Build a viola in only 4 days - live in front of an audience!

International Viola Congress 2018 in Rotterdam

International Viola Congress

From 20 to 24 November 2018 the International Viola Congress (IVC) will take place in Rotterdam, Holland. During these four days four string instrument makers will build a viola together.

The four school friends have known each other since their joint studies at the renowned violin making school "Newark School of Violin" and are today independent, experienced and successful string instrument makers. They have decided to build a viola together and live in front of an audience at the IVC, where a concert will take place with this viola at the end of the conference on Saturday, 24 November.

The four have set up a workshop in the entrance hall of the Hofpleintheater. Music4Viola is on site and reports every day in pictures on the progress of this demanding work.

The live viola builders are Chaim Achttienribbe from Amsterdam (NL), Kai-Thomas Roth from Somerset (UK), Jan van der Elst from Dordrecht (NL) and Gijsbert van Ziel from Rotterdam (NL).

© Fotos von Mark Walder

The announcement  (20.11.18)

Gijsbert announces the building of a Viola in 4 days
The model is a viola by Andrea Guarneri (1626-1698) from the year 1676.
Music4Viola is live there for you

Day 1 - The start  (21.11.18)
The workshop
The rough work starts
The rib is created
Smoothing the front
Gluing the rib
The tools

Day 2 - Fine-tuning  (22.11.18)

The purfling is inserted
This is a delicate mission.
In the pegbox the tunig pegs are fitted in
The rib is finely sanded
At the pegbox is measured
The F-holes must be positioned precisely

Day 3 - The part come together  (23.11.18)
The public is informed about the status of the works
The rib and the bottom are glued together
The label is glued in place
The bassbar is installed
The bassbar holds and must still be formed and sanded
The pegbox is almost finished

Day 4 - The finish  (24.11.18)
The glue for the top is applied
The top is glued together
The pegbox is still missing
The strings are stretched
Viola makers proudly present the new viola
Atar Arad tests for the audience

The four violinmakers presented the viola they made during IVC2018 in Rotterdam for a big audience on the main stage of the Hofplein Theater.
Both Kim Kashkashian and Atar Arad played the lily white new born viola and the violinmakers of IVC2018 were impressed by the stimulating support they received by the two world class players Kim Kashkashian and Atar Arad. The sound of the instrument was appreciated by the audience and after varnishing the viola will be ready to be played.
The viola will be a living memory for many years to come and the tangible result of the successful IVC2018!

Sponsors wanted
The International Viola Society would like to make the viola available to young, ambitious viola students as a loan instrument. However, this requires a sponsor who purchases the instrument and then makes it available to the students. Does any of you know such a sponsor?
Then please contact Mark Walder:

Thank you very much.

This might also be of interest to you
Tina Strinning: Playing and dancing on ergonomically customized violas. The method is based on movement. That’s how kids are spared from tenseness. A special method of viola construction further serves this goal. Read about Tina with her children students.
» To the viola blog

Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the most prominent composers of the Baroque era. He introduced innovative thinking into the world of music and changed the music of the early 18th century significantly.
» To the viola blog
Hector Berlioz - Harold en Italie: This work by Berlioz is of outstanding importance for the viola. Especially since there was hardly any remarkable literature for the viola at the time of its creation. It was not until 1838 that Paganini heard his commissioned work. Overpowered, he pulled Berlioz onto the stage and kissed his hand on his knees.
» To the viola blog

Viola news letter

NewsletterDo you don't want to miss any news regarding viola anymore? Our monthly viola news letter will keep you informed.
» Subscribe to our viola letter for free


Visit and like us on Facebook.
» Music4Viola on Facebook