VSA Award-Winning Violin & Viola Maker Ming Jiang Zhu
Fiddleheads Violin Shop is an authorized shop selling authentic violins and violas from the workshop of the late Mr. Ming Jiang Zhu in Guangzhou, China.
Mr. Zhu was winner several highly prestigious awards including two Gold Medals in Violin Making [1994 and 2006] and a Silver Award in Viola making  in the Violin Society of America (VSA) Competitions.
About Mr. Zhu
In 1975 Zhu was chosen to study at the Guangzhou Musical Instruments School which produced many well-known world-class makers.
Two years later he worked for the Guangzhou Musical Instrument Research Institute where scientific research and hands-on practice in instrument making prepared him for his craft.
In 1991 he opened his own workshop making his own brand: Mingjiang Violins. In the next year he won three further awards in the Violin Society of America Competition.
Mr. Zhu has since won an impressive sixteen awards over the past 20 years, on the way winning an enviable reputation internationally which earned him an interview with Time Magazine in 1996.
Fiddleheads is your most honest and reputable source for Zhu Instruments
Our Prices are Not Inflated
Shop around online [search "Ming Jiang Zhu" in google] and you will see our posted prices on these instruments are far lower than many other web sites selling Ming Jiang Zhu instruments, some asking thousands of dollars more, even double, than suggested retail.
In one case a player contacted us and said, "I was told by [another BC violin shop] that Ming made my violin himself, but the label reads VN-900 from the workshop of Ming Jiang Zhu, 2004. I paid $10,000 for it."
We sell the same model for far less than retail and are truthful in telling customers it is a workshop instrument.
No Confusion or Fraudulent Labels
We tell it like it is. Some shops make a point of changing information to make price comparison more difficult. As with some furniture stores selling mattresses, some violin sellers and web sites change the model number to add confusion in comparison shopping. This is why you see some shops selling the VN-909, others call it the VN-900, some call it a Maestro, etc.
In fact, one very large and popular shop has changed the model numbers and took it a step further. They tell customers their Zhu violins are made expressely for their shop that they are a superior model than the usual Zhu instruments. We have verified with Zhu's workshop that this is not true: they only make the standard 4 models and they are the same ones available to other shops. Apparently, this devious shop thinks they can justify charging $2000 more than Fiddleheads by lying to their customers. Oh well.
Due to the enormous popularity of Zhu's violins there have recently been fraudulent violins bearing fake Zhu labels sold on the internet. This is the reason for the most popular 909 (also called the VN-900 or VA-900) model now coming with a certificate from the actual workshop.
For additional peace of mind, note that we purchase Zhu instruments directly from the source. No fakes here as we know they are truly authentic.
Setup Makes ALL the Difference
Fiddleheads is run by Rhiannon Nachbaur, a professional symphony violinist and concertmaster of two orchestras. Rhiannon personally works with her the makers and her local Canadian luthiers to ensure the setup is precisely to her very high and demanding professional symphony musician standards.
Customers purchasing a Zhu violin elsewhere will not receive setup at nearly this level of quality or precision, and it shows. Our setup always beats out competition that provides dodgy setup by a fiddler or luthier who doesn't even play the instrument, nor at a high level. You can trust that Fiddleheads provides the finest setup so all our Zhu violins will have the optimal adjustments to make the best playing experience possible.
A final few reasons to deal with Fiddleheads
So, you're looking to spend a couple or more thousand dollars on violin, so it's a pretty big decision. At Fiddleheads your decision is not taken lightly and we understand that the service you receive will make all the difference to such an important purchase.
Simply put, Fiddleheads' service is absolutely exceptional. The business is proudly owned and operated by an award-winning professional player who plays and teaches. The owner, Rhiannon Nachbaur, knows these violins inside and out.
Rhiannon operates her shop with integrity and strives to create close relationships with her customers through honesty, quality products and fair pricing. Visit our About Us page and our growing list of excellent testimonials from many elated customers ranging from positive feedback on our exemplary service, match-making players to instruments and the in-home instrument trial process.