Sign in to follow this  
Berto

Looking for a viola —contemporary maker

Recommended Posts

18 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 ( ... )

This may sound like a slap to Kiernoziaks but it isn’t. They are very fine instruments, and will take you a very long way. I would never recommend against them.

Yes, a student I coached played at the Tchaikovsky with her college orchestra on a Kiernoziak and it was outstanding. Her father wanted more brilliance off the stage but she still owns the instrument. Please try Kiernoziaks. What I meant by a "kind" sound was that it is accessible and expressive... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you great info! Are Kiernoziaks and Whedbees comparable? Any thoughts on one versus the other?

Edited by Berto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/4/2019 at 11:26 AM, Dwight Brown said:

You should have quite a few to choose from in that price range.  At the risk of insulting others by not naming them....

Tesuo Matsuda

William Whedbee

John Dilworth

There are lots and lots of others, you should have no problem.

 

DLB

 Your mention of Mitsuda brings to mind a question. At what point does the proliferation of a particular name begin to devalue the instrument? There are lots and lots and lots and lots of Matsuda instruments to be had. I’m not going to suggest that the recent ones are not as good as the older ones( or vice versus)but If you want an instrument by a particular maker, and you don’t like this one, well there’s that one. And if you don’t like that one, then there’s another one. And The very fact that there are so many means that there will be quality differences over time. That’s just human. Just making so many over so long is going to create peaks and valleys. So what is the cut off between too few and too many?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 Your mention of Mitsuda brings to mind a question. At what point does the proliferation of a particular name begin to devalue the instrument? There are lots and lots and lots and lots of Matsuda instruments to be had. I’m not going to suggest that the recent ones are not as good as the older ones( or vice versus)but If you want an instrument by a particular maker, and you don’t like this one, well there’s that one. And if you don’t like that one, then there’s another one. And The very fact that there are so many means that there will be quality differences over time. That’s just human. Just making so many over so long is going to create peaks and valleys. So what is the cut off between too few and too many?

Are you suggesting makers should only produce a limited number of each instrument? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

So what is the cut off between too few and too many?

IMHO, the point at which you're accused of running a workshop (or a distributorship) rather than a studio.  Of course, historically, you might be in some very pricey company.   :lol:  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GoPractice said:

This is a bit harsh.

Rather making the point that no information was provided, other than the names.

For someone like the OP, they will clearly benefit from knowing why certain makers were put forward ahead of many others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Are you suggesting makers should only produce a limited number of each instrument? 

Not at all, I’m just wondering if there’s a fine line between too few and too many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, the point at which you're accused of running a workshop (or a distributorship) rather than a studio.  Of course, historically, you might be in some very pricey company.   :lol:  :)

If you’re in Richardson, I want to meet you this week. I want to meet a whole lotta people, but I really wanna meet you. I’m leaving all my guns at home, but if you show up I’ll bring some of my swords…

:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

While I don't like some posts from Mr Burgess, I think here he makes a very valid point. It's clear that at times, people just throw out names they have seen regularly on the internet, and have no clue personally how their work sounds.

If Zeissica can expand on their suggestions with personal experience it will certainly help the OP, otherwise it's just a well-meaning suggestion.

I was kidding David.  For those who may not be aware:

" In 1979, a Burgess viola won the Cacciaguerra-Foschi prize for best workmanship in the Second Triennale of Stringed Instruments in Cremona. In the 1982 Triennale he not only won a gold medal but his viola was awarded First Prize as the best instrument of the more than 300 in the competition.http://www.burgessviolins.com/vsaprofile.html     [Emphasis mine.] :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Violadamore said:

If this is your oblique and typically modest way of letting us know that you're trying to unload one, just go ahead and post photos, specs, and a video, so we can begin critically deconstructing it, while consuming the usual refreshments.  :ph34r:  popcorn-and-drink-smiley-emoticon.gif.c694b6e169ee85be35551aef1865b9c3.gif

Sorry, I cannot do so without unacceptable risk to both my modesty and obliqueuosity. ;)

But here's a photo of my new kitty-cat with the white-tipped ears. He rode all the way home to Ann Arbor from the Humane Society in Cincinnati. He doesn't have an official name yet, so I've just been calling him Butthead, because he is such a wild and cwazy little dude.  :)

 

received_47_45_1572951240000.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Sorry, I cannot do so without unacceptable risk to both my modesty and obliqueuosity. ;)

But here's a photo of my new kitty-cat with the white-tipped ears. He rode all the way home to Ann Arbor from the Humane Society in Cincinnati. He doesn't have a name yet, so I've just been calling him Butthead, because he is such a wild and cwazy little dude.  :)

 

received_47_45_1572951240000.jpg

Looks like a well-flamed back you have there.  Congratulations, and thanks for sharing.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

But here's a photo of my new kitty-cat with the white-tipped ears. He rode all the way home to Ann Arbor from the Humane Society in Cincinnati. He doesn't have an official name yet, so I've just been calling him Butthead, because he is such a wild and cwazy little dude.  :)

I hope you auditioned a good selection. We didn't......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Sorry, I cannot do so without unacceptable risk to both my modesty and obliqueuosity. ;)

But here's a photo of my new kitty-cat with the white-tipped ears. He rode all the way home to Ann Arbor from the Humane Society in Cincinnati. He doesn't have an official name yet, so I've just been calling him Butthead, because he is such a wild and cwazy little dude.  :)

 

received_47_45_1572951240000.jpg

Bultitude?

and thank you for rescuing him. 

