Whatever happened to Violinist, Dylana Jensen

November 3, 2004 at 06:39 AM · Back in 1984 Dylana performed the Sebelius Concerton with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the Bushnell Auditorium. She literally brought the house down and received a most favorable review from Steve Metcalf in The Hartford Courant.

However, at that time, an institution in the west, L.A., took back the 1743 Guarneri 'del Gesu' it had been lending her, putting her in the position of many string performers of not having an adequate instrument.

Touched by her plight, and having the means of communication at the time, I began to write letters to people in the media, as well as muisical figures.

At the time, many of the replies were more expressions of admiration for my concern than offers of assistance. However, I did connect with the then manager of WCRB, Waltham, MA, who had recently sponsored a performance of the Bruch COncerto at Boston Symphony Hall, featuring Dylana and The Boston Symphony. I do believe that this may have led, at least indirectly, to her receiving a Strad from a prominently influential group.

In April of 1986 I attended a performance of the Beethoven Concerto with the Philhnarmonia Orchestra of Yale in New Haven. After the concert I met her, and her Father, Lee, Mother, Ana back staage. Her mother stated, "I still can't hear her. The reviews were nothing to enclose in one's momory book.

Since then I have not been able to reach her family, formerly living in New Rochelle, NY. Nor do I know what has become of her. It had been suggested to me that she may be abroad, possibly in Japan.

I do not know whether her parents are still living.

For years I have thought her a high ranking performer, but not receiving the kind of management or contacts that, say, Ann Sophie Mutter enjoyed, she, Mutter, being a protege of Von Karyjan (sp).

Mrs. Jensen told me many times that the American musician does not receive the attention that is given in Europe, for example.

I have her recording of the Sebelius coupled with Rhondo Capricisso by Saint-Saens with Ormandy and the Phidelphia. It. is wonderful.

Incidentally it was her parents wish, had she been born a boy, to give the name Dylan , in honor of Dylan Thomas. Being a girl, hence the name Dylana.

Would be most interested in her present whereabouts and updated news about her family, career, etc.

Replies (100)

November 3, 2004 at 08:27 AM · She played with the Santa Barbara Symphony in March 2002.

You can certainly ask orchestras she's recently played with to help you get some form of contact info.

November 3, 2004 at 09:42 AM · She has 4 childrens and lives in Grand Rapids in Michigan with her husband David Lockington.

November 3, 2004 at 10:30 PM · did you know that off hand mattias? sometimes i wonder if you have some bible/encyclopedia of music lying around of if you just know everything.

November 4, 2004 at 01:22 AM · Here's a link to a recent discussion regarding Dylana Jenson...apparently alive, well, teaching at a University and at peace with a custom made violin...



November 4, 2004 at 01:46 AM · She is still with David Lockington? He conducted the Young Artists' Orchestra of Denver when I was in it 1,000 years ago.

November 4, 2004 at 02:07 AM · http://www.dylanajenson.com/

November 4, 2004 at 03:14 AM · Greetings,

Laurie what do you mean `still with David Lockington?`

Perhaps they coudldn`t agree on how to divide up the kids?

Send them to Mattias is a good solution,



November 4, 2004 at 05:05 AM · Are there any cannibals here?

-No, we ate the last one yesterday.

November 4, 2004 at 05:11 AM · Greetings,

Mattias, I told you never to let the secret of mummy`s Swedish meatballs get out,

No car for you this weekend,


November 4, 2004 at 06:10 AM · Marriages don't always last 1,000 years! BTW did you know, the Captain and Tennille are still together?

November 4, 2004 at 06:26 AM · Greetings,

Laurie, the marriages last. Only the people die.

Second gambit rejected.



November 24, 2004 at 01:29 AM · I have been studying with Dylana Jenson for the last 5 to 6 years (two in high school and I'm currently in my fourth year in college). She is an unbelievable teacher (she teaches at Grand Valley State University) and needs to build a studio, because Grand Valley has a growing music program. She studied with Milstein and uses and teaches the technique he taught her. Her artistry is unmatched and she's trying to boost start her career now that she has a violin (see the story on her website and in the online interview). She's playing the Goldmark concerto in Carnegie Hall with the Grand Rapids Symphony this coming May. On top of all of this, she is a wonderful person and focuses on the practical sides of life and violin playing. From everything she's taught us about Milstein, he was very similar in this respect.

November 24, 2004 at 06:07 AM · I have to second Cameron's sentiments. I was never a Jenson student but did take several lessons with her in the wake of my departure from DH's studio. And in one or two lessons she taught me more about sound and sound production - both by example and by directing my ears to note the right elements - than any other teacher I ever played for, with the possible exception of Vladimir Zyskind.

She struck me as a genuinely warm, wonderful and incredibly generous person and I'm only sorry that I didn't have the chance to work with her at greater length. As for her recording of the Sibelius with Ormandy, I can simply say that I have never heard a better second movement. Or at least not that I can recall.

November 24, 2004 at 08:52 PM · Am most gratified to read so many favorable comments about Dylana resulting from my original aarticle submitted to this website.

We are a music loving family, I being a Disk Jockey for many years in the Boston area.

My son, Lorne is one of the most sought after drummer, percussion producers in the east. His website is www.lorneentress.com.


January 12, 2006 at 11:34 PM · I think she's saying who needs a grey old husband. Or maybe she figured he'd have dropped dead by now.

January 13, 2006 at 01:20 AM · We heard her play in Carnegie Hall last spring-- Goldmark Concerto.

January 13, 2006 at 06:10 AM · I just listened to her Sibelius concerto with Ormandy- very good! Thanks for the recomendations of all those above.

November 14, 2006 at 02:43 AM · I just heard Dylana play the Goldmark concerto in Troy, NY with the Albany Symphony, husband David Lockington conducting. Her playing was absolutely top-notch. For details see my review in berkshirefinearts.com:


It really is too bad she hasn't been more visible.

November 14, 2006 at 02:47 AM · I forgot to mention she'll be playing the Brahms in Littleton, MA with the Indian Hill Orchestra on april 28, 2007.

November 14, 2006 at 02:48 AM · She IS a v.com member.

I am sure you will get a reply from her soon enough.

