15 1/2" Malcolm Collins viola #68, Upper Hutt 2018
Malcolm Collins, one of New Zealand’s most prolific professional luthiers, is also a keen viola player, and viola making is particularly close to his heart. This small-sized viola, made in 2018 with a back length of 15 ½ inches, is his 68th viola, but not his last. While the upper bout width and sloping shoulders have been designed for ease of playing, with good access to the higher positions, the lower bout is as wide as a much bigger viola, giving the body more internal air space and the lower strings more depth and bite. The tone overall is characterful and resonant, making this viola a good choice for an advancing player looking for a less physically challenging instrument.