A Great American Viola By Anne Cole, 1992. 16 5/8.”
Alberquerque, New Mexico native, Anne Cole has been crafting characterful instruments for over 50 years, completing some 250 works which boast both ergonomic qualities and a unique flair; creations that deliver a commanding voice, for which they are highly commended the world over. To that effect, Cole won recognition rather early, earning 1st place in the Arizona Violin Maker’s Competition 1979 and then seven total awards from the Violin Making Association of British Columbia in Canada in 1980, including 1st prize for her string quartet.
This 16 5/8” viola was crafted by Cole in 1992 and spent a decade in the Cleveland Orchestra. Beautiful shading through the varnish highlights well selected spruce and a curly quilted maple for the back, ribs, and headstock; the slender, shorter neck both allows the viola to balance well on the shoulder and delivers an ease of play more typically common of smaller instruments. The voice, dark, boisterous, rich and complex, with enough resistance to deliver a highly desirable level of power and projection, without becoming tiresome to play. Altogether, highly competitive - recommended without reservation.
Anne also spends hours making each instrument unique, not only in model but in varnish color and artistic themes on scrolls and interiors. Her instruments can be recognized at a glance by even an untrained eye. This viola has a field mouse painted in the belly and a ‘tail’ on the back of its scroll.