Great player, what else to say.

November 14, 2006 at 03:07 AM · Whew,I read the original post on seats edge but everything turned out ok....

November 14, 2006 at 04:22 AM · Where can one hear her? or the performance you spoke of?

November 14, 2006 at 04:41 AM · I just heard Dylana play the Goldmark concerto in Troy, NY with the Albany Symphony, husband David Lockington conducting. Her playing was absolutely top-notch. For details see my review in berkshirefinearts.com:


It really is too bad she hasn't been more visible.

This is the same program we heard in Carnegie Hall-- her performance was stunning.

November 14, 2006 at 04:55 AM · She also decided that raising a family was important -- or I presume she did since she has four children!

She also has a web page, I think it's Dylanajensen.com


November 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM · She taught at Interlochen last summer.

November 14, 2006 at 12:14 PM · Very warm person, plain talking and straightforward. Devoted and enthusiastic teacher. She taught my daughter private lessons at the summer camp. I went to her masterclass while I was visiting my daughter at camp last summer. She has a simplistic(?) bow hold (Russian?), I believe the second knuckle on the index finger touches the stick. Somehow she could do very smooth bow changes without any fancy effort from fingers.


November 14, 2006 at 01:37 PM · Thanks for posting the original question. I heard her performing at Aspen somewhere between 1976-1978 if I recall and being thrilled with her playing. The were a number of other performers I heard that impressed me not nearly as much, although I do remember Nigel Kennedy at 15 playing the Brahms in a heavenly manner in a page-boy cut and looking very shy. He certainly overcame his shyness! It sounds as if she has found a great balance in her life of which I am very glad.

November 15, 2006 at 01:58 AM · Friends, she is right here. :)

May 2, 2007 at 11:54 PM · Dylana played the Brahms concerto last Saturday at Indian Hill, Littleton, MA and was brilliant

May 3, 2007 at 01:19 AM · She is a member of this website and lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, conductor David Lockington. They have several children and she teaches at Grand Valley State University. I believe she has a student who also posts here on occasion.

May 3, 2007 at 01:25 AM · I am sure she was brilliant; to me she is one of the best players of our time, very much in the caliber of the Mutters, Changs, Hahns, Vengerovs, Ehnes, Repin, etc…

She plays on a Zyg and thinks the world of it. I would love to see her compare her Zyg with the Strad and del Gesu that she use to perform on.

Again, a player with few equals whom, for whatever reason, has not gotten her due respect.

May 3, 2007 at 07:57 AM · She and I share the same birthday. :)

We exchanged dialogue a couple of times here, and because of a couple of posts she submitted at this website, I adopted a completely different left hand position. I owe her and Lisa Marsnik gratitude for this revelation. I'm guessing she must be an amazing teacher. In another life, I would live down in Michigan and study with her.

May 3, 2007 at 03:21 PM · I've never heard her play. I'm missing out.

I like that she's managed to build a career and raise a family on her OWN terms. Dylana Jensen = Superwoman!

May 3, 2007 at 03:35 PM · There's something refreshing about it, I agree.


May 3, 2007 at 07:17 PM · I was at the Littleton concert as well.

I found the technique kind of intersting. She has an excellent wrist vibrato (as opposeed to the arm vibratos that I keep seeing from well-known people).

On the bow arm, she very much leads with a high wrist on the up bows. But she doesn't seem to use her upper arm much. I can't figure out how she transitions from up bow to down bow.


June 16, 2007 at 10:23 PM · I heard her play a recital (well half a recital) at Grand Valley when she just started teaching there.

She played Vitali's Chaconne and I thought it was truly fine violin playing and part of the whole history of the instrument, but then she played Beethoven's Spring Sonate and to me she rushed through it like she was trying to impress someone with how well she could clean a kitchen rather than allowing the bucolic warmth of the Sonate to emerge (something not witheld from those who aren't part of the history of fine violin playing). I thought "even an alcoholic who is marginalized and homeless because of an emotional wound, when waking up on a park bench, would with the sunlight feel the same warmth that animates Beethoven's Sonate," – just because it's there as part of nature rather than part of society and it's way of trying to control human behavior. Then, within a week I found out that Beethoven used to do just that, that he would get tired of composing and walk around homeless for weeks and hang around with the other homeless people.

Sorry, that's what I heard so I didn't stay for the second half.

The Vitale was very fine playing though.

June 16, 2007 at 10:27 PM · Sorry but that really didn't make much sense.

June 16, 2007 at 10:54 PM · Mr. Viljoen,

No, I think rather you don't understand it than that it doesn't make much sense. And like the rest of life, it's not at all dependant on having to make sense to you or adhere to your logic in order to exist or have something to say.

June 16, 2007 at 11:27 PM · Ok, I was being nice. It's a self indulgent, tiresome diatribe. That better?

June 17, 2007 at 12:13 AM · I attended that recital. She is just a muscular player. And a fine one at that.

June 17, 2007 at 06:50 AM · As I said, I don't think she understood Beethoven musically, and rather than bringing out the universal emotional elements she turned it into a bravura display of playing all the notes, but to me the phrasing, the pastoral openess, the warmth, the masculine gentility and the calmness of expression were all missing.

This has nothing to do with what kind of muscles one has, and I believe having a technique which can make such a bravura display of all the notes while bypassing the musical and emotional message is a hindrance rather than a help. It might be better to not be able to do that to the music, making it into a display of "stick that in your ear."

I hope that, if she put her mind to it, she could come up with a deeper interpretation than what I heard that one particular day. Beethoven certainly is worth looking deeper into!

June 17, 2007 at 06:15 AM · Mr. Viljoen: as I said before like the rest of life, it's not at all dependant on having to make sense to you or adhere to your logic in order to exist or have something to say. And now I can add it certainly doesn't depend on your approval or that it becomes what it is when you believe you have defined it. You talk like people who incessantly complain about the weather as if your annoyance defines what it is.

Also, I'm again completely not going to go on about this, I have better things to do than get into tit for tat arguments with someone who is not honest to begin with and plays games trying to get under another's skin.

I hope you find something better to do yourself.

