Exhibition of Modern Violas and Bows

2024 Exhibition of Modern Violas and Bows

Ben Ullery 2024 Emvb

The AVS held its second Exhibition of Modern Violas and Bows during the 2024 AVS Festival and Primrose International Viola Competition at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Twenty makers participated in the exhibition. On Wednesday through Friday of the festival, attendees were able to play the instruments in the exhibition and submit rankings for playability and comments to the luthiers.

During the public demonstration on Saturday, Ben Ullery of the Los Angeles Philharmonic played the instruments in a randomized order behind a screen in Zipper Hall. The audience ranked the instruments, identified only by number, on an extensive list of tonal criteria, and the winners were determined by audience vote.

Photo credit: Ames Asbell

Violas, Tone:                                                                                                    Violas, Playability

1. Jacek Zadlo – 16 3/8″ Chicago, 2024                                                        1. Pablo Alfaro
2. Gary Garavaglia – 16 1/2″ Chicago, 2022                                                 2. Tie: William Scott and Thomas Dunn
3. Stanely Kiernoziak – 16″ Chicago, 2024                                                   3. Timothy Johnson
4. Mietek Rusnak – 16″ Chicago, 2021
5. Vanna So – 16 1/4″ Chicago, 2023


2022 Exhibition of Modern Violas and Bows

Img 1508The 2022 American Viola Society Festival & 47th International Viola Congress offered the inaugural Exhibition of Modern Violas and Bows. This event highlights the work of current viola and bow makers, as well as the importance of lutherie and archeterie within the AVS’ mission.

Festival attendees were able to play the instruments themselves Wednesday-Friday at the event, providing feedback to the makers and voting for their favorite viola and bow based on playability. On Saturday, 2021 Primrose International Viola Competition winner Natalie Loughran demonstrated the instruments in the beautiful Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University. Violas were played behind a screen, identified only by number in a randomized order and the audience voted for their favorite instrument.

Photo Credit:  Julie Roubik

Learn more about the Audience Choice Award Archetiers & Luthiers

Violas, Tone:                                                                                                     Violas, Playability

1. Stanley Kiernoziak                                                                                        1. Pablo Alfaro
2. Jason Viseltear                                                                                              2. Tie: William Scott and Thomas Dunn
3. Timothy Johnson                                                                                          3. Timothy Johnson
4. William Scott
5. Vanna So
6. Jacek Zadlo

Bows, Playability:

1. Julien Mortier
2. Pierre Yves Fuchs
3. Jesse Berndt