Thurmond Knight
Maker of Violins, Violas and Cellos

Reuben Epstein, a violinist and violist with the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, plays a viola made by Thurmond in 1990, and a violin made by Thurmond in 2004.   Dr. Epstein,  a Senior Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics of the University of Rochester, purchased the viola in the spring of 2001 from the shop of Horst Kloss in Needham, Mass.  A 16 1/4" viola modeled after the 1676 Andreas Guarneri "Conte Vitale", the instrument is dedicated to the memory of Thurmond's father.   The top of the viola was carved from large timbers taken from the covered bridge which spans the Connecticut River between Windsor, Vermont and Cornish, New Hampshire, during a recent restoration project.  The timbers were hand hewn from red spruce trees, cut in 1866, and hauled to the bridge building site by teams of oxen.
The St. Cecilia Violin is modeled after Fritz Kreisler's 1733 Guarneri del Gesu'.  It is fashioned from maple from southern Vermont, and spruce cut in the 1950s in Bavaria. 

Click here to read Dr. Epstein's comments about the Thurmond viola.

DrEpsteinThurmondViola.JPG (9033 bytes)
Click here for more photos of Thurmond Viola

Click here for photos of St. Cecilia Violin

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