Zhibin Ma 16” Workshop Viola, Shanghai 2007 – SOLD 9/10/2019
This viola is a very attractive instrument with some antiquing. It is beautifully made and very comfortable to play. The condition is outstanding, almost mint, there are no issues at all. The viola is a Strad model with typical Strad arching in the plates. The woods are a knockout and the grain on the table has been raised before the instrument was vanished. Ma has used some gorgeous maple for the back and ribs. Yes, the viola looks great and it stands out in sound. The viola sounds smooth, rich, and almost woody, like a complex reedy woodwind tone. As a player I’m drawn to this sound in viola. The G & C strings respond well giving the tone a smooth texture. The instrument is beautifully balanced throughout the register and the instrument responds well to pressure from the bow. The upper strings will grab you, being sweet but strong. This instrument is not shy, an instrument for the not so novice player who is a rising violist.