Meet Our Staff
We are blessed with an exceptional staff of musicians and violin makers. Whether you have met them in person or communicated via phone or e-mail, you will have benefited from their expertise and commitment to caring for musicians. Here you can learn a bit more about them.
Charlotte graduated from C.W. Post, Long Island University with a degree in Arts Management. She has enjoyed playing violin over the years with the C.W. Post Long Island University Orchestra, North Shore Symphony, Our Lady of Grace Pit Orchestra and The Cottage String Quartet. After working for several years in the mortgage industry as well as at a music store, she settled down to raise a family.
For the past few years, she has been a stay-at-home mom and has been very involved in the PTA. An active sports mom to her two children, Alexander and Benjamin, Charlotte finds time to squeeze in a quartet gig here and there and hopes to return to playing with a community orchestra now that her sons are older.
She is delighted to be part of the team at the Long Island Violin Shop where music is expressed all around.
Endre Fischer was trained in the art of violin making and repair in Budapest, where he apprenticed under renowned Hungarian master Laszlo Marosvari from 2000 to 2003. He subsequently completed his studies in cultural anthropology at Binghamton University.
He began his association with Charles Rufino and the Long Island Violin Shop in 2007. As resident luthier, Endre has spent several years at the repair bench, while honing his skills in the creation of new instruments. Outside the shop, Endre enjoys spending time with his family, exploring music and literature, and playing soccer.
Perhaps better known as the owner of a local business bearing her name, Carole has always found time for fulfilling her passion for music. She has enjoyed playing viola with several groups, but especially performing the Messiah with the Orchestra at The Unitarian Universalist Church at Shelter Rock.
After her retirement, the Long Island Violin shop afforded her the opportunity to share her passion and love of music with others. She has said, "It is a great feeling when I can help a youngster on their musical journey, and I am amazed at the talent and potential of this next generation."
Mike Pitocchi is our Education Coordinator at the Long Island Violin Shop and has been on staff since August 2022. Mike earned his bachelor's degree in Music Business from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. There, he double majored in double bass and classical singing. Mike performed in multiple ensembles including Crane's symphony orchestra, pit orchestra, choirs, operatic productions. He later received his Graduate Performance Diploma from the Mannes School of Music where he performed lead opera roles in each of their productions between 2017 to 2019. In addition to working the the LIVS, Mike is a cantor for St. Luke's Episcopal Church in East Hampton, NY and is a member of the Hampton Synagogue Choir in West Hampton, NY. He also plays bass guitar in various rock bands and frequently gigs throughout the New York Metro area.
James Ryan, has been playing cello for over 60 years and is an avid performer. When Jim was in high school, he performed at Carnegie Hall with the National Youth Orchestra and was invited to play at the Kennedy Center the following year. Jim attended SUNY Fredonia, and is a NYS licensed mortgage broker. In addition to running his own mortgage banking company and practicing and performing, he finds time to exercise. Over the course of forty-three years, Jim has completed 14 marathons and even finished 44th in the 1990 Bermuda Marathon with a time of 3:47! A husband, a father of seven, grandfather to 16, Jim enjoys spending time with his large family.
An active member of the community, Jim has been a volunteer firefighter for over 52 years and has been performing in community orchestras for a few decades. If you live on Long Island, you’re never too far from catching a concert with Jim in it as he performs with the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Island Symphony Orchestra, the West Islip Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Island Festival Orchestra. When he’s not putting out fires, running about the town, barbequing a meal for his family, or playing his cello, he’s the assistant manager of our East Setauket location.
Christine started playing the violin in elementary school at age 8 and has played in school and university orchestras for most of her life.
At age 20 she moved to Santa Cruz, California where she completed her degree in Physical Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. It was during her time on the west coast that she really began to break away from classical music and explore a variety of other musical genres including jazz, bluegrass, country, Irish fiddle and mariachi music.
In addition, we have a full staff of experienced teachers.
Learn about them here