Now playing . . .
Vaughan Williams',"The Lark Ascending"
performed by Oscar Han
on his new, 'O'Neill' Violin

Nelle Doak O'Neill
Luthier


Carson Valley, Nevada

Photo by Belinda Grant,
Gardnerville, Record-Courier
Viola (Liane), completed April, 2002
Awarded First Place for Tone, 2002, VMAAI

Contact by phone (775) 267-3495 or
Email fidlmkr2@charter.net

Nelle O'Neill began studying the violin at the age of nine and graduated from the Ithaca College School of Music as a violin major. She has played and taught violin and viola professionally for over 35 years and presently, with her husband John, is a Founding Director of the Carson Valley Violin School in Nevada.

Nelle made her first violin in 1985 and since 1990, has studied violin making and restoration with master luthier, Edward Campbell of the Chimneys Violin School at his yearly violin making workshop in Tucson, sponsored by the Violin Makers Association of Arizona International (VMAAI), the oldest organization of its type in the United States. Along with that association, she is a member of the Catgut Acoustical Society, Violin Society of America, American String Teachers Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

While many makers approach their craft from a background of woodworking, Nelle works from the point of view of a performing violinist and understands the importance of good sound and ease of playing to the musician. Her instruments have won numerous awards at the VMAAI annual competitions, including a "First Place Overall" and "Second Place Tone Award", viola, 2001; "First Place Tone Award", viola, 2002, 2004; "Second Place, Tone Award", violin, 2002; "Second Place Tone Award" small viola, 2006; "Second and Third Place Tone Awards" and "Third Place Overall Award", large violas, 2006; "Second Place Tone Award", small viola, 50th anniversary VMAAI competition, October, 2008 in Tucson, Arizona.

Silver Medals, viola, for tone, 2010, 2011: Gold Medal for viola, 2012.

Nelle is currently producing several fine violins and violas each year and accepts commissions. All instruments are available for trial, are fully guaranteed and, upon purchase, come with a certificate of origin and value.

Go here for information on commissioning an instrument.




Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sabrina Oh with the wood for her new violin!



$8,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the ‘Kreisler’ of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of well aged AAA Englemann Spruce (tree RC2) cut in 1994 with a density of .43 and tight grain in the center, widening in the flanks. The back, neck and ribs are of choice, well aged Bosnian Maple with a medium flame and a density of .70, cut in 2001

Coloring is red madder layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish using mostly natural resins in the manner of the Cremona masters. The Swiss pegs, tailpiee and end button are of fine ebony with Parsian Eye, crafted in Germany

Watch
The Creation of Violin 'Annabel'

A YouTube Video


$7,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the “Kreisler” of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of Ciresa AAA quality Valle de Fiemme Italian Sprice cut in 1998. The back, neck and ribs are of AAA quality well aged medium flamed Bosnian Maple cut in 2001.

Coloring is red madder layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish using natural resins in the manner of the Cremona masters. Fittings are of fine ebony, heart shaped pegs with white bone trim crafted in Germany.


Oscar and Joshua Han

Links to YouTube Videos

The Creation of Violin, 'Oscar'

Violin 'Oscar' arriving in Australia and being played for the first time by its new owner, Oscar Han

Oscar Han performing Vaughan-William's, "The Lark Ascending" with his brother, Joshua

The Violin Channel

"Australia's Got Talent"
The Oscar and Joshua Han Story


$7,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the “Kreisler” of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of fifty year old Colorado Englemann Spruce milled in the fall of 2006, with a density of .32. Back, neck and ribs are of well aged medium flamed Bosnian Maple cut in 2000 with a density of .60.

Coloring and finish are a red madder layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins, in the manner of the Cremona masters. Fittings are of fine ebony, pegs are heart shaped with white bone trim crafted in Germany. Strings are Pirastro Eva with a gold Thomastik E.

Watch, "The Creation of Violin Lara"
A YouTube Video

Nevada Appeal, October 21, 2012

Carson Valley violin maker
brings home a gold medal

Carson Valley Luthier, Nelle O'Neill was awarded a gold medal for one of her violas at the recent convention and competition of the Violin Makers Association of Arizona International in Tucson. VMAAI is the oldest violin making association in the United States and the only one with a yearly competition.

