful in appearance, and powerful and gorgeous in tone. They also are such a pleasure to play for violinists. After I tried the violin, Mr. Rufino and his assistant introduced his works to me with great enthusiasm and understanding. It was such a nice experience talking to them! Now I have one of the violins with me. I gave him a gender and a name according to his thick and warm sound. His name is Yuheng Liu, meaning elegant, beautiful, and charming like a gemstone. I felt so blessed and thankful to have this instrument and wish that we can perform on more places to make music together.

Junheng Chen


Over the years I have I have referred many violinists to Charles Rufino, who purchased instruments they still treasure. The opportunity to own one of his instruments came in 2008 when I called to ask if he had any violins he felt could match – or exceed – the qualities of my 1752 Leonpori. We met in Manhattan and I went home with his newest violin which sounded fabulous. Later that week the Concertmaster of the MET Orchestra played my Leonpori and the Rufino while some colleagues and I listened from a high balcony in the cavernous hall of the Metropolitan Opera. Well, my hopes were dashed – it was obvious to me which one was the Leonpori… one lacked the power, projection, fullness and color of the other. On the long hike back to the stage I wondered how I break the news to Charles that his violin disappointed in a professional setting. Imagine my astonishment to discover that the better sounding violin was THE RUFINO!!!

There are many skillful luthiers working today, but Charles Rufino has consistently been able to imbue his instruments with key tonal elements that every violinist needs: even sound throughout all the registers, focusing power (essential for projection), and a rich tone that is flexible and malleable. Plus a stability and predictability to the tone often lacking in antique instruments- I love the security of knowing it will be there every day for me, without any quirks. These are the qualities that I seek in an instrument, and that I have found in the Rufino violin I now play.

To reach the heights of any field of endeavor, the lessons of experience from earlier generations are invaluable… “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Charles Rufino’s studies with the great luthier Vahakn Nigogosian helped develop his concept of sound. Charles went on to refine his tonal understanding with Carl Becker of Chicago. The results he achieves on a regular basis should be no surprise to anybody who understands what these masters achieved in their time.

I hope my experience convinces you to consider the instruments of Charles Rufino, who is be one of the great makers of our time.

Shem Guibbory

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Hi Charles, I hope you have been well. I just wanted to say how happy I am with the cello. This instrument is still the best cello I’ve ever played, and it keeps getting better every time I prepare for an audition or solo performance. Tonight I played principal cello in my orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and there were solos in every piece. I got so many compliments on my sound and the projection of the instrument. Someone told me it sounded like a very old Italian instrument. My parents were in the audience and my Dad told me that, after my solo, he looked at my mom (they are both musicians), and said “good call deciding to buy that cello!” He is a very cynical person, so this is a big deal. When I play this cello, I feel like this is my voice, and the voice most cellists are looking for. The sound is sweet, yet clear and full. I hope you make more cellos like this one. It is truly special and I’m lucky to own it.

Peter Garret

Alabama Symphony

I am principal second violin in the Sioux City Symphony and played for 6 summers with the New York Chamber Ensemble’s summer orchestra, the Cape May Festival Orchestra. Glen Dicterow played a solo with us recently and he was interested and pleased that I had a violin of yours.

I still am in awe of this violin. Before I met you, I always dreaded the many big solos in the orchestra. Now, I play proudly and enjoy the sound I am making. Thank you! I don’t make it to NYC as much as I used to but one day I will be back- I always enjoy seeing you.

Kathi Angeroth

Sioux City Symphony

I have owned my violin from Charles Rufino for many years, and enjoy playing it more than anything. It was the very first contemporary-made instrument that I liked, and I feel confident that it was a great purchase. It has a warm, bright and honest sound that works in many performing venues – both classical and non-classical.

It’s easy to blend in orchestral settings, and when I play amplified in folk and rock music, the tone cuts through cleanly and appropriately. The sound is pure yet has character, and the instrument always receives compliments.

Lillian Klotz

Chamber and Orchestral Musician