2022 has been a great year for high-quality cellos! We've carefully selected the top 5 cello makers in the industry, each of whom has demonstrated an outstanding dedication to their craft, innovative work, and consistently high-quality instruments.
Whether you're a player looking for the perfect cello to take your playing to the next level or a maker searching for some inspiration, we hope this list will help you find what you're looking for:
Francesco Toto is a highly skilled violin maker with over 25 years of experience. His cellos are also renowned for their quality and sound and musicians come from all over the world to play on them. He is one of the most sought after luthiers in the world and his instruments are in very high demand. He is a prize winner in many competitions including the Violin Society of America's international competition, the Cremona International Competition, amongst others.
His cellos are extremely well made, both aesthetically as well as acoustically. Their sound is powerful yet perfectly balanced between dark and bright. One of the most characteristic features of his instruments is their clear and full tone in every register.
This is one of the rare instruments that in our opinion, score very highly across a wide variety of categories: the craftsmanship is some of the finest we have ever seen. The varnish has a rich golden colour and an incredible depth that brings out the tasteful and refined choice of wood. Extreme attention was paid to the setup, resulting in an instrument that is very easy to play. The sound is in one word, outstanding. It was a warm, expansive and rich tone that fills a hall and a response across the instrument like no other cello we have tried. Truly, a cello to be seen and heard in person.
Paolo Vettori is one of the most established makers on our list and his stunning violins and cellos have been played by top musicians for years. He has a unique style and an innovative spirit which you can see reflected in his work. His craftsmanship is excellent and he produces very fine instruments. He works with his two sons, Dario and Lapo, and his daughter Sofia, all fine makers themselves. Together, the team at Vettori workshop creates some of the finest violins and cellos you'll ever hear.
Their instruments are played by soloists as well as many orchestral principals due to their powerful and projecting sound.
This is a unique instrument by the renowned luthier Paolo Vettori. It has an incredibly powerful and clear sound in all registers and even in the higher positions of the lower strings. The stop size is comfortable and it has a very pleasing resistance when digging into the string. The overall character is definitely soloistic and full of overtones.
Davide Pizzolato works with the workshop of Maestro Luthier Daniele Tonarelli, and his instruments have the same pattern and quality as the instruments of Maestro Tonarelli at a more affordable price point.
His cellos stand out for their excellent balance throughout the chromatic range, and for their comfort, playability and great response.
This particular Montagnana model cello has been very popular in London. It achieves a great balance of depth, projection and warmth so characteristic of the model. A real find at this price range and definitely worth trying!
Baptiste Juguera trained under Frédéric Chaudière before opening his own workshop in Montpellier. He is a promising maker already with instruments spread all over the world.
This is a very impressive cello with a sound characterized by a boomy low end while maintaining an unusual brilliance and presence in the upper register. Ideally suited for a player that needs to effortlessly cur through across a big hall.
Stefano Marzi started making instruments under the supervision of the Vettori family in Florence.
This fantastic sounding cello reveals true talent and craftsmanship that far exceeds its price range. This instrument was selected for our upcoming recording of the Mendelssohn Octet to be released later this year. The sound is focused and powerful, with a very fast response and ease of playing. Highly recommended!
In our opinion, the best cello makers in 2022 are Francesco Toto, Paolo Vettori, Davide Pizzolato, Baptiste Juguera and Stefano Marzi. They each have their own unique style and produce some of the finest instruments you'll ever hear. Their craftsmanship is excellent and they pay attention to even the smallest details, resulting in instruments that are truly a pleasure to play. If you're looking for an outstanding cello, we highly recommend any of these makers!
Pedro Silva is a cellist and one of the co-founders of Myluthier.co. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2018 with a Master of Arts in cello performance, studying with Guy Johnston. He enjoys an varied freelance career as an orchestral, chamber musician and frequently collaborates with Early Music ensembles and West End productions.