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Tall order: Saltdean viola player needs special instrument due to his height
A gifted teenage musician has a tall order to fulfil – raising £6,000 to buy a new viola as he has grown too big for his old one.
Lanky Elliot Corner, pictured above, who is 6ft 3in, struggled with the violin because his fingers were too big.
After the 18-year-old inherited a viola and switched to the larger instrument he received one of the highest Grade 8 exams in the country.
But to see him through four years at one of the best music college’s in the world he needs a larger, more expensive instrument.
Elliot, of Saltdean, said: “I decided to switch from the violin to the viola mostly because of the size. Because of myheight it’s difficult to play and I was suffering back pain because I was all clenched up.
“I’ve always been tallwhichmakes it quite hard to be playing a violin. It got to the point where I couldn’t play a piece because my fingers were too big.”
The former St Aubyns School pupil had an early talent for music but has always had to rely on charitable support.
His plasterer father exposed him to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at a young age – a memory he credits with his passion for classical music.
He said: “I’ve always been a bit of a charity case as I come from a lowincome background. This is unusual for a classical musician and goes against the posh stereotype.
“All the support I’ve had is very humbling.
I’m completely reliant on the help of other people and I wouldn’t be here today without it.”
Elliot has a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music whose alumni includes composer Benjamin Britten.
But rather than spend his funding on his instrument he has turned to online crowd-funding, when individuals offer donations to support causes, to buy the 17-inch David Milward viola.
He has raised more than half his £6,000 target after being inundated with cash from acquaintances and strangers from Israel, America and Australia. He has also received three grants from the Pebble Trust which supports young people in Brighton and Hove.
Elliot’s dream is to adapt the Tchaikovsky concertos or Bach suites for the viola.
Hecan be found busking in the Pavilion Gardens surrounded by “confused tourists wondering why this young musician is playing Bach and not Coldplay”.
He must raise the full money by November or he must return the loaned viola to its owner.
For more information go to elliotviola.co.uk.
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