Christopher Reuning, violin maker, restorer, and expert, grew up in a musical family and began playing cello at age 7. He became a violin-making apprentice at the age of 12 at the House of Primavera in Philadelphia. During the next six years, he frequently traveled to Cremona, Italy, to work with Virgilio Capellini and Alfredo Primavera, which complemented his Philadelphia training. Chris developed a keen interest in the study and identification of old violins and was mentored by Dario D’Attili. Chris also counts Charles Beare and the late Robert Bein as important influences in this field.
While he was still in high school, Chris and his parents, who are both violinists and teachers, established Reuning & Son Violins in Ithaca, New York. At age 24, Chris purchased the business from them and 12 years later relocated to Boston. Later on, he founded Tarisio Auctions with two partners. Tarisio grew to be the leading international auction house dealing in antique musical instruments from offices in New York and London. Chris sold his interest in Tarisio in 2010 in order to focus more fully on the fine instrument business. In 2005, Chris founded Carriage House Violins, specializing in student instruments, which he relocated and expanded in 2011 to a picturesque old mill building in Newton, Massachusetts. Chris sold Carriage House Violins in late 2013 in order to fully focus on his activities with fine instruments.
Chris has served on the boards of the Violin Society of America and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and is a member of the Entente Internationale des Luthiers et Archetiers. As past president of the AFVBM, he organized the annual meeting and exhibit in Seattle that examined the Cremonese violins made between 1730 and 1750. He has also organized AFVBM exhibitions that examined both the Venetian, and Neapolitan schools, and the followers of the Amati family.
During the last several years, Chris has been organizing exhibits in Italy. He served on the scientific committee for “Andrea Amati, Opera Omnia” and was co-curator for “The Brescian Makers”, which both took place in 2007. In 2008, he was curator of the exhibition, “Cremona 1730–1750, the Olympus of Violinmaking” and editor of the exhibit catalogue. He performed the same roles for the landmark 2010 exhibit, “Carlo Bergonzi, a Cremonese Master Unveiled”. Chris recently lent his expertise to an exhibit devoted to Giovanni Battista Guadagnini held in Parma, Italy, in October 2011, and served as curator of the 2013 Cremona exhibit “Bottega Italiana, Rare Italian Instruments from the Chi-Mei Collection”.
Chris has been a lecturer at gatherings of the VSA, AVFBM, and other organizations as well as a frequent contributor to The Strad and other publications. Chris advises the Musical Instrument department of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the North Bennet Street School violin-making department and is a former trustee of the Boston Chamber Music Society. Chris serves on the boards of Project Step and Music for Food. Currently, Chris is assisting Charles Beare with his long awaited book on the Venetian makers of the 16th through 18th centuries.
Chris lives in Brookline, Mass. with his wife, Min Kim, and their son, Nikolas. He is also the father of two older daughters, Gretchen and Monica, of whom, despite their being wind players, he is exceedingly proud.