16 3/8" Adrian Studer viola, Nelson 1990
It isn’t often we feature the owner of an instrument, but this viola and its past owner have played such an important role in Dunedin’s musical life we feel the following biography needs no apology. Jack Speirs studied composition, music history, conducting, violin and viola in Edinburgh and Berlin before taking up a lectureship in music at the University of Otago in 1965. He was well-known as a violin and viola teacher, composer, orchestral and chamber music player, and soloist. He was musical director of the Dunedin Civic orchestra, now the Southern Sinfonia, for 15 years. This viola has a rich, warm, clear sound with a strong, projecting bass. As with all of Adrian Studer’s instruments, it is beautifully made.