June 17, 2007 at 07:23 AM · Mr Bijkerk,

All I'm saying is that you could have just said that you found her Spring sonata uninspired, and that it ignores the spirit of warmth that Beethoven tried to convey. Instead, you have this very odd diatribe which was hardly here nor there. It just seemed odd.

June 17, 2007 at 07:36 AM · It was beautiful. I understood it completely.

Roelof, sometimes, in the pursuit of technical cleanliness, it becomes nearly impossible to keep the original idea intact. This it the violinist's bane. Sometimes, while we are trying to speak, we forget what it was we were trying to say.

June 17, 2007 at 08:38 AM · Emily, I wouldn't say that I think that Dylana doesn't have it in her to let Beethoven's Spring Sonate come out the way that it can. She was such a prodigy, then became a famous performer and then suddenly had her instrument taken away from her. She didn't seem to know what to do at that point. However, one can go deeper into the music, despite what life offers, in fact that is the challenge. And there is an incredible calmness there. I did think that her Vitali, as played, was part of the whole history of violin playing and clearly part of a whole school of fine violin playing. But, I think that the Beethoven Spring sonate transcends all of that and is just music, when one finds that and lets that bring the notes together and allows that to move the fingers, then something happens which seems effortless to those watching but truly is more work than anyone realizes. Jacqueline Du Pres had this ability, for example. She could never play the music without getting to the emotional essence of what was going on. And I think perhaps that the world is so incapable of accepting such sensitivity that she moved on before her time. At least for some people she's gone or rather beyond their reach.

You yourself are a truly amazingly empathetic person. Your posts here are a genuine blessing a gift and a respite from life's pains. Having such empathy I don't think it would make me happy to see you torn apart having the technique or ability to access emotions in the music that are universal and necessary to life and yet left unattended to by most people, leaving you in an uncomfortable vacuum.

People should be allowed to have music for themselves too...

that's the starting point, I think

June 18, 2007 at 01:51 AM · Dylana has recently redone her website, which can be found here:


A very nice interview with her (from 98) is given at ormandy.com.


In the interview she explains about the del Jesu and the period that followed, during which she did not actually have her own instrument.

(What a raw deal, being asked to return a del Jesu upon announcing one's engagement...this brings old-school male chauvinism to new depths...!)

June 18, 2007 at 04:29 AM · I also find it just incredibly repulsive that a woman wouldn't be allowed to get married without being labeled as someone who isn't serious about her career. However, that wasn't her violin. She could never have assumed she would have it forever. She also, with her concert career, had more of an income to buy a new instrument than the vast majority of other performers as well as more clout with other donors of instruments than the vast majority of other performers.

June 18, 2007 at 04:53 AM · If the audience is going to walk out on her like you do, she doesn't need any violin at all.

June 18, 2007 at 11:26 AM · yea... speaking of repulsive.

June 18, 2007 at 01:34 PM · Hi,

Thank you Barbara S for those links. Very interesting.

Getting an instrument on loan is not that obvious (there are many examples to substantiate this) and contrary to popular belief, finding the money is not easy, fees or not - soloists don't make all that much once expenses are paid. You also need to find a suitable instrument, which again, is not that easy a thing.


June 18, 2007 at 03:21 PM · Don't make me laugh, I wasn't aware that an audience member is required not to walk out on a performer,and that anyone leaving after intermission to practice is a traitor.

This is more along the lines of corporate media brain washing. Anyone who doesn't like Britney Speers or goes along with The Dixey Chicks anti Bush statements is unamerican...

I never said that taking away the violin because she was getting married was justified. And a soloist does make more money than other performers, perhaps not enough to buy a Guarnieri or a Strad, but enough to get a fine instrument.

June 18, 2007 at 02:48 PM · By the way, Rosand also had his violin taken away when he decided to get married. I guess some people simply don't believe art and family don't mix?


June 18, 2007 at 03:24 PM · I'm sure there are many incredibly beautiful instruments in vaults somewhere, instruments created to allow a human being the ability to reach into their own inner world but which are locked up somewhere as investments. Then there are the luthiers who sell the finest instruments, and to me it seems that they as well are more into the money game than taking care that the instruments are in the hands of people who would bring the miracle of their creation to light. As long as someone has the money to pay for an instrument it becomes their's regardless if the instrument will be played and honored for why it was created, rather than an investment. There are even quite a few instruments hanging in museums more than they are played on or even used for recordings. Then there are those that even go and steal instruments. A fine German teacher lost her life recently when someone grabbed her Strad away from her at a train station and she died from the head injuries she incured from the onslaught.

Perhaps all one can do is honor beauty even more when you find it in music or can create it yourself, then perhaps Scrooge will let some of his possession out of the vault.

June 18, 2007 at 04:18 PM · Or one could organize to buy up valuable instruments and loan them to deserving players through some kind of a competition or through a peer review of some type to ensure a fair distribution, a bit like Nature Conservancy for violins?


June 18, 2007 at 04:39 PM · Umm, there's a lot of those already. The Stradivari Society with Bein and Fushi has investors buy instruments, then loan them to young artists. The Canada Arts Council instrument bank has a competition every 3 years where the winners compete for (I think) 3 strads, a Del Gesu, a Pressenda, Gagliano, Montagnana, and some nice cellos (including Bonjour Strad), violas and a few nice bows. Then obviously there's David Fulton who is very nice in handing out instruments to great artists...

In fact, there's countless organizations who do it. There's probably far more rich banks and foundations who loan out instruments than old rich guys keeping Strads in vaults.

June 18, 2007 at 04:57 PM · Good! What are the terms for loaning them out roughly? Details probably depend on who's loaning. But it seems that they would need guidlines to ensure independence of players. They shouldn't have to lose their instrument for getting married or signing wrong petitions, etc.


June 18, 2007 at 05:09 PM · She has a couple of modern violins now.

June 18, 2007 at 05:17 PM · Hi,

Ishnouk - each foundation has its terms. The Canada Council has fairly strict policies with a set number of years for the loan, renewable once, like Pieter said.

The Chicago Strad Society is more flexible, and loans are handed out and revoked more flexibly.

I don't know what the Nippon Foundation does or the Paris Foundation either (although, I know that they have loaned Yo-Yo Ma's Montagnana to him for life).

