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Daniel_the violist

Luthiers-for violists

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i dont know about value going up in modern makers unless they themselves raise the price, but you might try lawrence furse for a viola. matsuda is also very good in my experience, though i've only tried his personal model mini-viola, which was good for its size but led me to wonder what his other larger models sounded like.

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i forgot to mention in my last post, but what price range are you looking in?

and just for the heck of it, and my own curiosity...what stage in playing are u in right now? (high school/college/pro/amateur/etc)

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Merton   

There have been several threads regarding this subject. To be blunt, there aren't many violin makers that are necessarily good viola makers. The viola is a bird of it's own. Your question, as primrose asks, is how much you're willing to spend. I assume you're in the USA. Are you looking for a USA maker? I've played a viola is was impressed with by Denis Cormier in Montreal, Canada. You can cherck him out at www.deniscormier.com His violas are around $10K, and worth it.

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Alex Tulchinsky, Tulchinsky Violins; 85 Nassau Ave., Plainview, NY - 11803.

(516)937-3737

Alex builds excellent violas.He won a top award at the VSA last year. He was a violist in Russia in earlier years, and went from the NYC Ballet Orchestra to making violas full -time 20 years ago.

His violas have been played in many orchestras, including the N.Y. Phil., and the Houston Symphony.

[This message has been edited by deStaunton (edited 03-21-2002).]

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rainyann   

quote:

Originally posted by deStaunton:

Alex Tulchinsky, Tulchinsky Violins; 85 Nassau Ave., Plainview, NY - 11803.

(516)937-3737

Ahh, he is in the town next to mine. Do you know his price range?

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Geoffrey Ovington, whose shop is in upstate NY (Shushan)- I'm not sure what dealers handle his instruments. I tried a viola of his belonging to an acquaintance and immediately wished I had the money to buy one.

If modern but deceased makers count, don't pass up a chance to try an Otto Erdesz if you can find one (preferably the more-or less standard Brescian model, not the infamous "cutaway".) I have a friend who wangled one from an elderly owner for a fire-sale price, and, well, let's just say I've seriously considered hitting him over the head and running away with the viola. wink.gif I've been told that Erdesz's former student John Newton (Toronto, I believe) also makes very nice Brescian-style violas but I've never actually seen one.

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Thanks for all the replies. I was hoping to spend less than $8,000 but a higher price could be workable. The problem with going higher is the fact that I need a good bow as well. Anyone know any good bow makers? If anyone has a viola or bow or makes one in this range please contact me at dddefense@earthlink.net. I am a high school student and I want something that will last me through University level music and possibly longer (like forever).

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Archinto   

Daniel,

My boss John Osnes makes one heck of a viola for around your price range. He's been in the trade for over 20 years. If you want to contact him, just e-mail me and I'll send you the info. Believe me, it's worth every penny!! I wish I had one!

-Archinto-

[This message has been edited by Archinto (edited 04-21-2002).]

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Stephen   

quote:

Originally posted by rainyann:

Ahh, he is in the town next to mine. Do you know his price range?

If you're on Long Island, also check out Ed Maday.

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I know I sound like a tape loop or something, but my Fairfax Abraham is exceptional and less than $4000. He is known for outstanding violas and decent violins. David Stone in Seattle represents him. I found nothing better below $12,000, and I looked for over a year and tried many, many instruments.

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Archinto   

I forgot to mention,

David Stone has a few of John's instruments in his shop. They are very good friends. If you want to get a hold of John, you can call up David.

-Archinto-

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Lawrence Furse sells his violas for $8000, i tried several $10k-$16k instruments and didnt find but one that surpassed it (a $16.5k Haenel, almost 17", but it only sounded good in LA, it sounded like poo when it got here).

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Lenny   

If you're willing to go further afield you might consider Arthur Robinson in Australia. He makes very good violas and the currency difference would give you a very good deal. He's currently working on an instrument (not a viola) for someone in NY. Just a thought. His contact details are on the Maestronet home page.

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