Which violinists, violists and cellists own their own Strads or del Gesus?

March 29, 2017 at 07:35 PM · I recently looked in on a Stradivari Society recital, which I'm planning to write about. It made me start thinking about the question: which of today's finest string players own their own fine instruments? Here's who came to mind: Joshua Bell, James Ehnes (I think), Elizabeth Pitcairn. When it comes to the very valuable old Italians, who else owns, rather than borrows?

Replies (22)

March 29, 2017 at 08:06 PM · Itzhak Perlman (Strad) and Anne Akiko Meyers (Strad) also. Anne Akiko Meyers also has the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu, but someone else bought it and let her have it for lifetime use, so I don't think she technically owns it.

March 29, 2017 at 08:51 PM · Rachel Barton Pine (del Gesu and Gagliano). Her foundation was also donated a Strad

March 29, 2017 at 09:09 PM · Anne Sophie Mutter (2 Strads, the Emiliani and the Lord Dunn-Raven)

Leonidas Kavakos (1 Strad, the Abergavennie, and pre-owner of another Strad, the Falmouth, as well as of a G.B.Guadagnini which I guess he also sold.)

March 29, 2017 at 09:22 PM · Nigel Kennedy, the Lafont Guarneri del Gesu

Pinchas Zukermann, the Dushkin Guarneri del Gesu, and also owns a GDG viola.

March 29, 2017 at 10:06 PM · Maxim Vengerov owns the 1727 Kreutzer Strad.

March 29, 2017 at 10:12 PM · David Garrett has purchased 2 strads. His first strad which he subsequently destroyed in an accident I believe...

March 29, 2017 at 11:59 PM · Julia Fischer owns her 1742 Guadagnini.

March 30, 2017 at 12:12 AM · I think Daniel Hope owns the ex-Lipinski Guarneri that he plays.


March 30, 2017 at 02:40 AM · :Nuuska M.

March 29, 2017 at 09:22 PM · Nigel Kennedy, the Lafont Guarneri del Gesu

Pinchas Zukermann, the Dushkin Guarneri del Gesu, and also owns a GDG viola. [Flag?]"

There are no GDG violas extant.

Cozio.com has an excellent search engine that allows you to search both musicians and instruments to see who has owned and presently owns them, but considering the value of these items, most players who own one probably don't want it publicized.

March 30, 2017 at 08:39 AM · Does David Fulton count? (he does play!)

He owns the following Strads and Del Gesus:

Stradivari La Pucelle 1709

Stradivari "General Kyd, Perlman" 1714

Stradivari "Marsick" 1715

Stradivari "Baron d'Assignies" 1713

Stradivari "Alba, Herzog, Coronation" 1719

Stradivari "Sassoon" 1733

Stradivari "Baron Knoop, Bevan" 1715

Guarneri del Gesù "King Joseph" 1737

Guarneri del Gesù "Stern, Panette, Balâtre, Alard" 1737

Guarneri del Gesù "Lord Wilton" 1742

Guarneri del Gesù "Haddock" 1734

Guarneri del Gesù "d'Egville" 1735

Guarneri del Gesù "Kemp, Emperor" 1738

Guarneri del Gesù "Carrodus" 1743

Stradivari Cello "Bass of Spain, Adam" 1713

Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù Cello "Messeas" 1731

He owns also other very valuable antique instruments but the question was about Strads and Del Gesus. ;)

March 30, 2017 at 11:22 AM · According the sleeve notes on his Paganini Violin and Guitar Duet 9 CD collection, in those recordings Luigi Bianchi plays the Stradivari "Colossus" of 1716 and a Giovanni Maggini of 1620.

Viktoria Mullova plays a 1750 G.B. Guadagnini in her recordings of solo Bach and Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord.

It appears that David L Fulton (reference Fox Mitchell's post above) loans out instruments from his collection, certainly for specific performances.

March 30, 2017 at 02:01 PM · Bianchi's violin was stolen in 1998, according to Tarisio.

March 30, 2017 at 02:25 PM · Buswell owns a Strad.

In general, players who started more than 30 years ago have a much higher chance of owning a good fiddle. I knew a number of teachers or coaches who owned Gaglianos, for example. In those days, they were priced like used cars (including Ferraris, Bugattis, etc., on the very high end). Now they are priced like houses.

March 30, 2017 at 06:39 PM · @ duane lasley

You are absolutely right, no GDG viola. Zukerman's viola is a blending of Andrea (bottom and sides) and Filius = Giuseppe Giovanni Battista (top plate). Thank you for putting this right.

March 30, 2017 at 08:58 PM · Wow Fox, I did not know about David Fulton, just looked him up. Man! Starting up a successful software company and then selling it to Microsoft at its height surely gets you some mileage! I hope he lends out his violin to good violinists?

March 30, 2017 at 09:08 PM · The Marsick Strad played by James Ehnes is owned by Fulton.

March 30, 2017 at 11:23 PM · Lydia,

James owns the Marsick. Mr. Fulton was very good to James.

Mr. Fulton has been selling off his instruments, so he doesn't have all of those.

I got to go to his house twice. Tired eyes...

March 31, 2017 at 02:56 AM · Elizabeth Pitcairn the 1720 Red Mendelssohn Stradivari

March 31, 2017 at 11:22 PM · My father owned quite a large number of Strads - I'm not sure whether we have any of them left.

I think it was quite late on into his retirement that he stopped taking it, in spite of it's not being known for its sense of humour.

PS Shumsky owned one, as did Frydberg (I got to play on this one for a few seconds) - They sounded better than my father's.

And Lionel Bentley owned and played one. And he brought it and performed on it at school orchestra courses.

April 2, 2017 at 04:17 AM · John, I'll be happy to take any extra strads off your hands.

April 2, 2017 at 08:14 AM · Salvatore Accardo owned the "Firebird" and "ex-Francescatti" Strads. Now he owns the 1730 "ex-Hart" del Gesù as well as the "George III" Maggini of 1620.

For those who don't know, Giovanni Paolo Maggini was a Brescian maker (pupil of Gasparo da Salò) whose work is recognizable for the double purfling and the dimensions: the "George III" in fact is 1cm longer than a classic Cremonese violin.

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