A Fine Contemporary Viola By Jordan Hess, 2020. 16”
Violin maker, Jordan Hess is originally from a small farm in east central Indiana, where he first began making instruments at the age of nine. By fifteen, he was working as an apprentice at Indianapolis Violins, an opportunity he enjoyed for three years before attending The Violin Making School of America. Jordan has since worked for Salt Lake City based luthier John Young, and is currently making his own violins based on traditional Cremonese working methods, creating instruments with exceptional tonal qualities and playability. He primarily focuses on crafting modern instruments, concentrating on personal models, and bench copies inspired by specific instruments and makers.
This viola was commissioned by Cohen Violins and completed in 2020; A custom order and the first viola off a new personal mold, complete with a decorative inlay inspired by 17th century Brescian work, rosewood and ivory fittings, with an ivory nut and saddle. It represents a personal style that is at once both rugged and elegant, highly reminiscent of Otto Erdesz, yet unique in its own right, from crazed craquelure to meticulous shading and intentional tool marks, simply every detail touches on artistry. There is a certain sweetness and modularity to the sound of Hess instruments, which when paired with their exceptional clarity creates a winning combination and lends a tonal palate that would suit any serious artist.
This particular viola boasts a broad, complex sound that is incredibly sensitive to every change in bow stroke, while retaining a sweet buttery and even quality through its registers, with enviable clarity. A wonderful instrument.
Back Length: 406mm.