who is the current owner of the 1718 strad firebird?

January 22, 2007 at 03:37 AM · i have been a fan of the 1718 firebird strad that was played by accardo.

does anyone know who owns it now? i read that it sold for $7.2M or so.


Replies (31)

January 22, 2007 at 03:27 PM · Don't know who owns it, but I got to see it a few years ago when it was being sold through Peter Prier in Salt Lake City . . . Peter wouldn't let me touch it, but he let me play a couple of Del Gesu's he had in the shop.

January 23, 2007 at 12:08 AM · isnt that ironic?

he lets you play a couple of del gesu's yet doesnt let you touch the firebird!?!?!

how did it look in person? is the varnish a deep orange red? pictures never do any instrument justice...

January 23, 2007 at 11:21 PM · It was very red with hints of orange--more red than orange--as I recall. I only got one look at it when he was pulling the del's out of the safe--he took it out for just a couple of seconds to show me.

I hope someone responds who knows the new owner. There was an Asian guy in a suit and sunglasses who came in the shop that day to inquire about it.

I don't blame him for being careful with the Firebird. That day, I brushed the back of one of the del's briefly before he quickly instructed me not to touch anything but the neck because people who are really in the market for these instruments want them "clean." I don't use a shoulder rest, so it wasn't an issue, but I'm sure that would've been out of the question.

In any case, I felt a little silly after that happened. I'm incredibly grateful I had a chance to play them. It was very important for me to understand what those instruments are capable of, and to make myself worthy. At the time, I wasn't. It was the first time I thought to myself (and I've played some amazing instruments), "this is like playing a living soul, and I think it has more to give than I do." After working like a dog since that time, I think I might be ready, so I hope I get another chance at it.

January 24, 2007 at 02:54 AM · kimberlee, some dealers are very careful with the instruments, to the point of being neurotic. Others will trust you with their multi million dollar instruments. Some people are very generous with letting others try their instruments. For me it's pretty rediculous to tell someone who plays decently every day of their life for at least a few hours how or where to hold a violin. Then again, it's not my instrument so it's up to them. A few times backstage a violinist was kind enough to let me try their Del Gesu or Strad, and I must say that those types of people are by far the nicest and least crazy about the instrument.

January 24, 2007 at 02:51 AM · see! now you wetted my interest in trying out some strads and del gesu's!!! it is inevitable that i will play at least one of each but i am holding back as long as i can!

the reason i know that the firebird was sold was i did a casual google one day and saw an asian guy sitting on a couch with three violins (i think) and one of them was the firebird. it stated that it sold for $7.2M (or so).

i was stunned. i didnt think accardo would have ever sold it.

actually, it is my goal to hopefully own a strad or at least a bergonzi before i turn 50. it is hard work but i see light at the end of the tunnel! :)

still waiting for the owner to pipe in!!!

January 24, 2007 at 03:22 AM · A "light" at the end of the tunnel? What do YOU do for a living?!

January 24, 2007 at 04:27 AM · I think Accardo now plays on the "Hart" strad that was formerly owned by Zino Francescatti.


January 27, 2007 at 01:39 AM · I believe Menuhin said he never touched the violin anywhere other than the neck and chin rest area. After I read that I never touch my violin on the surface area unless I really have to. It is certainly true that less contact with the surface means less human oils to break down varnish. But if someone else is playing my violin I usually don't scream at them if they happen to touch it somewhere else. After all it isn't a strad, but hey I love my Bernardel just as much.

February 6, 2007 at 02:17 AM · when i saw the firebird it was at peter prier's to be sold again i assume but that is where it was recently

February 6, 2007 at 02:42 AM · I own it!!!


March 13, 2007 at 03:03 AM · He still owns it when I looked up Peter Prier.

March 13, 2007 at 03:13 AM · It is still for sale by Prier. Cozio.com says it was also previously owned by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Petit Prince).


March 13, 2007 at 03:15 AM · Good! There's still time for me to get it!

*stacks empty beer bottles*

April 1, 2007 at 05:35 PM · I was in Prier's shop a few days ago and the "firebird" was still there. What a gorgeous instrument! The color is truly amazing, I don't think any picture could do it justice.

April 1, 2007 at 06:11 PM · For $7.2M it better be a pretty fancy shade of brown.

April 1, 2007 at 07:40 PM · For 7.2$ million it better make me breakfast and tuck me in at night.

April 1, 2007 at 08:28 PM · If you could afford that Strad you could have the hired help make breakfast and tucxk you in.

