Renowned Japanese violin maker Tetsuo Matsuda (1945–2022) developed an interest in music and instrument making at an early age. After apprenticing as a guitar maker, his exposure to the art and craft of lutherie led him to enroll at the International School of Violin Making in Cremona, Italy in 1977. Tetsuo won fifth place for a violin in the 1981 International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Making Competition. After winning silver medals for violin and viola at the International “Triennale” Violin Making Competition in 1982, Matsuda moved to the United States to work for William Harris Lee & Company in Chicago, Illinois for several years. In 1984, he won gold medals for both violin and viola at the Violin Society of America competition.
Matsuda established his own business in 1993 in Barrington, Illinois, where he built instruments commissioned by top string players from across the world. Besides making instruments, Matsuda also served as a judge in numerous violin making competitions, lectured at music festivals and conventions, and tutored numerous other violin makers. His instruments are very highly regarded and sought after by professional players.