Grubaugh & Seifert
Violas, 2001 & 2009
The shared love of violin making brought Joseph and Sigrun together almost 40 years ago. They met while working at Hans Weisshaar’s shop in L.A. and a few years later, moved to the San Francisco area where they opened their own shop. In 1982, they made their first instrument together and have continued to collaborate ever since.
Joe and Sigrun tell us that these two violas are inspired by those made by the Brescian maker Gasparo da Salo and his student Giovanni Pablo Maginni, who worked circa 1580-1630. Violas made by these two makers are somewhat primitive in form and grace as they don’t follow the “Cremonese Rules.” They both have shorter string-length to body-length proportions which Joe and Sigrun believe make these violas easier to play while still projecting with full voices. Their viola from 2001 has a body made of rare maple that bubbles out in the front and back. It has a double purfling and inlayed into the back is a beautiful motif of reflecting infinity hearts intertwined with a diagonal diamond framing. The other from 2009 is made of willow which adds a deeper sound to this smaller viola.