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Rare Floriani violin on display at South Boston/Halifax Museum
SoVaNow.com / January 21, 2013Beautiful music could be heard echoing from a house on Logan Street in South Boston as Albert R. Via Jr. caressed the strings of his Floriani violin. He was heard in concert on the radio from Raleigh, Richmond and Danville.
Via was born in Banister, Halifax, in 1907. He grew up in South Boston and graduated from South Boston High School and studied violin with Joseph Carozzi, the musical director at WBTM. He was later chosen as an instructor for the First National Institute of Violin in Martinsville, and also taught violin from his home. His wife Annie was a soprano singer and the two performed at their church and other local places. They owned a jewelry shop in South Boston from 1911 and sold it in 1976.
Via purchased his violin in 1925 from the Wurlizer Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company offered it to him for $175 and said that it was a Floriani violin and was very old and had an Italian tone. Via used the violin for many years to teach and entertain. The violin continues to have a very mellow tone and is in playing condition if it were to have replacement of the strings and a skilled person playing it.
The instrument was donated to the museum by the Via family and will be displayed in the South Boston /Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History until the end of February. Regular hours are Wed. -Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.