Famous Violinist's Violins?

September 18, 2005 at 06:46 AM · What violins do the "famous" contemporary violinists own? I just wanted to know what "big" violinists are using nowaday.

**I know that Sarah Chang uses a VUILLAUME...NOT a del gesu (she performed here in hawaii in May, and i know the violin repairer/restorer that she went to while she was here, and she played for him and he told me it was a vuillaume)

**Hilary Hahn uses a vuillaume also...when she came to hawaii in 2002, she went to the same repair guy and she had a vuillaume (i saw/met her and she started performing in the shop right there! she performed excerpts of shostakovich, brahms, tchaikovsky, you name it!)

**Joshua Bell has the ex-huberman...

**Perlman has the Soil Strad...and that's all i know... (do you guys know about vengerov's violin? shaham?

Replies (88)

September 18, 2005 at 10:29 AM · Frank Peter Zimmermann has been playing on the Kreisler Strad.

September 18, 2005 at 11:07 AM · And here you'll find a nice comprehensive overview, too:

http://www.jose-sanchez-penzo.net/strad.html

FMF

September 18, 2005 at 01:49 PM · Hi,

Here is what I know as of the latest...

Joshua Bell purchased and now plays on the Gibson Strad for the last two seasons.

Shaham plays a 1699 Long pattern Strad.

Hahn does play a Vuillaume, a copy of Il Cannone. That is what she has played for years.

Vengerov plays on a Strad on loan from the Paris Foundation (forget which one).

Midori plays a Del Gesu, and for awhile was playing on the Ex-Panette Del Gesu from the Japan Foundation.

Zimmerman does play on a Strad, but I thought it was the ex-Dragonetti.

Janine Jansen plays the ex-Barrere Strad once owned by Steven Staryk.

Chee-Yun plays on a magificient Ruggieri.

Off the top of my head, that is all that I can remember. The list above in the link is pretty comprehensive and quite good.

Cheers!

September 18, 2005 at 04:27 PM · I'm not trying to change the subject, but this is something I've been curious about- what do major symphony orchestra players play and how on earth can they afford those instruments?! (I'm not talking about the big soloists who are loaned or given their instruments because of talent, but orchestra players who, for the most part, probably started out as starving artists.)

September 18, 2005 at 05:12 PM · Candace: as a member of Seattle Symphony, I can tell you that it is a mixed bag. I think in orchestras around the country there are many who play on Vuillaume instruments (myself included), Lupot,some have old Italians like Andrea Guarneri, Bergonzi, Grancino, Seraphin, Ceruti, Goffriler, Guadagnini. I also find a lot of the best of 20th century instruments like Fagnola, Bisiach, Scarampella, G. Gadda, Antoniazzi, G. Fiorini, E.Soffriti, I.Sderci, Sgarabotto, G.Ornati, Sesto Rocchi, O. Bignami, F.Garimberti. Also there are some who are playing contemporary instruments by American Makers as well as Modern Italians.

I think much has to do with your budget and the best sound you can find within your budget.

September 18, 2005 at 05:18 PM · Hi Candace,

Gennady makes a good point. It also depends on when they bought the instruments. Many bought them a long time ago, or in the 80's before the prices sky-rocketted, when orchestral players could still afford great instruments.

Cheers!

September 18, 2005 at 05:21 PM · Is Hahn's the Savori?

Candace, since those symphony players livelihoods depend on their instrument, does it not make sense that they spend some money on them? Major symphony players make (with tenure), a 6 figure salary. I suppose in lieu of a mortgage for a home, you can buy a Gagliano instead.

Christian: were the prices not simply lower because of inflation?

September 18, 2005 at 05:17 PM · Christian, you're 2 Strads behind on Vengerov. Since the Reynier (on loan from Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton organisation), he had the Keisewetter from the Stradivari society (now on loan to Ilya Gringolts) but now has his own, the ex-Kreutzer, thanks to a generous benefactor.

BW

Jx

September 18, 2005 at 05:22 PM · Yes, it is some italian countess.

September 18, 2005 at 05:31 PM · Gil Shaham plays on the 1699 Countess Polignac Strad, which was owned by Ben Franklin's mistress at one time.