The Canada Council does its thing through a competition. The other foundations lend the instruments to artists that already have a growing career or preferably an established career - therefore, existing reputation is a must.

That said, even changing instruments every few years can be daunting which is why Vengerov for example said he got tired of the process and decided to buy his own Strad (the Kreutzer) at auction.

Hope this gives you an insight into some of the workings of these loans...


June 18, 2007 at 08:27 PM · Chritian, Thanks. Except for the Canadian Council, the process could become rather arbitrarily leaving players without instruments. And also the practice of loaning it to already established players seems to aim at increasing their own prestige than advancing careers of deserving players. The instruments may become an ex-famous increasing its values. Hope these institutions are not nonprofit using taxpayers' money in promoting their own prestige. May not be illegal but not totally honest?


June 18, 2007 at 05:50 PM · I think Canada is renewable for 3 terms (as long as you win). My teacher's daughter has won the top spot twice in a row, and I believe that she can keep the Guarneri after this one is up if she wins it again (which she probably will). I'm not sure though.

With Stradivari society, you have to play concerts for your patrons twice a year (or is it 3) at their home. Also, you have to pay for insurance and maintenance costs, plus it has to be done at Bein and Fushi. You pick up the cost of travel for the twice yearly maintenance, as well as the concert for your patrons. A friend told me this can easily amount to a hefty sum if you have one of the nicer instruments.

At the end of the day, these organizations have no obligations to anyone. They obtained the instruments legally and fairly, so what does it matter if things are standardized or not? You're acting as if these instruments are somehow public domain. If you loan out a spatula from your kitchen to a neighbour, do you not reserve the right to ask for it back anytime? If you heard they were making hash brownies and selling them to kids, I bet you'd ask for it back, right?

June 18, 2007 at 06:51 PM · Ha ha!

Then there's the individuals, whose policies vary widely. Herbert Axelrod comes to mind.

Insurance on an instrument worth 3 million USD is in the ballpark of $10,000 a year, so that's the single biggest expense if you're required to pay for it.

June 18, 2007 at 08:37 PM · Pieter, I agree. It's theirs. I have no problem with it if they act as private citizens. But if Stradivarius Society is a nonprofit organization that claims and benefits from tax exempt status, their instruments are not totally private possessions that one can give and revoke as one pleases. That also implies that it is unethical to loan an instrument to a player who will more likely to increase its final value.


June 18, 2007 at 08:55 PM · Hi,

Nathan: thanks for pointing that out.

Ishnouk - some instruments are owned by the foundations, some lent to the foundation by the owners to make them available.

The instruments are already invaluable, have a name and provenance, and will not gain in value by being played by such and such. Rather, it is the opposite - the players who play them gain prestige through the loan and the rigth to play the instrument.

That an institution has tax exempt status means little other than they make no profit from the institution or its activities. That has nothing to do with how it is run since it remains non-governmental.


June 18, 2007 at 10:56 PM · "Don't make me laugh, I wasn't aware that an audience member is required not to walk out on a performer,and that anyone leaving after intermission to practice is a traitor.

This is more along the lines of corporate media brain washing. Anyone who doesn't like Britney Speers or goes along with The Dixey Chicks anti Bush statements is unamerican..."

Mr. Bijerk, there you go off on one of your unmedicated tangents. I didn't say you were a traitor if you left. I said if you left there's no reason to play, because you the man.

June 18, 2007 at 11:45 PM · Christian, Thanks for clarifying. I do sound more extreme than I meant in my previous post. I wasn't sure if nonprofit organizations were doing their best to be worthy of the trust the public placed in them. Somehow they decided it would be best to help already established players, and maybe it is.


June 19, 2007 at 12:17 AM · Ihnsouk,

People like you and me benefit a hell of a lot more from non profits such as the Stradivari society, than they benefit from your tax dollars. Give them a break...

June 19, 2007 at 12:23 AM · And look at the way you spelled "Dixie". That breaks my heart in two. What's wrong with you? Damn Yankee for starters.

June 19, 2007 at 01:11 AM · Pieter - If the process of giving out and revoking instruments are not carefully laid out or applied consistently, how would that benefit me?


June 19, 2007 at 04:35 AM · Because at the end of the day, even the most capricious of donors (who are not bound by any law or code other than their own love of the arts), are allowing you to hear an artist play on a great instrument.

Are you seriously advocating that we start legislating good will? Well then I guess I have a bone to pick with you. Do you give consistently to charities? The same amount every time, and with the same heirarchy of criteria?

Some people are never happy. If they're getting something for free, they want more of it, and they want legal guarantees that they can get it whenever they want. Ask not what America can do for you....

June 19, 2007 at 12:47 PM · Pieter - I am only talking about nonprofit organizations not individuals. The status of nonprofit allows them to solicit contributions, any amount, limited only by their zeal. I believe they have a spoken or unspoken obligation to do good for society at large.

If it were an organization that gave and took back Dylana Jenson's or Rosand's violin, we all have a lot to say. It would have betrayed the trust that it would nurture an upcoming talent by lending out a violin regardless who the individual may be. We didn't know it was excluding marrying individuals. Is it illagal? I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised if Mafia can operate legally if they use their brains.


June 19, 2007 at 12:48 PM · Many nonprofits and companies that give donations do so to gain the goodwill of people and politicians.

Exxon continues to give money to fund Alaskan wildlife. Weyerhauser (which cuts down trees for a living) contributes to wildlife agencies. Boeing and Microsoft contribute to charity. All the big companies do.

Is this because they are flush with goodwill and generosity and just can't help themselves?

The main reason is because companies know that government and political goodwill allows them to stay in business.

Giving to charity curries the favor of government and to the public (whom elected officials who run government rely upon to get elected.)

So, in a sense, the Stradivari Society, of whom many of its patrons I'm sure are beneficiaries of goodwill of some way shape and form (from a visibility and political standpoint), really do owe it to us to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. We are the reason they exist.

If they do not conduct themselves appropriately they can get a bad reputation, and find all sorts of trouble from governmental officials. Look at Enron and its accountant Arthur Andersen. Both no longer exist.

Do you think Exxon would exist if they didn't contribute mightily to Alaskan wildlife after the Exxon Valdez oil spill? The answer is probably not.

