Opus 868, 15-5/8" Guarneri del Gesu

Opus 868
15 58" Guarneri del Gesù
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Viola Op. 814, "Salabue" Guadagnini, 2013

Opus 861, 16½" Maggini

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Listed here are some violas that are available. Click on the opus numer to see photos and more details about each. If your connection is slow, we recommend the medium photos.

Occasionally, fine early Cox violas come back on the market, currently #129 (though unavailable at the moment). Let us know if you are interested, or if you want to know more about a specific instrument.

Opus #890 Ceruti 1800
Opus #883 15 58" in the style of Guarneri del Gesù
Opus #879 16" Guarneri
Opus #861 Guarneri 16 58
Opus #860 Maggini 16½”
Opus #825 Guarneri 16”
Opus #814 16” “Salabue” Guadagnini 1774
Opus #434 16 78” Gasparo da Salò
Opus #747 17¼” Gasparo da Salò
Opus #129 17¼” Gasparo da Salò, 1988 (unavailable)

I love the rich viola sound.

Viola Op. 129 with Maple Back, 1988It seems to me a natural sound, an intriguing sound. In violas, the choice of materials and the size and shape are traditionally more varied and free, with interesting results. For me this diversity works well and allows for more exploration of materials and styles.

I’ve recently been making violas with backs of willow and birch rather than the usual maple. The success of these has inspired trials of other less common woods. In 2010 I completed two violas with local butternut backs and one with cherry, and all three turned out very well. Using these lighter woods gives the violas an easier response and a dark, warm tone color, expanding the range and variety of violas I am able to offer.

During 2009 I had the good fortune to explore a viola model new to me: a Matteo Gofriller, in the possession of Karen Ritscher. In contrast to the Ceruti and Storioni models I frequently use, with their narrow shape and high cylindrical arch, the Gofriller pattern is quite broad. The resulting instrument is slightly dark, with more substance and resistance than my previous work. I have made four violas on this pattern; one with a White Birch back, one with a standard Maple back, and one with a Cherry back. I have made one viola, my #734, a 16” Ceruti model with a Red Sycamore back.

The Gasparo da Salò pattern that I have worked with frequently over the years gives a darker, woodier sound than the others. In form it has fuller arching and thinner graduation. I have used this pattern for some large violas, 17” and up, with good results.

During 2011 summer, I had the opportunity to study two almost identical Testore violas, ca. 1730's. Read about them in my 2011 newsletter. They sound great and work beautifully, with the added advantage (to some) of being quite small.

In 2013, during my exploration of Guadagnini's work, I made two violas modeled after his 1774 "Salabue" and 1780 "Wurlitzer" violas. They were built on the same pattern - a 16" viola, quite narrow, a new model for me. I'm very happy with how they have turned out. To learn more about my Guadagnini project, click here.