NFT Classics Society released the Cobbett Stradivarius Violin NFT collection in conjunction with NFT.NYC, the world’s leading annual non-fungible token conference. Melding the images of a violin made in 1683 in Cremona by Antonio Stradivari, the “Cobbett,” with a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne on the violin, the Cobbett NFT collection is the first Stradivarius NFT created with original sound and visuals. AI Network and Sejong Soloists, an internationally acclaimed chamber orchestra, partnered on the project, which features Stephen Kim, Sejong Soloists’ violinist and third prize winner of the 2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition, performing on the Cobbett.
The Cobbett Stradivarius NFTs are offered in three tiers. The first tier, Maestro, is video art created from 360-degree photographs of the violin and the 14-minute Bach Chaconne performance. Six-time Grammy winning recording producer and engineer Da-Hong Seetoo produced the recording, and Ziv Arazi photographed the instrument. The Maestro NFT includes two VIP tickets to Sejong Soloists’ concerts for one year.
The second tier, Virtuoso, is a series of 31 unique NFTs featuring the original artwork of acclaimed South Korean digital artists Sho Jang and Sangeun Won with the Cobbett motif. For the music, Kim’s original recording has been segmented by AI generating 15 to 30 second excerpts.
The third tier, Prodigy, consists of 93 unique NFTs. The images are 3D generative art derived by AI from the Cobbett Stradivarius photographs. Each NFT features AI sound models developed by Poza Labs, an AI music company in South Korea, from an analysis of Bach’s Chaconne. Through the artificial intelligence model used in the area of natural language processing (NLP), it is possible to create various versions of violin performances by automating the composition process. In addition, by post-processing the characteristics of the Stradivari violin, AI performance was ultimately created. Virtuosos and Prodigies will each include two tickets to Sejong Soloists’ performances at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul on August 31, 2022, or Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on March 7, 2023.
Beginning on June 20, the first tier went on auction and the second and third tiers were made available for purchase at OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace.
“Sejong Soloists is exploring possibilities in the metaverse and NFTs as there are expanded creative opportunities beyond transporting real-world experiences to online. Partnering with AI companies, we are seeking ways to incorporate today’s newest technologies into classical music,” said Sejong Soloists Executive Director Kyung Kang.
Sejong Soloists first ventured into the metaverse in August 2021 with a series of events and performances that were part of its annual Hic et Nunc! Festival in South Korea, where they serve as ensemble-in-residence. The events appeared on Gather, a popular virtual meeting place, in what was possibly the first classical artists’ space in the metaverse.
NFT Classics Society also exhibited the digital art at NFT.NYC and Soul Night, a four-day NFT.NYC event drawing key players and enthusiasts of NFTs, AI and art, hosted by Aeon Studio and AI Network.
The offerings have been made available with the support of POZA Labs, The Only Moments and Rare Violins of New York.
Follow the NFT Classics Society on Twitter (@nftclassic_soc) or Discord (@nftclassics). For more information on the Cobbett NFT and the NFT Classics Society, visit https://www.nftclassicsociety.ai/.
ABOUT NFT CLASSICS SOCIETY
NFT Classics Society (NCS) is a digital community for classical music. NCS was created by AI Network, Sejong Soloists and The Only Moments recently, and plans to release a series of classical music NFTs.
ABOUT AI NETWORK
AI Network is a blockchain-based, cloud computing architecture for the internet and is collaborative for AI. Through a decentralized cloud infrastructure, AI Network turns open source projects into live services. This incentivizes the creation and utilization of innovative programs globally.
ABOUT SEJONG SOLOISTS
Hailed by CNN as "one of the top ensembles of today,” Sejong Soloists has performed internationally on the world’s major stages, and in U.S. venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center at their invitation. Since its inception 28 years ago, the orchestra has performed 600 concerts in more than 120 cities around the world. Sejong Soloists served as the Honorary Ambassador of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games and ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival for nine seasons.
From 2004 through 2010 Sejong Soloists played a leading role in the creation and development of the Great Mountains International Music Festival (now Music in PyeongChang). Sejong Soloists also strives to cultivate future generations of performers and is committed to advancing the artistry and leadership of its musicians. Current and former Sejong members such as concertmasters of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, and Hamburg National Philharmonic Orchestra continue to perform as ensemble members worldwide.
Sejong Soloists was established as a string orchestra in New York in 1994, consisting of eleven young international artists invited by Hyo Kang, Professor of Violin from the Juilliard School. Sejong Soloists has ventured and grown with bold performances and repertoires ranging from chamber music to symphony orchestra, to collaborations with eclectic soloists.
ABOUT STEPHEN KIM
American violinist Stephen Kim is continually praised for his originality and honest performances. Stephen gained international recognition most recently winning the third prize at the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition. In 2020, he made his Carnegie Hall debut performing with the Juilliard Orchestra. He also was the first violinist in the history of the Aspen Music Festival to win all three violin competitions in 2014, 2013 and 2011. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, Master of Music from the Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing Professional Studies at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.
ABOUT DA-HONG SEETOO
Six-time Grammy winner Da-Hong Seetoo has emerged as one of a handful of elite audio engineers, using his own custom-designed microphones, monitor speakers, and computer software. His recent clients include the Emerson, Miró, and Tokyo String Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, pianists Daniel Barenboim and Christopher O'Reilly, violinist Gil Shaham, the Singapore and Taipei Symphony Orchestras, and David Finckel and Wu Han for the ArtistLed label.
ABOUT THE COBBETT, a violin by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1683
Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) is the most celebrated violin maker of all time. Working in the small northern Italian city of Cremona, he left an unsurpassable legacy. The “Cobbett” Stradivarius is crafted on a grand pattern with measurements that are very similar to large-form instruments made during his golden period. The tone is vibrant and silky with tremendous carrying power. Named after a previous owner, English amateur violinist and author on chamber music, Walter Wilson Cobbett, the violin is on generous loan to Sejong Soloists.
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