O'Neill is the first woman maker to receive this honor in the 54 year history of the Association. Her award winning entry was commissioned for Mckenna Oh, principal violist of the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Her instruments have won numerous awards over the past ten years, including silver medals in both the 2010 and 2011 competitions. She studied with Master Luthier, Edward Campbell for many years at the Chimneys Workshop for Violin Makers sponsored by the Association. Her violins and violas have found homes in many locations throughout the country with one in Switzerland and another headed shortly to Ireland.

$7,900
SOLD

The top of this instrument is of AAA medium grain, fifty year old Colorado Englemann Spruce milled in 2006. The highly figured two-piece back, rib and neck are of aged Northwestern Big Leaf Maple, cut in 1997. Coloring and finish are a red madder lake layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish using all natural resins and colors; fittings are of Swiss style ebony.

This viola was awarded a Gold Medal for tone at the 2012 compeition of the Violin Makers Association of Ariozona International and is currently valued at $10,000.

This just in . . .

Nelle's viola, "Liane", awarded First Place for Tone at the 2002 Competition of The Violin Makers Association of Arizona International, sold in 2002 for $4,500 and was recently purchased (2012) by professional violist, Wendy Devaney for $9,500!

And here's what she had to say:

"I recently purchased "Liane" from Robertson and Sons Violin Shop in Albequerque . . . I can't tell you how hard I have fallen in love with her!! It was a no brainer; when 3 violas were sent to me, just upon tuning her I could feel the goosebumps coming! . . . I have gotten so many compliments on her beautiful sound and a friend who heard "Liane" suggested I insure 'her' for $20,000 . . . THANK YOU SO MUCH, from the bottom of my heart!!"

NEW!
Nelle's Notebook
a potpourri of her
'works-in-progress' . . .

VMAAI Convention and Competition
Tucson, Arizona, October, 2011

$7,900
SOLD

This instrument was commissioned by Paul Tullis, a member of the
Dallas and Utah Festival Opera Orchestras.

The top is of AAA medium grain Oregon Engelmann Spruce, tree B2IV, cut in 1982. The highly figured one piece back, ribs and neck are of aged North Western Big Leaf Maple, tree WB-1, cut in 1988. Coloring and finish are a red madder lake layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins and colors. French fittings are of premium grade ebony.

Maggie
In 2010, Nelle made a new viola for a very special person . . . her grandniece, Maggie Montler . . .

$6,900
SOLD

This viola is modeled after the 1676 Conte VitaliViola of Andrea Guarneri. Undesirable effects of aging including arching deformities have not been included in the design.

The top is of AAA well aged close grain 2000 Dolomite Italian Spruce . The back , ribs and neck are of AAA medium flame, aged Oregon Big Leaf Maple cut in 1995.

Coloring and finish are a red madder lake layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters. The fine Caviuna wood white-trimmed fittings are custom made in Brazil.

Violin, 'Daniel'

Completed, June, 2010

Created especially for Dr. Daniel Lu


Dear Nelle,

Thank you so much for your fine work!!! Your violin has exceeded my highest expectations . . . I'm not sure if you know, but I've played the "top" modern makers in the past year . . . and your violin ranks among them!

Thank you Nelle!

Daniel

$6,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the Kreisler of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of AAA well aged 1998 Dolomite Italian Spruce with a distinctive ā€œbear clawā€ on the lower bass side. The back, ribs and neck are of finely flamed aged 2001 Bosnian Maple.

Coloring and finish are a red madder lake layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters.

The fine Caviuna wood white-trimmed fittings with heart shaped pegs are custom made in Brazil

Violin, 'Kristine 2'

Completed, January, 2010

Created especially for Kristine Rolofson

. . . in the 'white', before varnishing . . .


$6,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the Kreisler of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of AAA tightly grained, well aged Dolomite Italian spruce cut in 1998 . The back, ribs and neck, are of finely flamed, well aged Bosnian Maple cut in 2001.

Coloring and finish are a red and brown madder lake layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters. The fine Caviuna wood fittings are custom made in Brazil.

