Philippe Quint signed his name on the "heart" of the violin; Augustin Hadelich signed it below where the tailpiece will go. Near that is the signature of Joshua Bell, by the right center bout. Ray Chen signed it near the right shoulder, underneath the fingerboard, "to guide all the E-string passages, in the highest moments."
In all, an impressive group of 27 violin soloists from all over the world have signed their names to the inside of a modern copy of Niccolò Paganini's 1743 "Il Cannone" Guarneri del Gesú violin. Starting this week, the violin is being auctioned by Tarisio, in a fundraiser for Instituto Baccarelli, which provides music education to children living in poverty in Brazil's "favelas." The bidding opens Tuesday and closes on Oct. 24 at 2:45 p.m. CEST. (Click here for more information.)
The violin copy was made in 2021 by Luiz Amorim at Amorim Fine Violins in Cremona, Italy. Amorim then traveled the globe with the violin to secure the signatures of famous violinists - and wow, did he succeed! The violin is signed on the inside back by Schlomo Mintz, Joshua Bell, Ray Chen, Daniel Hope, Augustin Hadelich, Francesca Dego, Philippe Quint, David Garrett, Xiaoming Wang, Ilya Gringolts, Roman Simovic, Giuseppe Gibbboni, Julia Fischer, Emmanuele Baldini, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Stefan Milenkovich, Maxim Vengerov, Esther Abrami, Elly Suh, Anastasiya Petryshak, Salvatore Accardo, Sean, Lauren and David Carpenter, Aleksey Igudesman, Boris Brovtsyn, and Fabrizio von Arx.
He even took videos of each violinist signing it - you can see those videos here. With all its world travel, the violin was then named "Il Cannone Giramondo" - "giramondo" meaning "globetrotter."
The first person to sign the violin (right by the label) was Italian violinist Francesca Dego, who is the ambassador of the project. She had just released a recording called Il Cannone: Francesca Dego plays Paganini's Violin - in which she performed on Paganini's original 'il Cannone" violin at Genoa Town Hall, where it is permanently housed and guarded by a six-person security detail. During that process she forged a special relationship with the instrument.
When she learned of the copy being made by Amorim, she came to the workshop in Cremona, and played on the copy. She then watched Luiz open the violin and became the first violinist to sign the inside of it.
"I had never held just a single part of a violin," Dego said. "I remember with emotion how light the bottom of the 'Cannone Giramondo' felt in my hands: a thin and elegant wooden plate ready to receive my signature," she said. "Since that moment, I have been followed by many colleagues, many of whom I know have been equally excited (to be part of this) charity project, of enormous importance, especially in a difficult moment like this."
Later, after the violin was fully signed, Dego came to Genoa and played the copy side-by-side with the original. In the video below, Dego plays the copy violin, which is then shown being signed by Philippe Quint, Augustin Hadelich, Daniel Hope, Joshua Bell, and Shlomo Mintz:
Inscribed on the inside top of the violin is: "Il Cannone Giramondo, A violin that travelled the world to collect the signatures of the most important violinists of today. The sale was in benefit of the children from Instituto Baccarelli in Brazil. Cremona, 2022." Branded to the inside top and lower block, "Luiz Amorim Cremona."
For more information on the auction of this violin, click here.
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