“My R.W. McCluskie violin is, hands-down, the best one that I own. Its tone is unerringly consistent and never tires my ear. It leaves my other fiddles gathering dust in their cases and is causing great resentment among them.”

– Randy Barrett
Owner Greenway Violins, Falls Church, VA
Chairman, DC Bluegrass Union

“I've been playing on my McCluskie viola for 5 years, and can't get enough of it! I bought one after I played a classmate's viola at my undergrad school. It is the last viola I ever intend on buying.”

– Brad Abromaitis

“I am the proud owner of a McCluskie violin, which I purchased after playing a dozen of his recent creations. All his instruments are beautifully constructed, modeled after various early Italian masters, with hints of his own ideas here and there, with wonderful finishes in the finest tradition of the craft. But for me, the true test of an instrument is in how it plays and sounds, how comfortable it is to bow, how it responds, and its dynamics. In these respects his instruments are top of the line, and I'm excited to have such a fine creature under my chin. In my forty-plus years of fiddling, I have rarely come across such quality.”

– Walt Koken (website)

“I have enjoyed my McCluskie viola for the past 18 years, it is my one and only instrument, and I plan to use it for the rest of my career. People ask me all the time what I play on, and they are always surprised to find out it is not an old Italian instrument. I have loved the sound of every McCluskie I have played, and I have had several of my students buy them over the years.”

– Kenneth Martinson
Viola Faculty, University of Florida

My name is Caroline Weeks and am an aspiring professional viola player. I purchased a hand carved McCluskie viola at the end of last year and wanted to email the makers to tell you all how pleased I am with the instrument's quality. I graduated from high school this year and had the honor of playing on NPR radio's "From the Top" program where I played the first movement of the Rebecca Clarke Sonata for viola on your instrument! If you'd like to hear your work in action you can take a listen at this link by clicking "listen to the show":

From the Top
As heard on NPR, May 18, 2010

As I continue on my musical journey, I will inform other students and fellow musicians about the quality and wonderful value of your instruments. Thank you! 

Robert McCluskie’s violins are rich classical instruments. They adapt beautifully to traditional fiddle playing styles and record beautifully with even and full bodied tone.

Cathy Fink
Grammy Winner

“McCluskie is carving, shaping and shellacking some of the finest violas available.”

“He is really very concerned that everything he makes will live in history for a long time and be respected…” “He wants people to enjoy his instruments 200 years from now.”

– William Weaver
Weaver House of Violins, Bethesda, MD

My Robert McCluskie viola has been with me since my high school training in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. I needed a viola that would advance with me through my music career at college in Ohio and into the advanced amateur ranks, but that was also reasonably priced. My viola’s warm, radiant sound is perfect for blending into an orchestra, yet distinctive enough for solo recitals and chamber music. The unique shape produces a richer, deeper sound than similar sized instruments. As an amateur who continues to play in the local amateur orchestra, 16 years after I purchased my McCluskie, it is perfect for me and will be the only viola I ever need.

– Mandi Jo Hanneke

My McCluskie violin has great power, instant response, is well balanced and magnificent from the artistic point of view.

– Rickie Simpkins
Grammy winning recording artist