A Contemporary Viola Bow By Jesse Berndt
American Achetier Jesse Berndt resides and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jesse earned a music degree and began working as a craftsman in 2000 with a retired violin maker, going on to attend the New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute in 2004, with a focus in bow making and bow repairs. He worked independently in Cleveland from 2008-2011, and has participated in the summer workshops at Oberlin College in Ohio from 2010 to 2019. He is an elected member of the (AFVBM) American Federation of Violin and Bow makers, and has travelled as far as Jamaica and Taiwan for specialized repair work. His work features a broad range of styles, featuring historically informed copies and personalized original designs which take inspiration from the former.
I personally picked out two viola bows at the 2022 (AVS) American Viola Society Festival and 47th Congress in Columbus, Georgia and can attest to their quality. This bow felt immediately responsive to the touch and features a silk on silver tinsel lapping for the grip, with a silver mounted frog that has a rather comfortably shaped thumb projection. The action is springy, perhaps sprightly, without any nervous tendencies, and pulls a warm sound with a broader but crisp quality. Articulation is commendable with particularly easy, consistent spiccato and bariolage strokes. Perfectly balanced at 69.4 grams.