About tononi

»Well begun is half done« – making a start with a good instrument is a great help on the way to becoming a good player. An instrument which sounds good and is easy to play ensures lasting pleasure in playing. It is really astonishing that so many students play sub-standard instruments with a poor sound.

Music teachers Yi-Ru Koehler-Chen and Tobias Koehler are both graduate musicians. While teaching at various schools of music, they have often been surprised to observe how many students play poor instruments.

The two enthusiastic musicians began a search for stringed instruments which not only sounded good but were also affordable. They founded »tononi stringed instruments«, under the name of »vivace music« for the first seven years.

The first series 100 (formerly series 1000) was created by a team of master violin makers and violin workshops in a continuing dialogue with fellow musicians, teachers and students. Down to the last detail, the results are designed especially for everyday use in schools of music.

Today the company stocks a wide selection of instruments. Beginners, advanced students and professional musicians alike will find the instrument to suit their requirements, from violin to cello.

tononi has always set a high value on the ease of playing and perfect functioning of their instruments. Before an instrument is finished, the final adjustments are made. Master violin maker Otto Kruppa and the tononi team of four, working in the studio in Muenster, Germany, give the instruments a professional finish.

It goes without saying that the bridge, the action (distance between fingerboard and strings) and the tailpiece are very carefully adjusted. The use of high-quality components such as the fine tuners in the tailpiece are also a matter of course.

At tononi, we even attend to the less obvious details such as the quality of the zip fasteners on the violin cases and cello bags. Not even the smallest detail should spoil the joy of playing.

tononi stringed instruments can be found throughout Europe and further afield, played by professional musicians, students and music teachers. The careful workmanship and high quality sound are very much appreciated.

Yi-Ru Koehler-Chen and Tobias Koehler have found a most satisfactory way to accompany as many music enthusiasts as possible into the wonderful world of stringed instruments.


Carlo Tononi

Our business is named after Carlo Tononi (1675–1730), who learned the craft of making violins from his father Giovanni Tononi in Bologna/Italy.

After his father’s death in 1713 he moved to Venice, which was the centre of the art of making instruments in Italy in the early 18th century. He began working in a workshop with (among others) Pietro Guarneri. Carlo Tononi soon became one of the leading violin makers of the new Venetian school.

Even today, Tononi’s instruments are still famous for their well-balanced and rounded tone. The legendary cellist Pablo Casals (1876–1973) preferred playing an instrument made by this master craftsman.