Preeminent violin shop Benning Violins will host a three-day exhibit of fine violas and bows crafted by old and modern masters, “The Viola: An Exhibition of Sound, Form and Beauty.” The exhibit, held on June 12 through the 14, featuring rare violas and bows for viewing, trial and purchase, coincides with the 2014 Primrose International Viola Competition held in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, CA June 3, 2014 – Benning Violins, the distinguished West Coast violin making studio providing service and sales of fine violins, violas, cellos and bows, has announced a three day viola exhibit. The event, “The Viola: An Exhibition of Sound, Form and Beauty” will be held on June 12 through June 14 at the venerable Los Angeles-area shop. The exhibit, which coincides with the 2014 Primrose International Viola Competition, will feature an assortment of rare and fine violas and viola bows crafted by old and modern masters.
According to Eric Benning, third generation viola maker and luthier “the exhibit will bring together a collection of very fine old and contemporary violas that is extremely rare to find in one place.” Benning will be showing one of his own violas as part of the collection. Instruments crafted by Benning are played by a number of premier players, concert performers and recording artists.
“Among the participants, judges and attendees, the Primrose Competition will attract some of the greatest violists and viola enthusiasts to the Los Angeles area,” stated Benning. “Important figures in the viola world will be there. We wanted to do something special, so we put together an exhibit of some phenomenal violas and viola bows.”
The exhibit will feature a stunning 1765 Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza viola crafted by the renowned luthier in Milan, as well as violas made by J.B. Vuillaume, Lorenzo Carcassi, Gaetano Gadda, Lorenzo Storioni, Grubaugh & Seifert, Bela Szepessy and others. A 1950 viola crafted in Chicago by the late legendary modern luthier, Carl Becker is, like the others, available for viewing, trial and purchase. Becker, Benning’s uncle, was also one of his early teachers.
“These are stunning instruments,” explains Benning. “Individuals who appreciate and play the viola are going to want to come and try these instruments. They are gorgeous master instruments, wonderfully crafted and elegantly varnished. They all possess incredible tone and range. It’s a small exhibit, but in the world of the viola, it’s a significant occasion.”
The 14th annual Primrose International Competition takes place June 18 – 14 and will be held in downtown Los Angeles at the illustrious Colburn School, a 15-minute commute from the Benning shop. The studio has the facilities for players to examine and play the instruments in a private showroom.
The exhibit runs the final three days of the competition and is available during regular business hours of 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Private viewings can be arranged in advance by calling 1-818-762-1374.
For three generations, the Benning family name has been synonymous with the making of fine, master-crafted violins, violas and cellos. Benning Violins has a long tradition of expert service and meeting the needs of musicians - from the beginner to professional - since 1953.