In an era when the finest violins are fetching millions of dollars, you might wonder if such objects ever reach the hands of violinists, who don't tend to be millionaires.
To that end, I have some good news: Violinist Augustin Hadelich has just been awarded the use of the "Kiesewetter" Stradivari of 1723, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison of Buffalo, New York, through the The Stradivari Society, director Suzanne Fushi said.
Augustin in recital at Carnegie Hall in 2008 - photo by Erin Baiano
Augustin has been playing on the “ex-Gingold” Strad of 1683 since winning the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in 2006. The winner of the competition is awarded the use of the instrument for four years, until the next competition, in which the instrument is awarded to the next winner. With the Indy Competition set to begin September 10, Augustin was running out of time.
“I'm really excited about, and grateful for, this loan,” Augustin wrote to me after receiving the “Kiesewetter.” “I'm still getting to know it, of course. It has a very big, beautiful sound, and many colors and nuances that I will have fun exploring over the next months. It was made 40 years after the ex-Gingold that I've been playing, and yet in some ways they feel similar when I play them.”
The “Kiesewetter” had been on loan for five years to violinist Philippe Quint, who will now be loaned the "Ruby" Stradivari of 1708 through an anonymous donor, Fushi said. The “Ruby” was previously loaned to such artists as Vadim Repin, Leila Josefowicz and Kyoko Takezawa.
“Of course I was sad to give the ex-Gingold back,” said Augustin, who returned the “Gingold” on Wednesday, “since I'd been through so much with that violin over the last 4 years.” Augustin has kept a busy schedule of recitals and concerts, most recently making the news when he stood in for violinist Nikolaj Znaider at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, where Hadelich played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic.
Hadelich might play the Gingold one more time (unless he plays the new fiddle!) in recital at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center in Indianapolis, during the 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. The competition takes place Sept. 10 through Sept. 26, and you will certainly get the chance to listen in, as the whole thing will be podcast, and I will be going to Indianapolis to write about it, Sept. 22 through Sept. 26. I'm looking forward to the chance to hear some of most promising young violinists of today, and also to the chance to meet modern violin makers and test new violins during the Spotlight on Today's Violin Makers Sept. 25 and 26, with luthiers such as Gregg Alf, Terry Borman, Joseph Curtin, Joseph Grubaugh & Sigrun Seifert, Feng Jiang, Francis Kuttner, Wendy and Peter Moes, Frank Ravatin, Raymond Schryer and William R. Scott.
I hope to meet some V.commies at the IVCI as well! In the mean time, congratulations to Augustin!
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