Viola Organista

voTomasz Wiech/AFP/Getty Images

Polish pianist Sławomir Zubrzycki recently unveiled his realization of an instrument designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, called the viola organista (clicking the photo will take you to the NPR story). It plays like a keyboard instrument but sounds like bowed strings, which will raise all kinds of interesting questions about repertoire. Though there have been attempts in the past to build this instrument Zubrzycki’s appears to be the most successful, and it’s interesting to consider what place this new old instrument might find among keyboardists and harpsichordists, in both period and modern ensembles.

Speaking from experience, one of the side effects of playing a lesser-known instrument is that it sometimes leaves critics struggling to be as critical (though, bless them, they always seem to find a way).

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One Response to Viola Organista

  1. Sean says:

    Informative interview with Zubrzycki here.


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