It seems to me that Dylana Jensen getting her fiddle taken from her by some benefactor since she got married comes from a different era. Today, you can't take away something because you're getting married. (or are gay, pregnant, or due to race or ethnicity, amongst a few other things dependent upon which state in the US you live in)

But there are always other explanations that can be made that can cover up that the real reason is because you're getting married, for instance. It's easy enough to say that so and so's conduct in some such way does not represent the actions of "XXX" corporation, therefore XXX is doing "___."

June 19, 2007 at 05:08 PM · What? They owe you nothing! Are you giving the Stradivari Society money? Do they affect your life whatsoever? It was essentially started by Bein and Fushi, the dealer in Chicago. They definately aren't like Exxon, destroying the environment and therefore making little contributions to cover it up. They sell old wood.

They basically give instruments to talented young people from the perch of a non profit so they don't pay huge taxes.

In any case, Rosand and Jensen's violins were taken away in a different era and by (I think) private individuals. In which case, they can do whatever they want (and should be allowed to... it's the United States - not the USSR).

June 19, 2007 at 05:09 PM · It really is a complicated issue. The true intentions of benefactors. And only the best paid soloists can afford to actually afford one of the best violins. I think that the violin Joshua Bell has was sold to him a little cheaper even because he would be playing it. It was going to go to a German business man at first.

"Doing what you want." is a very deceptive description of freedom when that can only be bought with money.

June 19, 2007 at 05:23 PM · ""Doing what you want." is a very deceptive description of freedom when that can only be bought with money. "

You can do what you want with your little impoverished nick-knacks too.

June 19, 2007 at 05:23 PM · I would put in my 5 cents, but I think Pieter wrote it very well. If it is theirs, it is thiers to take back. This does not mean that what they did was good or honorable. It simply means they have the right to do as they wish if it is theirs!

Sometimes the cost of freedom is not pretty, but it is always worth it in the long run. But we must understand it comes with a cost, all things do.

June 19, 2007 at 05:43 PM · You're exactly right, and some kind of brilliant. Usually the cost is portrayed only as something big and dramatic.

June 19, 2007 at 05:45 PM · In such a small business as string instruments, people usually reap what they sow. A donor who behaves badly loses the one real thing he gets out of the arrangement: prestige and goodwill.

June 19, 2007 at 06:43 PM · Nate... if that was really true that you reap what you sow, then our friends in Chicago wouldn't not be so prestigious and powerful.

June 19, 2007 at 06:43 PM · "Doing what you want." is a very deceptive description of freedom when that can only be bought with money.

To be able to actually play on a Stradivarius or a Guarneri and bring out the soul of the instrument, the sensitivity that went into making the instrument; to bring light to the love of sound and music which went into making an instrument which is heralded as one of the prime examples of the kind of fine sensitive workmanship a human being is capable of – that's a whole different matter than having enough money to own an instrument.

Some of the people who own these instruments understand this and are passionate about letting others who can change the world with their song play on them. Others who can play on a Strad or a Guarneri and bring out it's song actually do own them.

It seems others believe freedom is locking the instrument up or taking it away from people who can bring out the magic of the instrument when they live their life their own way.

It's quite clear who's free to experience what life's about and who isn't.

I REALLY don't think that the fine instruments which are played on and whose song is heard exist because others have the right to lock them up and keep them silent.

I certainly don't believe anyone learned to open up their heart and make such miracles of creation thanks to such undefendable nonsense.

June 19, 2007 at 07:05 PM · As Pieter to aptly puts it:

"then our friends in Chicago wouldn't not be so prestigious and powerful."

And that sentence wouldn't not make any sense

And you would have to be a billionaire to not have enough money to not understand the compassion of a Mozart adagio.

June 19, 2007 at 07:47 PM · Andreas - Private citizenss can do what they want, good and honorable or not. For nonprofits, that's the freedom they give up when registering as such. They pledge they'd be good and honorable in exchange for tax advantage. Truely independent hard core entities refuse the tax benefit and do really what they want. There are a few liberal colleges who chose that way. I don't argue with them. It's fair. But if a public entity pledges one thing to get a previlege and not follow it through, citizens get to complain.

Remind me again. Whose freedom is threatened here?


Before I offend innocent people, this discussion is hypothetical. I am not implying that I am aware of any organization that did anything dishonorable. Just that organizations are held at higher standards.

June 19, 2007 at 07:50 PM · Can either of you cite one example where an organization (that benefits from non profit status) taken someone's instrument away, counter to the policy agreed upon by both parties BEFORE the loan was made?

In fact, before this discussion, did either of you even know that the Nippon, Stradivari foundation, and others like them existed? Can either of you name an individual who locks up Strads in a vault?

PS. What does "And you would have to be a billionaire to not have enough money to not understand the compassion of a Mozart adagio." mean?

June 19, 2007 at 08:17 PM · It is considered discrimination if an organization denies something based on religion, sex, creed, race, pregnancy, or marital status, or a host of other things (depending on what state in the US one resides).

Unless one or one's organization doesn’t mind being called discriminatory, one is free to base one's beneficiary criteria on any of the above.

June 19, 2007 at 08:37 PM · Who ever said that was ok, and please, do you know something I don't?

June 19, 2007 at 08:39 PM · Based on earlier posts, Dylana Jensen's and Aaron Rosand's respective strad loans were taken from them when they declared that they were about to get married to their respective partners.

June 19, 2007 at 10:56 PM · It's as if I added in my previous post knowing what Pieter was going to say a few minutes later.

What got me started on this was the vague impression I got. Except for the Canadian Council, the guidelines on how they loan their instruments were not laid out plain and simple. Even with clear guidelines musical awards can get very murky. In the absense of them, they could easily be subject to abuse. Do I personally know of an abusive case? No. Is it worth debating possibility to prevent future abuse? I certainly think so. Consider how hard to pin point abusive incidents in the music world. Favoritism probably passes as sound judgement at times.


June 19, 2007 at 09:58 PM · Terry,

To the best of my knowledge, private owners decided that. There is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal with that.

