How long have you been in a relationship with your current instrument?
And I'm not asking how long you have played, but how long you have played the instrument that you play now. There is a difference!
I was impressed with the story of Scott Slapin's 30th anniversary with his modern viola, a Hiroshi Iizuka. Now that is a long time!
Taking on a new instrument is actually a pretty big deal, some might even compare it to a marriage! You make a commitment to that instrument, and then you keep it at your side. You work together, you take care of it, you create some beautiful moments together.
There is a certain kind of ceremony to this union, and for me it's been different with each of the four major violins I've had. Early on, my grandmother gave me the "Strad," literally from her attic, an old German factory violin that had been in the family. It was a huge deal; she and my Grandfather personally drove it from Cleveland to Denver to put it in my hands (well, and just to visit us!). Still, the occasion had weight, and that violin was my partner in college and beyond.
My next violin, a lovely modern instrument by David Scroggin, came from a local luthier. It had been made for someone else, and had amber crystals in the varnish, some funny stuff! This was a step up, and we also had many adventures together, until I fell head over heels with the violin I have now, a Gagliano brothers from the mid 19th c. A complicated marriage, there, involving the sale of my old instrument, a loan to be paid over years, etc. A huge commitment to a violin that I loved and still do.
How long have you been with your current instrument? And what is the story behind it?
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