Viola by Rowan Armour-Brown, Warwick, 1980

Viola by Rowan Armour-Brown, Warwick, 1980

About Rowan Armour-Brown

Rowan Armour-Brown trained under Morassi at the International Violin Making School in Cremona, graduating in 1975. She then worked for the highly-respected maker and restorer Gil Solomon before setting up on her own. Armour-Brown made over 120 instruments during her career, as well as lecturing at the Newark School of Violin Making and elsewhere.

Armour-Brown´s exceptional work as a maker and a teacher did a great deal to further the cause of British violin making. After her untimely death in 1996 the RAB Trust, set up in her name, now continues this work with their generous support of student violin makers in the UK.

About the viola

The viola was made in 1980 and is modelled after the instruments of Stradivari.

The viola has a two piece back of matching finely-flamed maple, the figuration descending slightly from the centre joint. The ribs and scroll are of similar wood. The front is two pieces of very fine-grained spruce, widening considerably towards the flanks. The varnish is a rich orange-brown colour, laid over a lighter golden ground.

The viola has a length of back of 412 mm or 16 and 3/16th inches.

How does it sound?

This viola is particularly full and resonant and speaks very well. It´s a very happy sounding, confident instrument: the opposite of that whispy, lost sound you need for the Grimes Passacaglia! Having said that, it is a versatile instrument more than capable of a wide range of tonal colours.


The viola is in original mint condition. It is labelled number 53 and retains its original bridge.

Further information

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