This is the point. You are a person with a very expensive instrument. You want it to go to the best person for the job, who will play as often and as well as they can. A soloist's life requires a lot of travel and in the eyes of the person lending the violin, marriage would detract from the sole reason for having that instrument. It means less concerts, plain and simple. It is unfortunate, but you can't say that it should be illegal. They probably just gave it to another performer who had more time to devote to the profession.

June 19, 2007 at 10:21 PM · Agreed Pieter. Yes, a private owner can certainly do that.

A foundation or benevolent society will have to come up with a less blatant explanation, such as the ones you mention. Or they could face some potentially damaging public scrutiny and press. I don't know for sure, but it could even be illegal for a charitable organization to not practice EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity).

June 19, 2007 at 10:23 PM · I don't think so because there are a lot of organizations which are set up specifically to serve or advocate a specific religion, creed, race or sexual orientation.

June 19, 2007 at 10:50 PM · That's called affirmative action. That's where you give a historically underrepresented group a preference.

Giving single white males preferential treatment would not be affirmative action.

June 19, 2007 at 11:11 PM · I guess you could see it that way, except that "single white male" has never really included Jewish people. And seeing that in classical music, Jewish musicians along with Asians easily represent as much as typical Anglo saxons do, I don't see how this even features.

At the end of the day, the directive of someone donating an instrument is that they want to give it to the most competent person who will do the most with it. This isn't like a woman getting maternity leave. The donor is not getting anything for this. The person with the instrument is getting something worth a few million dollars, practically for free, so if they are in a situation where they will no longer be able to fulfill the role of full time performer, then I see nothing wrong with the person taking away their instrument.

Of course, it shouldn't happen, but from a legal standpoint, they're totally in the clear.

June 20, 2007 at 01:17 AM · First of all, let us all realize that this is a good thread! A lot of people are thinking and expressing that thought well. In an age of philosophical darkness, when following your heart is the be all and end all, this is a breath of fresh air—so my thanks to everyone, especially Pieter.

OK, I was asked, “Remind me again. Whose freedom is threatened here?”

Answer—everyone’s! If we want to legislate acts of giving, or at very least, control them through public sentiment then what can be free?!

Hunh? If I, as an individual, cannot give something to someone without having to conform to legislation or some kind of public moral code, than what else is left? If I do not have this very, very basic and fundamental freedom, then how far is it before there is no freedom left? I do not think that even the strictest kinds of USSR communism legislated or tried to control acts of giving!

And I really fail to see why it should be different for a company or corporation? If it is theirs to give then it is certainly theirs to take away, as long as they have not specifically expressed that they would not do so.

Now I am not saying that the actions we are talking about were good or morally right. I am saying that as a society we dare not try to govern right to private property and acts of charity. If we live and let live we will be free to find our own solutions, which are always better (and free of the tax police) then those forced upon us. (In this case, Jensen found two great moderns, which she raves about! Looks like it worked itself out! BTW, I have heard her twice, and if I had not known better I would have thought she was playing on a del Gesu!).

And I am certainly not saying that we do not have a right to complain and voice our opinion about what they did. I am just saying that we dare not ask to govern the actions of giving. And, in my opinion, it is hard to say someone is wrong in choosing their own terms for their gifts.

Oh and to address the original thread: I think Jensen is one of the best players I have ever heard!

June 20, 2007 at 01:29 AM · "In an age of philosophical darkness, when following your heart is the be all and end all, this is a breath of fresh air"

Amen, brothaman.

"Oh and to address the original thread: I think Jensen is one of the best players I have ever heard! "

All I've heard is her Sibelius concerto, which she's known for. I heard it first a few months ago when it came on the radio, and I went into the room and just stood there until it was over and the announcer said who the artist was, something I don't remember doing before. And to be honest I'm not very much into violin music, which is why I haven't looked into more of her.

June 20, 2007 at 02:59 AM · Pieter,

Sorry but I can't let this pass...With respect to: "The person with the instrument is getting something worth a few million dollars, practically for free, so if they are in a situation where they will no longer be able to fulfill the role of full time performer, then I see nothing wrong with the person taking away their instrument."

Granted, but do we really want to hold performers to a vow of celibacy?? Is there any reason why marriage should prevent one from being a performer? I think not (regardless of gender), at least in today's world.

Anyway, I remember Dylana making a brief appearance at Meadowmount one summer when I was there; she was studying with Gingold at the time. She played an 'open concert' (Meadowmountese for concerts open to the public). I was looking for the program in my 'old stuff' last night and couldn't find it, and I'm not sure I trust my memory to say what was on the program...However, I do remember that she played very cleanly, accurately and with great musicality...Gingold, whom I greatly admired as a teacher, had clearly influenced her playing. She was an outstanding player even at that age (which would have been late teens).

Whatever the reasons for her being less in the public eye during the past 20 or so years, I am glad to know she is still active professionally (and has a good instrument again), and I wish her well.

June 20, 2007 at 03:46 AM · Not sure I want to turn this discussion into a forum for affirmative action, because that's simply too big a subject to discuss. And we'll go around and around on it. So I'll mention a few things, and let it rest whereever everyone sees fit.

Jewish males and asian males are not always considered underrepresented groups, even though they are minorities. You are correct that Jewish and Asian males would likely not qualify for preferential treatment in a violin-loan situation.

Female performers probably would fall under this category.

The argument in favor of affirmative action is that the world is not race and gender blind. If it were, then treatment would be uniformly distributed.

There are lots and lots of studies that clearly demonstrate that people are indeed not race and gender blind. And opportunities are denied those underrepresented groups as a result.

Corporations are often required to abide by affirmative action and EEO laws to demonstrate that they are not behaving in a discriminating fashion.

In a perfect world, everyone would be race and gender blind. We do not live in a perfect world.

In business school we argued this till we were blue in the face. And we had the benefit of arguing this face to face, not over the net.

The main reason for arguing this is that in order to produce something truly unique and beneficial, and to remain competitive, you need diversity in your workforce to foment ideas. The same would naturally go for any musical setting.

And the conclusion we came to, by in large, was that EEO and affirmative action were good tools and had a proper place in this world, and should be utilized for employment/selection purposes. The vast majority of the class, mostly conservative Republicans I might add, bought it. Or at least they grudgingly accepted what our Human Resource instructors tried mightily to convey.

