Viola by Christopher Rowe, Isle of Wight, 2005
About Christopher RoweChristopher Rowe is a contemporary luthier who trained at Newark and then worked for the Withers shop before setting up a workshop with his wife Elspeth, who is also a Newark trained luthier. He has made over 450 instruments during the course of his career, has a viola on permanent exhibition in the Museo del Violino, Cremona and won a gold medal for his viola at Cremona in 1997.
About the violaRowe bases all of his violas on a Brothers Amati model. When the Brothers Amati were making their instruments, violas as we know them today didn´t exist: instead there were smaller altos and larger tenors. At 15 inches, this viola is very much based on an alto.
The viola has a one piece back of medium-flamed maple, the figuration descending from right to left. The front is two pieces of fairly narrow-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is a vibrant red colour, laid over a golden ground.
The viola was made in 2005 and has a length of back of 15 inches.
How does it sound?The instrument has a full contralto tone. It is extremely responsive and is easy to play due to its manageable stature.
ConditionThe viola is in excellent original condition.
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