Violin, 'Kerry'

Completed, October, 2009

Created especially for Kerry Webb

$5,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the Kreisler of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of AAA tightly grained, well aged Dolomite Italian spruce cut in 2001 . The back, ribs and neck, all cut from the same tree, are of AA well aged, medium flame Bosnian Maple cut in 2000.

Coloring and finish are a red madder lake over a golden ground, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish; using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters. Fittings are of fine Pernumbuco, grown and crafted by master makers in Brazil.

Viola, 'Elizabeth'
(15 3/8")

Completed, May, 2009
Commissioned by Elizabeth Hughson,

$6,900
SOLD

This small viola is modeled after the famous 'Gasparo da Salo', c. 1580 which was the favorite instrument of NBC Symphony Principal Violist, Louis Kievman. The top is AAA medium grain, Oregon Englemann Spruce cut in 1994. The two-piece back, neck and ribs are of deeply flamed, 1988 Oregon Bigleaf Maple. Coloring and finish are red madder lake over a golden ground, layered between multiple coats of oil-terpene varnish in the manner of the ancient Cremona masters. Fittings are polished rosewood.

Violin, 'Alexis'

Completed, October, 2008

Created especially for Alexis Reza

$4,900
SOLD

This violin is modeled after the ā€œKreislerā€ of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. the top is of AAA tightly grained, fifty year old Colorado Engelmann spruce (picea engelmanni). The back, ribs and neck, all cut from the same tree, are of AAA ten year old Bosnian Maple (acer pseudoplatanus). Coloring and finish are a red madder lake over a golden ground, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish; using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters. Fittings are of fine Pernumbuco, grown and crafted by master makers in Brazil.

For more violins, Go here

For violas, scroll down

From Tree to Concert Hall
Go here to watch Nelle make a violin

Nelle's Violas

Viola, 'Muller'

(15 15/16"/505mm)

Completed, May, 2008

Awarded Second Place for Tone
VMAAI 50th Anniversary Competition
Tucson, Arizona, October 15, 2008


Commissioned by Dr. Muller Fabbri,
internationally recognized cancer researcher, currently
at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
in Columbus, Ohio

$5,900
SOLD

The top is of medium grain, 1985, Oregon Engelmann Spruce (picea engelmanni). The two piece back, neck and ribs are of deeply flamed, 1995, Oregon Bigleaf Mple (acer macrophyllum). Coloring and finish are of red madder lake over a golden ground, layered between multiple coats of oil-terpene varnish, in the manner of the ancient Cremona masters. Fittings are of polished rosewood.

Viola, 'Farley' (16 1/4")

Completed, August, 2006
Made especially for Robert Cross

Awarded 2nd place for tone at the 2006
competition of The Violin Makers Association of
Arizona International
Hi Nelle,

. . . I still get a wonderful feeling each time I play . . . or even look at 'Farley'!

$5,000
SOLD

This viola is modeled after the 1676 ā€œConte Vitaliā€ Viola of Andrea Guarneri. Undesirable effects of aging, including arching deformities, have not been included in the design. The top is of medium grain, 1982 Oregon Engelmann Spruce (picea engelmanni). The one-piece, 1997 back, neck and ribs are of medium flamed Oregon Bigleaf Maple (acer macrophyllum). Coloring and finish are of red madder lake over a golden ground, layered between multiple coats of oil-terpene varnish in the manner of the ancient Cremona masters. Fittings are French style pegs and Hill design tailpiece, both of polished rosewood.

Viola, 'Andrew' (16 1/4")

Completed, April, 2006
Commissioned by Andrew McIntosh

Awarded 3rd place for tone at the 2006 competition
of The Violin Makers Association of Arizona
International

Hello Nelle,

I just wanted to say that I am absolutely loving my viola . . . it sounds fantastic!

$5,000
SOLD

This viola is modeled after the 1676 ā€˜Conte Vitaliā€™ Viola of Andrea Guarneri. Undesirable effects of aging, including arching deformities have not been included in the design. The top is of aged medium grain split European spruce. the back, neck and sides are of medium to fine flamed German maple. Coloring and finish is of red madder lake over a golden yellow ground, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish in the manner of the ancient Cremona masters. Fittings are of polished rosewood.