OK, let it rip. I'm sure there will be a lot of people disagreeing with me.

Whether one likes it or not, the Stradivari Society and other groups like it probably do consider these types of things.

June 20, 2007 at 04:20 AM · I don't believe for one moment that whether someone is married effects their ability as a performer. Perhaps, they might perform a few less concerts a year but I don't see any gaping hole in the output of Perlman or Mutter: both are married.

And in context with this statement:

OK, I was asked, “Remind me again. Whose freedom is threatened here?”

Answer—everyone’s! If we want to legislate acts of giving, or at very least, control them through public sentiment then what can be free?!

I wonder what Andreas would say about the United States as a country prohibiting simple food products from being traded to Cuba or Iraq!

It's fine for a Rich person to have all the money they want and "give" under whatever conditions they feel like but when people in Iraq or Cuba need food or simple medicines that's another matter in regard to giving. And THAT is or was prohibited.

I haven't heard that much of Dylana, and I haven't heard her Sibelius and can't get ahold of a CD of it. From what people say it seems to be an amazing performance.

June 20, 2007 at 05:09 AM · I think it's true that there might not be an affect on a performer if they get married. However to counter that argument, I offer up younger family people like Gil Shaham and Tetzlaff who have cut back their concerts specifically because of family.

I doubt that there was any real descrimination against either Rosand or Jensen. As we know, there were other forces at work against Rosand (the name rhymes with "Fern"). But, there's obviously going tobe a huge cutback if a woman is going to have a baby.

In any case, I'm not going to get hung up on the specifics. The real point I'm making is that it's a private person, and they can do what they want with that instrument. They paid dearly to acquire it, and paid a lot of tax on it.

Anyways, I think this has gone way too far. The moment private individuals are controlled as far as what they give of themselves for the greater good, we are losing one of the good parts of America.

June 20, 2007 at 04:38 AM · Another person who wants to take freedom away! Affirmative action is another form of racism and discrimination—two wrongs do not make a right! If the first act of discrimination was wrong, then other acts like it are surely wrong too!

Secondly, it is another attempt to legislate our freedom away. It essentially says: you are not wise enough to take advantage of the rich cultural heritage around you, so we will make you do so. It really is an attempt at social engineering by the liberal left-wing.

And it just does not make sense in any way. It supports preferential selection procedures that favor unqualified candidates over qualified candidates. It says it is more important for us to have a variety of cultures represented than to have the best person for the job!

And in the end afirmitive action is a racist action against the people it proposes to help! It says: you do not have the wherewithal to get this job, so we will take away their freedom and force them to take you. Would you want a job because you were the right color for it? Because the government has legislated it? Does this not demoralize the self-esteem of women and the racial minorities it proposes to help?

Affirmitive action says men and women cannot be trusted to make it on their own, and men and women cannot be trusted to hire different cultures when it is in their advantage to do so. It says the government knows what is best for you. You do not know it, but the government does!

The USA was built on the premise that government is a necessary evil. The rest of the world seems to be learning this, while the U.S. is forgetting it.

June 20, 2007 at 07:08 PM · Andreas also says"

"Now I am not saying that the actions we are talking about were good or morally right. I am saying that as a society we dare not try to govern right to private property and acts of charity. If we live and let live we will be free to find our own solutions, which are always better (and free of the tax police) then those forced upon us."

Free of the tax police, but it's okay if those taxes are used to wage war with and embargo a country we set up with a tyrant named Hussein because he said he would be an ally against Iran. In the meantime we have killed perhaps a million people or more. But when the US maintains strategical interests to help corporate interests (oops I mean "democracy") and makes sure certain Rich people have enough money to make themselves feel special donating here and there to the arts, this IS giving....

But giving food to the starving, this is only allowed when a county's leaders we put in power go along with US war games.

And we "solve" this by invading this country under false pretenses while waging a war against another ally gone sour (who was hired by the CIA to wage war before he went sour).

But for God's sake make sure the Rich people can stick their antiques where they want to!

In response, after Andreas' last post:

Andreas also said

"Sometimes the cost of freedom is not pretty, but it is always worth it in the long run. But we must understand it comes with a cost, all things do."

Any government which wages wars (saying that freedom comes with a cost) in essence has already prevented freedom from coming about.

Also, I haven't been argueing any political point in the whole thread, I think it's another thing altogether what would inspire people to care about creation.

Unless orcourse you would care to include an institution which allows people to learn what compassion truly is without institutional violence such as war. That would be a completely different form of government or society.

And don't make me laugh with quotes from Payne. Someone who, if you look at it clearly was more interested in helping Jefferson take over more land that wasn't their's to begin with from the natives (who are my founding father's not the europeans).

Also, I wasn't saying THE war is wrong. I was saying WAR is wrong. It's a bit too easy to fuss about one war and excuse others, and then overlook the Universal law that shows what kind of society or government ALWAYS comes from the belief that wars solve things and that the vicious cycle never ends till one looks for a different solution, in the same way a society which needs silly laws to say that one can lock up a violin which heralds what being human is about and then have you say that that's necessary because you can't have it both ways.

The same way one could argue that there is actually supposed to be something wrong with the thought that if there's food (which nature grows) and enough of it for everyone, then everyone should get some despite that so and so would lose his grip on where the money goes!

That freedom rests on the right to possess something that doesn't do you or the rest of society any good makes personal freedom out to be the freedom not to be free.

AND that's supposed to be the only way it works....

Yes, this way the only kind of "government" which will work has to destroy itself, AND the whole world is working REAL hard at it, whether they believe they are making government bigger or smaller.


The present administration in this country waging the war (which you say is because government is too big) has the same song and dance number as you do about Government being too big. What they really want is leniency for cut throat materialism and that big corporations have more and more influence in Washington so that whoever has the most money for lobbying can control the government, and that freedom is economic bullying or cut throat exploitation. This is not smaller this is larger only the added on portion is hidden from view.

