Eric Aceto

-- by Alyssa Rodriguez

Raised by a family of artists and musicians, Rochester-native Eric Aceto creates one-of-a-kind instruments in his shop in Trumansburg, NY. He grew up listening to his parents’ eclectic album collection and family members playing Gershwin at the piano at family dinners. He remembers fondly that one Christmas, all his siblings received instruments as presents, and formed a band that later developed into The Peabody Band. One day, his bandmates decided they needed another instrument besides guitar, and the gift of a violin from an uncle solved that. Eric has been playing violin ever since, and has combined his love of music with his love of woodworking as a luthier at Ithaca Stringed Instruments.

Dissatisfied with his amplified violin in the 1970s, Eric spent years experimenting to create better sounding instruments. He is self-taught, using his knowledge of woodworking and sculpture from his arts background at Novia Scotia College of Art and Design and Nazareth College. He has an affinity for extended range instruments inspired by the instruments of long ago—he is renowned for his 5, 6, even 7-string violins. One of his most memorable creations has been the 7-stringed “Peacemaker” violin, commissioned by Jimmy be Free. The instrument features exquisite symbolic carving on the scroll, which depicts a lion and a lamb at peace with each other.

When asked about his work, Eric notes, “I simply aim to make each instrument better than the last.” 

To see examples of Eric's work, visit