By the time an Eastman Strings instrument reaches the player, dozens of expert craftspeople have had a hand in bringing it to the peak of its sound, playability, and beauty
Honoring Five Centuries of Tradition
The Eastman Strings workshop operates in precisely the same manner as late 19th century European workshops. Chisels, knives, and scrapers, in the hands of outstandingly gifted craftspeople, are the primary tools used to create these modern instruments. These techniques impart each model with a beautiful voice and appearance that can only be achieved by hand. As in the shops of master luthiers for the past five hundred years, Eastman Strings honors this tradition everyday.
The traditional workshop methods we employ provide today's string players with advantages: quality instruments, bows, and cases available at affordable prices. This makes music making more accessible to beginners, aspiring artists and professionals.
Our motto is Modern Instruments; Old‑Fashioned Quality which allows you, the musician, teacher or dealer to follow your passion in music with absolute confidence. We wish you the best in your workshop, stage, or teaching studio as we continue to pay homage to the traditions of our predecessors.
"I would load up my car with instruments and drive from city to city selling them to violin shops and music stores. Through this experience and my education, I knew a different approach was needed: to establish a master workshop like centuries past."
— Qian Ni
Qian Ni, an accomplished flutist from Beijing, founded Eastman Strings in 1992 after graduating from the Boston University School of Music. He never imagined that over the course of 30 years, the company would grow from a small business operated out of the back of his car into a global music supplier.
In 1994, he made a strategic decision that would set the stage for Eastman's dynamic expansion over the next three decades. Instead of running a distribution business, he opened his first master workshop in the mold of German and French master luthier workshops. Situated in the outskirts of Beijing, this workshop shaped Eastman Strings reputation for tonal beauty and standard-bearing craftsmanship. The top two luthiers he worked with then are still managing the string shops today.
In the middle of the 20th Century, the gravity of world affairs caused many historic workshops to shut down or simply become inaccessible outside their own countries. Consequently, the next generation of student-model string instruments were primarily machine-made, and many musicians would never even experience what it was like to play a quality instrument until they were advanced enough and able to invest in a professional or antique model. In an effort to reverse this trend, Eastman committed to using hand-held chisels, gouges, and scrapers and put them in the hands of remarkably gifted craftspeople to create the modern instruments and bows known today. Dedicated to the craft and history, Ni is excited to be part of this new chapter in the history of string instruments.
These time-honored yet humble beginnings keep us grounded as the Eastman Strings family grows into our third decade of service. It is a true pleasure to supply the world with the finest stringed instruments using the same methods as our predecessors. We will continue to provide the responsive service and outstanding products that have helped us emerge as a leader in the world of handcrafted stringed instruments.
From the first student instrument to the professional heirloom, Eastman Music Company is committed to crafting the finest instruments for musicians throughout the world