Anne Akiko Meyers has some nice fiddles -- now add the "Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu to the list, which include her two Strads!
Last time I checked, the asking price for the 1741 "Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu was $18 million, but no one is saying how much the instrument actually fetched. Anne did not buy the fiddle herself, but it was bought for her lifetime use by an anonymous sponsor. The violin was purchased from Ian Stoutzker, a London banker, through the dealer J & A Beare, Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. The one hint about the selling price, though, is that it exceeded the previous world-record sale price of the "Lady Blunt" Strad, which was sold in 2011 by Tarisio Auctions for $15.9 million.
In the fall of 2010, Anne bought the 1697 "ex-Molitor/Napolean" Strad for a then-record-breaking price of $3.6 million . She already owned and had been playing the 1730 "Royal Spanish" Strad since 2005. In 2012 she released a recording called Air: the Bach Album in which she played the Bach Double with herself, using the "Molitor" Strad (which she calls "Molly") for the first violin part and the "Royal Spanish" Strad for the second.
“I have never heard another violin with such a beautiful spectrum of color,” Anne said of the "Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu in a press release today. “I am honored and humbled to receive lifetime use of the instrument, and I look forward to taking the violin to audiences all over the world.”
The violin is also an exquisite work of art, light in weight and color, pristine in condition, without a crack in the wood.
The violin is named for its original owner, Henri Vieuxtemps, but it was also played by Eugène Ysaÿe and Yehudi Menuhin. The fiddle recently spent time at Bein and Fushi of Chicago, where a number of artists tried it out, including Joshua Bell, Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint.
Below is a video of Anne talking about the "Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu, with excerpts from December 2012 of her performing on the instrument, playing the Barber Violin Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall; and playing Mason Bates' new violin concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by Leonard Slatkin.
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