Viola, 'Michele' (15 7/8")


Completed, October, 2006

Awarded Second Place for Tone at the 2006 Competition of
The Violin Makers Association of Arizona International

$5,000

SOLD

The top of this easy to play viola is of medium grain, aged AAA spruce from the famous Val di Fiemme Forest in Northern Italy, said to be the source of wood for Stradivari's instruments. the back, ribs and scroll are of beautiful deeply flamed native American Big Leaf Maple cut in 1988. Coloring is a red madder lake, layered between coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural materials in the manner of the Cremona masters. The French-style pegs, Hill tailpiece and fittings are of select rosewood.

Players comment on the overall evenness of this instrument and the unusual richness of the lower strings.

Viola, 'Belle' (15 7/8")


Completed, October, 2004
Awarded First Place for Tone at the 2004 Competition of
The Violin Makers Association of Arizona International

Hi Nelle,

Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I'm still loving to play 'Belle'. . . I keep getting compliments on how beautiful she sounds!

Gisela

$5,000
SOLD

The two piece top is of aged Englemann spruce cut in the mountains of Idaho at 7,000 feet. The two piece back is cut on the quarter and, with the neck and ribs, is of well flamed and aged European maple. Coloring is a red madder lake, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish over a golden ground, using all natural materials in the manner of the Cremona masters.

The rich 'C' string, over-all evenness and carrying power of this easy-to-play instrument are exceptional for a small viola.

From Sue Kitts, Principal Violist of the Carson City Symphony
and Concertmaster of the Ruby Mountain Symphony

Nelle . . .

I LOVE MY VIOLA (Kathleen)!!! Several people have commented on its beautiful tone. The more I play it, the more I love it. What a treat to play on such a fine instrument!

Please feel free to give out my name and email as a reference. I am very proud to endorse such excellent craftsmanship.

More Violas . . .


"Kathleen"

"Lydie"

"Liane"


Nelle's Violins

Violin, 'Angelina'


Completed on commission, April, 2007

This violin is modeled after the "Kreisler" of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of aged Englemann spruce cut in 1989 and the back, ribs and neck are of well flamed Bosnian maple cut c.1994.

Coloring and finish are of red madder lake over a golden yellow ground, layered between multi coant of oil terpine varnish. Fittings are of fine grade ebony.

$4,500
SOLD

Violin, 'The Swan'


Completed on commission, August, 2007

This violin is modeled after the "Kreisler" of 1730 by Joseph Guarneri del Gesu. The top is of AAA tightly grained, aged Englemann spruce cut in 1988 and the back, ribs and neck are of AAA aged Bosnian maple.

Coloring and finish are a red madder lake, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish, using all natural resins and colors, in the manner of the Cremona masters. Fittings are of fine ebony with a Hill style rosewood chinrest.

$4,500
SOLD

Violin, 'Christopher'


Completed, October, 2002
Awarded Second Place for Tone at the 2002
Competition of The Violin Makers Association of Arizona International

Not for sale . . . Nelle has decided
to keep 'Christopher' for her personal violin

The deep red color of this del Gesu model was achieved with multi coats of red madder lake over a golden yellow ground between layers of oil varnish. The top is of medium grain, 10 year old select Idaho Engleman Spruce and the two piece back and ribs are of highly flamed Bosnian Maple. The fittings are of boxwood with attractive German heart shaped pegs. The G string is especially rich and tone is warm and even throughout while pleasantly full in the upper register.

For information on commissioning an instrument,

GO HERE

More Violins . . .


"David R"

"Jack"

"Kristine"

Contact by phone (775) 267-3495 or
Email fidlmkr2@charter.net

Major credit cards accepted through Paypal

From Tree to Concert Hall
Follow the creation of a violin . . .
from the preliminary plans, to its first playing

1. The Beginnings

2. Bending the Ribs
3. Assembling the Ribs and Liners
4. The Plates

5. Purfling

6. Graduating and Tuning the plates
7. The Scroll, Neck and Fingerboard 8. Putting the Pieces Together!
9. The Finishing Touches
The Violin Lesson

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Fine handmade violins and violas
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The Music of John O'Neill

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and maintained by
John O'Neill
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October 4, 2014

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