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Our Artists

Kun shoulder rests are well-known and popular with performing artists around the world, so they’re not hard to find on concert stages and in videos. Here are just a few of the artists you might know who use our rests.

NEW: Watch our artists perform Be The One by Dua Lipa!


Kun Lara St John

Lara St. Johndropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times.

Lara has played pretty much everywhere in the world (except India and sub-Saharan Africa which she would love to visit). She founded her own record label in 1999 and has produced 15 albums from solo Bach violin works to Eastern European folk music to 21st century concerto premieres, with orchestras including the RPO, The Knights and the Simón Bolívar of Venezuela. She plays in Klezmer, polka and jazz bands and has performed as soloist with most of the world’s major orchestras. She won a Juno award in 2011.

Lara is a Knight of Burgundy and a member of the Order of Canada. She also makes and edits films – from music videos to documentaries.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini, a David Wiebe from 2011, and uses  a Kun Original shoulder rest.


Kun Aizuri quartet

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The Aizuri Quartet has established a unique position within today’s musical landscape, infusing its music-making with infectious energy, joy, and warmth. The ensemble cultivates curiosity in listeners and invites audiences into the concert experience through its innovative programming and the depth and fire of its performances. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018. Aizuri’s follow-up album, Earthdrawn Skies, was released in 2023 and praised by NPR as an album that “convincingly connects the dots in wildly diverse music stretching over eight centuries…arousing solemn contemplation, cosmic curiosity, folksy delight and introspective scrutiny.” Aizuri is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Cleveland Quartet Award and Grand Prize at the M-Prize Chamber Arts competition. Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.

Violist Brian Hong, Violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa use the standard Bravo rest.


Braimah Kanneh-Masondropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Braimah Kanneh-Mason is a dynamic and versatile young violinist. He has performed throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the Caribbean. An avid chamber musician, Braimah is a member of the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio, Seida Ensemble and Kaleidoscope Collective. He has performed at venues and festivals such as Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Kings Place, Highgate International Chamber Music Festival, Leicester International Chamber Music Festival and collaborated with artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Tom Poster and Priya Mitchell.

Braimah is a passionate advocate for equal opportunity and diversity in music education. He has been a mentor at Sistema England, Junior Music Works and a violin tutor for consecutive years at the Antigua Music Camp. He is currently an artist in residence at Brighton College.

Braimah studied as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music with Jack Liebeck and Mateja Marinkovic where he was awarded the Harold Craxton Prize, the John McAslan Prize and the Dame Ruth Railton Chamber Music Prize.

Braimah currently performs on a Jean Baptiste Vuillame, kindly lent to him by the Beare’s International Violin Society.


Geneva Lewisdropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Faced with the excruciating dilemma of whether to follow in the footsteps of her Wimbledon finalist father or fashion model mother, New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis has forged a path uniquely her own as a musician of consummate artistry whose performances speak from and to the heart. Hailed by conductor Nic McGegan as “a name to watch,” Geneva’s recent string of accolades include the Grand Prize at the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, First Prize at the 2019 NEC Concerto Competition, as well as being named a Finalist at the 2018 Naumburg Competition.

Since her stellar debut at age 11 with the Pasadena Symphony, Geneva has gone on to perform with such orchestras as Symphony NH, Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Culver City Symphony, and the Pasadena Pops.

Deeply passionate about community engagement, Geneva was selected for NEC’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program’s Ensemble Fellowship, through which her string quartet created interactive educational programs for diverse audiences throughout Boston.

Geneva is currently in the Artist Diploma program at the New England Conservatory studying with Miriam Fried. Past summers have taken her to the Ravinia Steans Institute, International Holland Music Sessions, and the Marlboro Music Festival where she will return in 2021.

Geneva performs on a violin by Zosimo Bergonzi of Cremona, c. 1770 courtesy of Guarneri Hall NFP and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins, Chicago.

Photo: Motti Fang Bentov


KUN James Ehnes

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James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favorite guest at the world’s most celebrated concert halls.

Recent orchestral highlights include the National Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France.

His extensive discography of more than 50 releases has won many awards including two GRAMMY awards, three Gramophone awards, and 11 Junos. He was recently chosen by Gramophone as the 2021 Artist of the Year. Recent releases include the complete Beethoven Sonatas with pianist Andrew Armstrong, Beethoven Quartets with the Ehnes Quartet, the Six Solo Sonatas by Ysaÿe, and concerti by Stravinsky, Berg, Nielsen, Strauss, and Beethoven.

Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five and became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada, and a professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius violin of 1715, and a viola made by John Becker in 2021. He uses the Kun Bravo.

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega


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One of his generation’s extraordinary talents, Scott Tixier has made a name for himself as a violinist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive — “the future of jazz violin” in the words of DownBeat Magazine and “A remarkable improviser and a cunning jazz composer” in those of NPR.

Tixier, born in Montreuil, France, studied classical violin at the conservatory in Paris and studied improvisation as a self-educated jazz musician. Since he moved to New York for over decade ago, he has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Kenny Barron, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Charnett Moffett, Ariana Grande, Wayne Brady, Gerald Cleaver, Tigran Hamasyan and many more.

In addition to performing in and around the jazz world, Tixier appears in the house band on many American TV shows, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and America’s Got Talent.

Scott Tixier uses the Kun Bravo.


Kelly Hall-Tompkins with violin

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Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, Kelly Hall-Tompkins has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive” and by BBC Music Magazine for her “tonal mastery.” She was also featured as a New York Times “New Yorker of the Year.”

Ms. Hall-Tompkins has appeared as soloist with the Symphonies of Dallas, Jacksonville, and Oakland, and performed recitals in Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, and Chicago. She has also appeared at Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center, and was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy and Tony-nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.

As founder of Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul, Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a pioneer of social justice in classical music, bringing top artists to over 100 concerts in homeless shelters.

Kelly uses a standard Kun Bravo.


Omar Puentedropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Internationally renowned for his masterful performances in a variety of musical styles, world class violinist Omar Puente is nothing short of a true virtuoso. After establishing himself as an accomplished musician on his native Cuban soil, Omar moved to England in 1997 where he has since played in Europe, the Middle and Far East, the USA and Africa. Having maintained close links with traditional Cuban music, classical genres and jazz, his latest album ‘Best Foot Forward’, released in 2016, is rich with energy, colour, creative arrangements and originality. Throughout his career Omar has supported and shared the stage with a whole host of other stars; Tito Puente, John Williams, Nigel Kennedy and Wynton Marsalis to name a few.

Omar’s many accolades include The Lukas Award for the Classical, Jazz or Folk Act of the Year 2018; a top 10 placement for Songline Magazine’s Album of the Year; and a nomination for Best Jazz Soloist in the 21st International CubaDisco Fair 2017.

Omar plays several violins including an 1862 Buthod & Grandini and a 6-string violin custom-made by luthier Andrew Scrimshaw. He uses the Kun Original and the Kun Collapsible. 


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Described as an “excellent soloist” of “great virtuosity” (NY Concert Review), with performances depicted as “thrilling” (Boston Globe), violinist Rubén Rengel is quickly gaining recognition as a remarkably gifted artist. Rubén has appeared as a soloist with the Symphonies of Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, New Jersey, Vermont, Venezuela, among others. As an avid chamber musician, he has performed with artists such as Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley, David Shifrin, Joel Krosnick, Timothy Eddy, and Gilbert Kalish.

 In addition to classical music, Rubén has extensive experience performing Venezuelan folk music and Jazz. He also has a strong interest in the art of conducting and enjoys performing as a violist. Rubén’s teachers and mentors include Iván Pérez Núñez, Jaime Laredo, Paul Kantor, and he currently studies with Mark Steinberg.

Rubén currently plays on a 1723 Carlo Bergonzi violin on loan from a generous collection. He uses the Kun Bravo.

Photo: Kevin Kennedy


Sirena Huangdropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Sirena Huang is one of today’s most celebrated violinists. She brings technical brilliance and powerful artistry to the stage, alongside a profound sense of connection to her audience.

Sirena has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. In 2017, she was awarded First Prize at the inaugural Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition and was a New York Concert Artist winner. Additionally, she was a First Prize Gold Medallist of the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (2009) and won both First Prize and the Audience Award at the Cooper International Competition (2011), as well as the Verbier Festival’s Hannloser Prize for Violin in 2013.

Sirena made her orchestral debut with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2004 at the age of nine, and has performed in 17 countries across three continents. She has been featured as a soloist with more than 50 ensembles including the Symphony Orchestras of Cleveland, Baltimore, Shanghai, and Singapore as well as the New York Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany. Sirena has appeared as a guest artist at many music festivals including Ravinia, Newport, Marlboro and Aspen.

