Geoffrey Ovington made his first instrument, a violin, in 1973 under the guidance of James Coggin. The Mannes College of Music commissioned two violas from his workshop in 1979. The Vienna Philharmonic commissioned three violas from him in 1991. (The Vienna Philharmonic maintains a collection of instruments old and contemporary for the use of its members if they desire to amke use of them, a rarity among orchestras.) Instruments from Ovington's shop are played in the Oslo Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, the Opera Orchestra of La Scala, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, South German Radio Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, the Royal Concertgebowe of Amsterdam and the Los Angeles Chamber Symphonie. Other ensembles using his instruments are, the Lafayette Quartet, the Koerchert quartet, Manhattan Quintet and the Deutches Streichtrio.