Alina Kostina is a Russian-born violin maker now living in Seattle, WA. She grew to love the violin through her early childhood music studies. Although the Soviet Union produced many great violinists, it provided its children with appalling violins. For many years of her early life Alina lived in the conviction that violins were made in Moscow Furniture Factory No. 2. Armed with a greenish-yellow fiddle and a color-matched bow, complete with double bass grade hair, 6-year old Alina went to work, bowing hard, hoping one day this repurposed furniture would blossom into a real Strad and the black hair on her bow would turn unicorn white. Needless to say, much rosin was applied in pursuit of the coveted white hair.
Alina studied violin making under the nurturing guidance of one of the preeminent modern makers David Gusset in Eugene, OR, with whom she continues to work today. Attending the celebrated Oberlin Violin Makers’ Workshop has offered invaluable opportunities to work and learn alongside many other great makers from around the world. Alina has undertaken close study of important historical instruments by traveling to Cremona, Italy and Mittenwald, Germany, visiting the Chi Mei Collection in Taiwan and the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, and attending exhibits at VSA conventions.
The violin shown here is based on the Stradivari “S” form, his smallest full size form which he used extensively and successfully throughout his Golden Period. It features a slightly smaller body length of 35.2 cm (13-7/8“) and narrower upper bout dimensions of 16.3 cm (6-7/16”) — similar to those of Guarneri “del Gesu” violins. These dimensions are appreciated by musicians for their playability without sacrificing fullness of sound.