Motivated by a deep wish to inspire peace and harmony with her music, Sirena has performed before world leaders, thinkers and humanitarians, including President Obama and Elie Wiesel. At age eleven, she gave a TED talk that garnered more than 2.5 million views. In 2006, she was honoured to play for His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and 30 Nobel Prize laureates at the World Peace Conference in Petra. And in 2007, under the invitation of former Czech Republic President Havel, Sirena played in the Opening Ceremony of the ‘Forum 2000 World Conference’ in Prague.

Sirena uses the Kun Bravo shoulder rest with Voce feet.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg


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Mark Evittsdropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Nashville-based musician Mark Evitts has become the foremost called upon composer, string arranger and multi-instrumentalist, working with artists such as David Guetta, Cheat Codes, Blues Traveler, Jewel, Joey+Rory and Katharine McPhee. He has also toured as a violin/fiddle, viola, mandolin, guitar and piano player with such artists as Rodney Atkins, Jimmy Wayne, Jaida Dreyer, Dillon Hodges (Firekid), Bo Bice and many others.

Mark created a string arrangement and recorded strings for the GRAMMY winning, RIAA Gold selling Joey+Rory album, Hymns. His string arrangements and recordings have also been featured in the Emmy-nominated song ‘Voice In A Dream’ from NBC’s ‘Smash’, and Train’s New Year’s Eve Times Square performance of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ in 2013.

Mark uses the new Kun Solo.

Photo: Andrew de Torres

 


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Lizzie Balldropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Lizzie Ball works across a range of musical genres, while continuing to focus on her classical training and roots. With her Classical Kicks project, she has carved out her own version of classical fusion with world-class musicians, from a residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to the UK festival stages of Bestival and Henley. Classical Kicks’ own festival continues in Autumn 2017 for the third year running in Derbyshire.

Lizzie has collaborated with the likes of Nigel Kennedy with an appointment as leader of his Orchestra of Life, resulting in duo concerto performances in major UK venues, and with the acclaimed Mexican classical guitarist Morgan Szymanski with his group Machaca. Lizzie and Morgan’s musical journey through the life of Frida Kahlo premiers at the Chatsworth Art Out Loud Festival in September 2017.

In the classical/jazz world Lizzie has performed with New York Polyphony, Martynas Levickis and the James Pearson Trio.

Her critically-acclaimed collaboration with rock guitarist Jeff Beck between 2013-14 included a solo performance at Madison Square Garden and a U.S.-wide 30 city double-bill tour with Brian Wilson, in which Lizzie was also a featured vocalist. 2017 has seen three U.S. tours opening for UK pop legend Bryan Ferry.

Lizzie is an ambassador of PRISMA Mexico, a charity that provides arts workshops for children in need in Mexico. She plays a Joseph Kantuscher violin (1967) and uses the Kun Original and Collapsible models.

Photo: Simon Bull


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The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated and dedicated string quartets, having been labeled by The New Yorker as “furiously committed” and noted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for its “exceptional tonal focus and interpretive intensity.” For nearly 30 years, the Quartet has performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages, earning accolades from critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.

The Miró Quartet was nominated for a 2024 GRAMMY Award for its album House of Belonging, created in collaboration with Austin-based choral group Conspirare, and in June 2024 releases a new album, Home, on Pentatone. Recent and upcoming projects include Here on Earth with pianist Lara Downes, the premiere of a new version of Kevin Puts’ Credo, and collaborations with composers Steven Banks, Tamar-Kali, and Gabriel Kahane, as well as soprano Karen Slack.

The Miró Quartet took its name and its inspiration from the Spanish artist Joan Miró, whose Surrealist works — with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory, dreams, and imaginative fantasy — are some of the most groundbreaking, influential, and admired of the 20th century.

Violist John Largess and violinist William Fedkenheuer use Kun’s Original and Collapsible models.

Photo: Suntory Hall

 


Benjamin Beilmandropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Benjamin Beilman has won praise both for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive,” and The New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence which showed why he has come so far so fast.”