And I really do NOT think that the genocide of 60 million indigenous people in order to take their land is a conspiracy theory. THAT is a fact. That is what Jefferson and "the founding fathers," did to who was already living here. Having lofty sounding ideals of what government should be while looking the other way while genocide is going on truly is a lack of insight as to what government should be. That ANYONE could set up shop in land that wasn't theirs to begin with but had been populated by others for thousands of years, and then wage a war over that land and then have history determine that it wasn't about taking over land which wasn't there's is so corrupt one doesn't know where to start. This way two people trying to kill eachother and in the process breaking into someone's house who has nothing to do with it while killing everyone who lives there: this is some just struggle and you can disregard you broke into someone elses house and killed the inhabitants and discredit that that kind of recklessness and selfrighteous disregard of others was perhaps the motive to begin with!

And YES I truly believe that there is no just war. If you would study history you would see that war ALWAYS breeds more war and one empire falls to another to be taken over by another and that their method of creating harmony is flawed to begin with. It hasn't and won't end till it ends. Making excuses for killing other human beings rather than finding a way that ends the vicious cycle does NOT create peace. In contrast it's an excuse for thoughtlessness. In fact it doesn't even allow the mind to think to see that there is another way.

And as to the US stopping Hitler. It was the same factions of corporate cut throat materialism that, in the USA, favored Hitler and sold him all of his war machinery (Ford corporation, What is now Exxon and Dupont to name a few). So without this genius of a method you tout which allowed the corporations to spoon feed Hitler what he needed to wage war there would have been no Hitler to wage war. And there would have been no war and no excuse to excuse war.

Of course you will say that's another conspiracy theory, and anyone who points out that war doesn't work is full of conspiracy theories so you can keep on creating the monsters you say you need to destroy.

What you are advocating doesn't honor what you say yourself (and you try to include Plato and Aristotle in it) You say the belief system they touted: "It says what is yours is yours and you have right to that property and a right to do as you will with it as long as you do not use it to hurt others. "

You are advocating overlooking how others are hurt and say this isn't hurting others (60 million killed in genocide, and wars fought to find an excuse to fight wars after creating the problem to begin with while billions of innocent people are affected is all things one should overlook). It's VERY clear you can't see what freedoms you take away from yourself by abusing the things around you by calling them possessions.

and yes I think they are silly laws.

The best things in life you can only experience rather than possess.

And in the end Andreas says: "Must say, however, that I liked your raving lunatic comments. LOL"

No, I'm not so insecure about what I say or so incapable of supporting it that I have to call someone who disagrees a lunatic, as if that says anything. It VERY clearly doesn't

Say anything

June 20, 2007 at 04:32 PM · “I wonder what Andreas would say about the United States as a country prohibiting simple food products from being traded to Cuba or Iraq!

It's fine for a Rich person to have all the money they want and "give" under whatever conditions they feel like but when people in Iraq or Cuba need food or simple medicines that's another matter in regard to giving. And THAT is or was prohibited.”

Mr. Bijkerk: this is an argument for freedom, not for the lack of it! It is more legislation that keeps people from doing what they want. In this case, prohibiting simple food products form going to Cuba or Iraq.

This is not an argument against my position; it is an argument for my position! We should not let legislation affect the act of giving!


“But for God's sake make sure the Rich people can stick their antiques where they want to!”

Yes, if a country is not free enough to let people give as they chose to give, then those people will be under the power of the sword, and the strings of the purse will be firmly shut!

You do not approve of the war the U.S. chose to fight in the Middle East. This is a highly controversial issue, which I am not prepared to argue for or against.

What I do know is the best government is the smallest government (Payne and Hamilton—your founding fathers!). And a government that can even control giving is not a small government.

BTW, your newest argument says the war is wrong, in other words, the U.S. government is out of control. Do you not see that you are arguing on my side, while not knowing it?!

I have argued that you cannot interfere with the person or company lending the instrument because it takes away a fundamental freedom. It gives power to government while taking it away form the people. And now you’re upset with the U.S. government because it has too much power! LOL

You cannot have it both ways! LOL


I will try to respond to most of your nonsense, but it lacks basic property of thought so it is hard to understand what you are saying.

Pyane: yes he wanted freedom and believed that power in the hands of men usually led to corruption, as did Hamilton and the rest! Read Common Sense, you obviously need it.

And the Conspiracy theory you seem to back, introduced by Charles Beard many years ago, has been thoroughly discredited! By the time the scholars looked at all possible motives for the American revolution and the eventual constitutional convention, well, there was noting left of Beard’s premise, which is your premise (personal gain by the elite). Look at the work of Kelly, Primrose, daughtry, etc. They took apart the nonsense that you seem to be giving us now. You really need to be better read if you are going to try to argue non-sense like this.

As for all war is wrong. Do you really want to say there is no just war? Do you really want to say that the USA should not have went in and stopped Hitler? Was that a just war? Is a war in self-defense wrong? Is a war (revolution) to take out a tyrant and let people be free, wrong? Again, do you really want to say that The US should not have gone in and taken Hitler out? Was the American Revolution wrong?

And what silly laws? I am talking about a natural law that Western thinkers have believed in since the days of Plato, Aristotle, ant the Roman lawyers. It says what is yours is yours and you have right to that property and a right to do as you will with it as long as you do not use it to hurt others. It is called your conscience, and you should not violate it. I am not proposing any legislation, but instead the lack of legislation and government, in order to let people be free.

“That freedom rests on the right to possess something that doesn't do you or the rest of society any good makes personal freedom out to be the freedom not to be free.”

What does that mean? All I can say is that the right to personal property is paramount; I think few would disagree with me about this. And the fact that some may do little with what they have does not take anyone’s liberty away. It just means they have not been responsible with what they have been given. That is a shame, but it does not take anyone’s freedom away, or change the essence of freedom.

Again, I fail to see how not using something well, makes someone not free. I may make them foolish, or wasteful, perhaps even immoral, in a way, but not free? That would be hard to defend in a basic logic class.

My gosh, you really cannot think outside of the politically correct environment that you live in. I really do not have anything to say to this nonsense. And if you will not accept scholarship that has already been done, which proves your nonsense wrong, then I do not know what to tell you. You can go on bleeding for all kinds of afirmitive action groups, one after the other, if you would like, and insist that you are right no matter what. Your choice.

Must say, however, that I liked your raving lunatic comments. LOL

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