A Hungarian-American Viola By Janos Bodor, 2022. 15 1/2”
Janos Bodor Jr. is a Hungarian-American luthier who emigrated to the United States with his family in 1956. He first started making instruments under the direction of his father, Janos Bodor Sr., who was employed in Philadelphia by Moennig & Sons from 1957. Bodor joined his father in the employ of Moennig in 1966 and was highly regarded for his work. Most particularly, for his cellos which became a staple of the symphony scenes of both New York and New Jersey. Unfortunately, Bodor discontinued the making of cellos around 1990. As such, these instruments have become a rare treat because their owners are rarely willing to part with them. His work since has been focused on predominantly violas and violins, which boast exceptional wood selections and commendable craftsmanship that exhibits a personal style rich in character, while retaining the colorful, complex tonal palate for which his cellos are so well loved.
This viola is modeled after Goffriller, featuring broad lower bouts and delicately sloped shoulders to accommodate more vibrating airspace in the box without sacrificing left hand facilitation. I am particularly fond of the even medium grained spruce for the top, finished in a highly translucent and well shaded varnish, with tight but moderately flamed maple for the back, and matching selections for the ribs and scroll.
Janos Bodor set down his tools and retired entirely from the making of instruments earlier this year - this viola and the other acquired by and offered at Cohen Violins were the last two instruments he completed.