September 18, 2005 at 07:23 PM · Hey Pieter,

Talking about the prices in the 80's and before, yes inflation has a lot to do with it, and thus a work of art/ musical instrument (of deceased great artist/makers) will appreciate in value at a compound interest of 15%-20% annually.

So if Vuillaume fiddles were about 4K-5K in 1970's, that makes them 150K-200k today. Which is about right where they are.

Also if you bought a Bisiach in 1960's , it would have cost you $500, and today you would be sitting pretty. I guess, it makes sense to invest in the best of 20th century instruments while they are still affordable.

September 18, 2005 at 08:28 PM · Hi,

That is true. However, I have a friend who bought a fabulous Guadagnini in 1971 for 14,000$ at a time that he was making 13,000$ a year. The same fiddle is worth today 850,000$ and his salary is nowhere near that. Secondly, inflation of 15-20% a year is not really inflation. Inflation reflects mostly the cost of living and is usually 2-4% a year. Too high an inflation creates a recession. Salaries do follow inflation as well. So in the end, prices of violins have gone up exponentially in comparison to the salaries of musicians, which is why most orchestra musicians today could not afford that easily the instruments bought by their counterpart before the boom in the prices that occured in the mid-80's. At least, that is my opinion and observation.

Cheers!

September 18, 2005 at 08:38 PM · Christian, are you talking about Andy Dawes?

September 19, 2005 at 02:25 AM · Hi Pieter,

No, about someone else in the States. Either way, it was just an example to show the point of the insanity that we face now.

Cheers!

September 19, 2005 at 02:36 AM · There was a huge jump in violin prices in the middle 70s. I don't know what happened. But in '71 $14,000 was a lot of buying power. You could easily raise a family on minimum wage. These days it looks like poverty is built in.

September 19, 2005 at 04:18 AM · That's quite interesting. It's amazing how seemingly trivial things raise the prices of instruments..

the maker of my violin is very old and is not likely to see many more years. I have no doubts that my violin will go up in value just because he isn't around anymore. Funny how the world works.

Joshua Bell must be doing very well financially to purchase an instrument of around $2M... if he didn't get it at auction, it would probably be twice as much retail.

Why are retail prices so much higher than auction for fine instruments?

September 19, 2005 at 07:12 PM · Regarding the jump in price in the 70s, I read an interesting article suggesting it was caused, at least in part, by the popularity of the Suzuki method which greatly increased the popularity of the violin and Japan (I believe the Japanese are now substantial buyers of instruments). Didn't Midori used to play on the Dolphin Strad? Do you know who plays the instrument now (I believe it is owned by The Nippon Music Foundation)?

September 19, 2005 at 10:46 PM · Regarding the jump of prices, if you look and see old price guides from 1920's to 1960's, the prices have always been going up. They were also going up in the 19th century as well.

It is not a new phenomena.

Perhaps someone could elaborate why the prices for works of Art always keep going up?!

Maybe, because the Artist has been dead for many years and the demand is very high???

Say like the "Mona Lisa" or a Stradivari or even a Picasso. Putting a price on a work of art, does not have to go hand in hand with the standard of living. It is also quite different from the Real-Estate market which is volatile.

September 20, 2005 at 03:33 AM · Hi,

Pieter, Bell paid 4.5 million for the Gibson Strad.

Cheers!

September 20, 2005 at 03:46 AM · Pieter, I studied with Andy Dawes this summer and I believe he plays on a Gagliano. Although I don't think it would matter what type of violin he plays, it's just so amazing to watch and listen to.

September 23, 2005 at 11:50 AM · Sorry to resurrect this topic so late, but I have always wondered why I have never heard of a famous violinist playing an Amati. Is there something inherent about the tonal quality of his instruments that make them less suitable for a soloist?

September 23, 2005 at 03:19 PM · I have played a number of Amati's and I can vouch for their power, tonal qualities, and tonal complexities. I can also vouch for the fact that many of them are also tired old instruments. I have a friend, however, that plays a most amazing Amati. I heard her play it right after someone else had just performed on a Strad in the same concert. It blew the Strad out of the water.

Preston

September 23, 2005 at 04:22 PM · Anne Akiko Meyers played with us a couple seasons ago and said she plays a Vuillaume...

September 23, 2005 at 05:33 PM · What does James Ehnes play on?

September 23, 2005 at 05:41 PM · Jane, you are two fiddles behind on me:) I returned the Strad last February, played a contemporary Russian violin, and now have a Ruggeri...just an update:)

Cheers.

