Music

Legendary violins: the true story of Stradivarius

Legendary violins: the true story of Stradivarius

The Paris Music Museum owns several violins from the workshops of the Stradivari family. Among them, the Davidoff, the Tua, the Longuet, the Provigny and the Sarasate. – Credit:Albert Giordan / City of Music

It exist between 600 and 700 copies, scattered across the planet, held by foundations and museums, but also by a handful of privileged violinists. Stradivariuses are more than just musical instruments. Today they have the rank of a treasure… Their price bears witness to this! Year after year, auctions continue to soar for these legendary violins.

In a public sale organized in London in 2011, the instrument of “Lady Blunt”, the granddaughter of the poet Lord Byron, had tu 10 million pounds sterling (the equivalent, then, of 16 million dollars). Last June, in New York, another Stradivarius that belonged to the virtuoso Toscha Seidel, violin teacher of Albert Einstein, best known to the general public for having interpreted the soundtrack of the Wizard of Ozexceeded $15.3 million.

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In a beautiful book*, published by Editions de la Philharmonie de Paris, Jean-Philippe Échard, curator at the Music Museum, tells us the story of these legendary instruments which take their name from a family of luthiers from Cremona. A dynasty founded by Antonio Stradivari, a violin maker born around 1644 in this city which was then part of the Duchy of Milan. “Cremona is since the XVIe century a center renowned throughout Europe for the quality of the bowed and plucked string instruments produced there”, explains the author […] Read more

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