Taking up another instrument is never easy. The first task is to find a suitable one, and violas are not much cheaper than violins. This is particularly the case if you are taking up the viola on the brink of your professional career, as you will need one that will be good enough for professional work. And as every string player knows, a new bow is also expensive.
Although Clare is passionate about the viola, she still has great fondness for the violin. In a sense, her affection straddles both instruments, and she is not sure that, even now, she would like either to present, or even listen to, a recital entirely devoted to the viola.
Many string players own several instruments. Sometimes they use one for practice, or for a particular repertoire. Sometimes they prefer not to risk touring with a precious instrument, even though that particular viola may produce an especially beautiful sound, or is comfortable to play.
If one instrument gets damaged, it is always useful to have another to replace it while the broken one is repaired.
Clare talks about what is involved in owning such a special instrument.