Mary Kate, I have a very bright French made instrument. It can project (be very loud, like Michael said) like a Petrov. Having played it for 40 years, I wanted to give you some perspective on having a bright sounding violin. I’ve played my violin outdoors, around the campfire, in plays, at weddings, in symphony settings, lots of background music settings like dinner theater, operas, plays, recitals and so on.
In any setting, with a bright violin, you never have to worry about not being heard, or your sound disappearing in the wind or the great big halls. If you have a ‘warm, mellow’ violin, it’s easier to blend in to an ensemble, but you have to work hard to stand out when you want to, or project over a large outdoor area.
A bright violin keeps you honest on technique. Yes, it doesn’t hide the imperfections of your playing like a mellow instrument does in some cases. Then again, it teaches you to play well, because every sound is going to project, both the good ones and the not so good ones. You will have to be a more excellent, more attentive player. On the flip side, when you play well, the violin will sparkle like the sun on a lake, and that brings goose bumps to your listener, recognition of your peers, and satisfaction to you. If you’re a serious student, a Petrov might be just the thing.