“They loveth best, who loveth most, creatures great and small.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, GoPractice said:

Yes, a student I coached played at the Tchaikovsky with her college orchestra on a Kiernoziak and it was outstanding. Her father wanted more brilliance off the stage but she still owns the instrument. Please try Kiernoziaks. What I meant by a "kind" sound was that it is accessible and expressive... 

My son has a Kiernoziak, not the pattern he makes the most but what I was told was a Storioni copy, larger lower bout like Cison's violas, with a very full and colorful tone.  We trialed a lot of violas and it was the first and only one we found below the OP's price range that checked all the boxes, a Marilyn Wallin was a very close second.  Interesting what you say about brilliance off the stage, his teacher had considered a Philip Ihle viola like that at the same time, sort of the alter ego to the large Kiernoziak.  Your description of the tonal difference is very appropriate.

Edit: what a great name!

Last edit: to be clear, if we'd had a budget over $20K like the OP there are several other things we would have wanted to hear.  He (and Cison) make a lot of violas and they tend to be priced reasonably on the secondary market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/4/2019 at 10:27 AM, Berto said:

Hi looking for a viola about 15 3/4-15 7/8  15k-25K range.  Anyone makers you would start with? 

Just FWIW, several makers whose names have been mentioned in this thread operate out of the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, on Michigan Ave. Since you're concerned about the cost of travel, I should say Chicago is my favorite (short) destination spot. If you fly into Midway, you could be there in 20 minutes (unlike NYC, where everything takes forever, and is expensive once you do get there!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try J. Michael Fischer in Los Angeles. Though he makes other instruments, every violist I have met raves about his violas.  (I keep running into violists, but that's another problem. :-oD ) At Metzler's annual American luthier shoot out, his violas have always done well, and at least twice were the cream of the crop. Also, a good friend of mine plays viola - one of the best in LA - and has owned one of his violas as her main viola for the last 5 years or so. Downside is that his prices are likely to be just a bit above your top range, but perhaps you can find a used one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Berto said:

Could any comment on a Kiernoziak versus a Whedbee? 

This won’t be much help because I’m a cellist, but I’ve played a Whedbee cello as well as a Kiernoziak and the Kiernoziak had more power but the Whedbee sound may have been more interesting. I can’t say I’d choose one over the other but it’s close enough that the choice might be based on price or personal choice. Either would be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, David Burgess said:

OK , but I will ask how you arrived at that conclusion. Have you tried every contemporary viola in the world, or what?

No, I certainly have not tried every contemporary viola and I don't think I implied otherwise. I have, however played perhaps 20 different violas within the last few years, including instruments by many contemporary makers. I have the good fortune to live in Albuquerque, NM where we have both Robertson & Sons Violin Shop and David Brewer Fine Violins here in town. 

I like the John Honeycutt violas very much also, but they are somewhat "unrefined" and a bit old school compared to the current crop of makers. I own one of his violas from 1976 and it sounds terrific but is a beast at 16-7/8" and does not have any of the modern approaches to minimizing the physical impact of a larger instrument. 

The reason I recommend Yoshikai is because I've owned one for the past 5 years - a 16-3/8" that is absolutely gorgeous, plays beautifully, and has among the finest workmanship I've seen anywhere, from anyone. I've seen one of his cellos as well, and it is similarly fine. 

Although I have not played any of Manifo's violas (I was trying to get up to see him in NY last month when I was in town) they look gorgeous, and what I've heard of them from videos makes me very interested. They come highly regarded. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, deans said:

I hope you auditioned a good selection. We didn't......

I did, but the same bow was used on every cat, and we didn't try any of the cats in a hall. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, David Burgess said:

OK , but I will ask how you arrived at that conclusion. Have you tried every contemporary viola in the world, or what?

David, I recommend David Caron and Stanley Kiernoziak because I know several examples of their work, as well as the work of Whedbee and Matsuda and a few others whom I haven’t mentioned.

Although I’ve seen exactly one of your violas(and lovely it was) I’ve never heard a note of one of your instruments, or Manfio’s, yet I’ve read so much from each of you, and seen so many photos of Manfio’s work, as well as how he works( his Scroll-making gallery remains amazing) that I am quite comfortable suggesting to the petitioner that he investigate the two of you. 

No I’ve not played every viola, nor any viola(I’m a cellist, you know) but that doesn’t mean I can’t offer a valid suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I did, but the same bow was used on every cat, and we didn't try any of the cats in a hall. ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Not at all, I’m just wondering if there’s a fine line between too few and too many.

Some experts believe that the output of the Stradivari workshop was close to 1200 instruments in total

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.