A recent story described how Indiana University lent a Guadagnini violin to Joshua Bell during the early days of his career. The violin is now being sold, but it made me wonder, how many of us have relied on a loaned violin, at one point or another?
Certainly many of the finest touring violinists of today rely on such loans, often for their entire careers. After all, who can afford a $12 million Stradivari violin?
But honestly, sometimes it's hard to afford any violin at all, and the loan of a very modest instrument makes a very big difference.
I've mostly played on violins that I have bought (and one took seven years to buy!) but I do remember one very important instrument loan: my very first violin, when I was an eight-year-old public school student. I may have never started at all, without that! I was lucky that my school had a program and that it had some violins to loan.
Have you ever played on a loaned violin? Was it from your school, from a teacher, from a foundation, or something else? Did you borrow a violin for a long period of time? Did you borrow a higher-quality violin for a special performance or competition? Have you ever lent a violin of yours to a colleague, student or relative? Please participate in the vote and then tell us all about your experience with loaning - or lending - instruments.
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