April 1, 2007 at 08:02 PM · From: Skowronski: Classical Recordings

The Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andrea that belongs to Vincent P. Skowronski is another extraordinary 'something' to be coveted. Not only is it a beauty of a specimen but also a player's dream. The fiddle can be sampled to good effect on all of Skowronski's recordings. --S:CR--

April 2, 2007 at 05:09 AM ·

I've been trying to find out who owns the violin my teacher used ('Ludwig' Strad). I'd be interested if anyone knows.

April 7, 2007 at 01:06 PM · I'm reminded of an amusing incident when one dealer aked me to try a Peter Guarneri (-don't remember if it was PeterI or II). I honestly didn't like it too much, but after a few minutes he said "So, should I wrap it up for you?" I replied "Sure! Do you accept Monopoly money?" he said "I will if somebody else will!" Fair enough!

January 23, 2008 at 05:10 PM · I used to be able to play on my teachers guarneri del gesu occasionally. it was such a beautiful instrument. You had to use a full bow, but wow could you perform on that.

as we were talking about before, she always let me try it, and loaned her other Stradivari to the 2nd violinist in her quartet, (The Moscow String Qrtet.

Both are amazing instruments. and if i ever want to end up in jail, the crime would be robbing both of the instruments!

...kidding. lol

January 23, 2008 at 06:15 PM · I love my strad, though, it was made in 2005 and I bought it from Knilling, but hey, it's mine! ;)

January 23, 2008 at 10:23 PM ·

January 23, 2008 at 11:55 PM · I don't think anyone owns the Firebird right now...I got to play it for a good ten minutes in Peter Prier's shop last July.

January 24, 2008 at 09:32 AM · Just FYI for people who haven't seen it (myself included, until after I discovered this link):

The Firebird Stradivari 1718 ex Saint Exupery

December 26, 2009 at 04:26 PM ·

 I'm an amatuer player, having started playing classical as a kid, then migrating into jazz, bluegrass, Irish and whatever else comes along.  I was in Peter Prier's shop last November, looking for a better violin for my 30-year old daughter, who was playing my old beginner fiddle.  Since this was to be a surprise, I got to sample violins to choose one for her.  I had a ball playing his assortment available in my price range, and Peter apparently enjoyed the process too.  When we had selected a few possibilites, he offered to let me see some violins that would really " knock my socks off".  Before I knew it, he had me holding the Firebird with a bow in hand, explaining its history and encouraging me to give it a try.  I played for about 5 minutes, and was amazed at the responsiveness and tone.  I couldn't play a bad note...and I've played many.  The instrument felt warm on my left hand, and I had melodies come to me that I'd never played or heard before.  Eventually, I reluctantly handed it back, knowing that I'm now a ruined man.  I wished I was so much better, had practiced more, etc... I can now understand how an instrument can encourage and inspire players to levels they've never imagined.  Peter was so easygoing about it, and I feel very lucky as a schmuck off the street wearing a Harley jacket and jeans, to have had such an experience.   I'll be buying my next violin from him to replace my fake and poorly repaired 1800's French/German "Strad".  

December 26, 2009 at 08:06 PM ·

I purchased my violin in Peter's shop. In fact he assembled my first violin from an import kit when he was a new shop manager for Pearce Music Company in Salt Lake City in the mid 60s.( Importing finished violins had a high tariff so German violin makers would make instruments that were finished except for final gluing and varnishing and ship them to dealers who would put them together and put a shop label on them.)

He has let me play some of the finer instruments in his shop. My experience is that when I tried to make a sound they screamed. A little effort produced an enormous result and that these great violins actually demand a great technique to control them. They were completely overwhelming to me. 

January 6, 2010 at 03:04 PM ·

Wow. I didn't know that the Firebird is for sale. I made a case to measure for it a few years back and remember that the instrument was truly incredible.

The last case I made for Salvatore Accardo (June 2009) was one that had an expandible padding to fit both the ex- Francescatti and a Maggini (over 36cm!).  

January 9, 2010 at 06:29 AM ·

Maestro Accardo no longer has the 1718 "Firebird" for a number of years now. He plays regularly on the Stradivari  "Hart - Francescatti" of 1727, sometimes on a Maggini and up until a short time ago on the Guarneri 'del Gesù'  "Haddock" of 1735 .


January 9, 2010 at 02:50 PM ·

Wow,great to see you here on V.com Bruce!



January 10, 2010 at 08:25 AM ·

Thanks, happy to be here. Hopefully I can contribute to the discussion.


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