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1973, 17
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Son and partner of Rene Aerts, Marcel distinguished himself at the early age of 20 by winning a prize at the prestigious "Concours de Sonorite" in Brussels, in 1930. His father, who was also his teacher, was the official luthier to the Brussels Conservatory, had established his own shop in 1921 and could count among his faithful customers legendary violinists such as Jacques Thibaud, Misha Elman, and Eugene Ysaye. He also made a quartet of instruments for the Pro Arte Quartet. Marcel grew up in this lush artistic environment, which had a profound impact on his work as a luthier. After moving to Los Angeles in 1932, he worked with his father for a time, before working for the Douglas Aircraft Company. He continued making instruments part-time and was highly regarded both as a restorer and a luthier. This viola is quite easy to play despite its large size, and has a fluid, rich viola sound. It is accompanied by a letter-certificate from the maker.