Benjamin has appeared in recent seasons with the leading North American orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Detroit, Indianapolis, San Diego, Atlanta, and Grand Rapids Symphonies. He has appeared in recital in San Francisco, Vancouver and at Carnegie Hall. In Europe, Benjamin has performed with the London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony and the Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse. He also appeared in recital on a ten-city tour of Australia. Further recital appearances include performances at the Verbier Festival, Heidelberg Spring Festival, Louvre, Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall, and Festpiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Benjamin has received several prestigious awards including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a London Music Masters Award. In 2010 he won the First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition.

Benjamin uses a Kun Bravo on the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi


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For nearly a decade, the virtuoso violinist Caroline Goulding has performed with the world’s premier orchestras in recital and on record, and has blossomed from a “precociously gifted” (Gramophone) 13 year-old soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra to “a skilled violinist well on her way to an important career” (Washington Post).

Since that 2006 debut, Caroline has appeared as soloist with symphony orchestras throughout North America, including Toronto, Detroit and Houston along with the National Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Caroline has also performed extensively in Europe and Asia, with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. She has appeared in recital on world stages from at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Caroline received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, and in 2009 she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship. She has garnered significant attention from music and mainstream press, appearing on NBC’s Today, MARTHA and Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón. Caroline has also been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, From the Top, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Caroline’s 2016 recital album with pianist Danae Dörken was her first new recording since her GRAMMY-nominated Telarc debut in 2009. The new recording was nominated for the prestigious Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

Caroline plays a violin by Brooklyn-based maker Sam Zygmuntowicz, c. 2016. She uses the Kun Bravo.

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi


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Black Violindropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Black Violin is the ground-breaking blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. Since starting Black Violin a decade ago, Wil Baptiste and  Kevin ‘Kev Marcus’ Sylvester have mixed up music genres to break down listeners’ barriers, both perceived and unconscious. They seek to confront stereotypes that are inevitably woven into our culture, whilst creating meaningful, highly engaging music.

The duo has performed about 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, the Czech Republic and South Africa, while appearing at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls, and the 2016 U.S. Open with Jordin Sparks.

Black Violin has performed for a variety of audiences throughout their career, from the troops in Iraq to both the official President’s Inaugural Ball and the Kids Inaugural in Washington, DC, where Barack Obama gave each a hearty hand-shake. Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles. In addition, Wil and Kev composed the score to the original FOX television series Pitch, which premiered in autumn 2016.

As Kev Sylvester told NPR, “it started for me with Bach, ’cause Bach is the equalizer, you know? To me, Bach is the hardest thing you can play, because he exposes everything about you. He exposes your weaknesses and makes you work harder. I always think of Bach as, like, the closest composer to divinity.”

 


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Fiddler, composer, producer and educator, Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent.

Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Darol has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, his Duo with Mike Marshall, and others.

He has performed and taught all over the world with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Bela Fleck, Bill Evans, Edgar Meyer, Bill Frisell, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, The Anonymous 4, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, Mark O’Connor and Stephane Grappelli. Today Darol can be heard on NPR’s ‘Car Talk’ theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He was also the violinist on the phenomenally popular Sim City computer games.

In addition to performing around the world, Darol has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and Ucross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. Darol is an Associate Professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and recently began an ambitious online Fiddle School at ArtistWorks.com. He is interested in 5-string violin technology and has built 2 of them. Darol uses the Kun Collapsible.

 


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Daniel Hopedropdown arrow for displaying artists info

Raised in London, violinist Daniel Hope has toured the world as a virtuoso soloist for 25 years and is celebrated for his musical versatility as well as his dedication to humanitarian causes. The youngest ever member of the Beaux Arts Trio during its final six seasons and winner of the 2015 European Cultural Prize for Music, Daniel performs at the world’s greatest halls and festivals, from Carnegie Hall to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, from Salzburg to Tanglewood and beyond.

Daniel is one of the most prolific classical recording artists, with more than 25 albums to his name. His recording of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Octet with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was named one of the best of the year by the New York Times. His recording of Alban Berg’s Concerto was voted Gramophone magazine’s ‘top choice of all available recordings.’ And his CD of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed, which reached No. 1 in more than 22 countries, is one of the most successful classical recordings of recent times.

In 2017, Daniel was awarded the ‘Federal Cross’ Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the country’s highest civilian accolade.

Daniel is the Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. He plays the 1742 ‘ex-Lipiński’ Guarneri del Gesù, placed generously at his disposal by an anonymous family from Germany.

Daniel uses the Kun Voce.

Photo: Harald Hoffmann