Bernard Fendt was one of the premiere violin makers of London in the 19th century. After training with his father, he worked with a number of makers before setting up on his own. He is especially noted for the elegance of his workmanship, especially in the superb varnish work with its elegant antiquing. The sound is powerful and smooth, with a quick even response, even on all four strings. The sound is remarkable especially given its manageable size. Included with this viola is a letter from W.E.Hill & Sons London.
One of the finest luthiers working in Cremona today, Levaggi’s instruments are respected for their perfect workmanship and elegant tonal qualities. Before setting up his own workshop in the historic center of Cremona in 2001, he graduated from the Cremona School of Lutherie in 1984 where he studied with Vincenzo Bissolotti, among others. He then worked in Genoa with Carlson-Cacciatori-Neumann’s. He has won countless international prizes over the course of his career, and continues perfecting his craft. This viola was made with special wood from Jay Ifshin’s large stock, and was hand selected by Ifshin and Levaggi for aesthetic beauty and sonorous qualities. It is has a quick response and a smooth, sonorous tone.
Marilyn Wallin is one of the key figures in American violin making. After receiving a degree in viola performance, she studied violin making with Tschu Ho Lee at the Chicago School of Violin Making, graduating in 1985. Since then she has had a very successful career, wining numerous awards at international competitions. She has also been the president of the Violin Society of America. This viola has an exceptionally fine tone. It is very easy to play, very responsive with that full, even, robust viola tone that so many violists are looking for.
A student of Constantine Celani and Giuseppe Ornati, Castelli won over a dozen prizes before passing away in 2003 at the age of 91. He worked in his native Ascoli Piceno, making over 200 violins, 70 violas, and 30 cellos. His workmanship is of the highest quality. This viola has a strong, rich tone and is very responsive.