September 23, 2005 at 05:49 PM · Ehnes plays on the Marsick Strad, if I'm not mistaken.

September 23, 2005 at 06:18 PM · Do most soloists jump from top tier instrument to top tier instrument until they can land a life long loan or buy one of their own?

September 23, 2005 at 06:19 PM · Preston, I think the problem is that Amatis don't project as well as later instruments. Amazing sound, like a Steiner, but the demands of the instrument was different in those days. I remember a violinist who had an Amati, then apparently got rid of it for a much cheaper Scarampalla, which fit his needs better.

September 23, 2005 at 08:18 PM · Just to clarify Ehnes' Strad, it's not the one Oistrakh played but the other of the two Strad's that Marsick owned. A 1715 Strad if I remember right.

September 23, 2005 at 11:20 PM · it is not the Strad that Oistrakh used.

The instrument actually belongs to David Fulton, and is on loan to Ehnes as long as he wants it for. I believe that Fulton is quite fond of his playing.

September 24, 2005 at 12:17 AM · Hi Ilya!

Thanks for sharing. That's really nice of you!

Cheers!

September 25, 2005 at 05:08 PM · Yes...thanks for the update Ilya! Hope to hear you play again soon :-)

So who has the Kiesewetter now??

Quick edit...found it! Stefan Jackiw has it now http://www.icmtalent.com/musperf/profiles/60115.html

BW

Jx

September 25, 2005 at 06:14 PM · I'll be seeing James Ehnes in concert in about an hour, so maybe he'll have the strad with him.

September 25, 2005 at 06:18 PM · Vengerov still plays the Kreutzer strad I believe.

He spends most of his time Tangodancing and weightlifting these days though.

He hopes that he will become a worldclass Tangodancer.

September 25, 2005 at 08:37 PM · Hi,

Thanks Jane. That's nice to know. Stefan is such a fantastic player and a terrific person. Good for him!

Cheers!

September 25, 2005 at 09:34 PM · I actually prefer Stefan's Ruggeri to the Strad. He didn't have the Strad very long when I heard him, but I think the Ruggeri projected better, rang more, and even looked better at 1/10th the cost.

September 25, 2005 at 09:41 PM · The Heifetz DelGesu was once owned by Ferdinand David, the concert master of Mendelssohn

Rabin's DelGesu was owned by Jan Kubeick

Zukerman's DelGesu was owned by Samuel Duskin (who played with Stravinsky)

Pam Franks DelGesu was once owned by Vieuxtemps

Stern's Del Gesu was owned by Ysaye

Repin's ruby strad was owned by Sarasate

September 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM · Stern actually owned two Del Gesus:

The "Panette" and the "Ysaye"

Stern had sold the "Panette' to David Fulton.

September 26, 2005 at 12:24 PM · Hi,

Actually, both of Stern's Del Gesu's are now owned by the Nippon Foundation.

Cheers!

September 26, 2005 at 02:18 AM · Ilya, while you're still reading this, I hope, I want to tell you how much I love your recording of the Shostakovich violin concerto. The passacaglia makes me cry every time. Very moving.

September 26, 2005 at 02:36 AM · You may find the following website interesting:

http://www.jose-sanchez-penzo.net/strad.html

September 26, 2005 at 03:15 AM · Julie, thank you:)

IG

September 26, 2005 at 07:19 AM · Preston's post: "I have played a number of Amati's and I can vouch for their power, tonal qualities, and tonal complexities. I can also vouch for the fact that many of them are also tired old instruments. I have a friend, however, that plays a most amazing Amati. I heard her play it right after someone else had just performed on a Strad in the same concert. It blew the Strad out of the water."

Maybe your FREIND was amazing and blew the other player out of the water! Remember that anecdote from Art of the Violin...Heifitz holding the fiddle up to his ear after being told "it sounded wonderful" -- Funny, I don't hear anything. :0)

September 27, 2005 at 07:58 AM · Ilya, you're welcome :)

September 27, 2005 at 12:30 PM · Jeffrey, thanks for taking up two hours of my time!! I checked on the website you provided to poke around for "a little while" and.....anyone with any interest in famous intruments should definately check out the website Jeffrey Holmes provided; unbelievable resource! To quote the Joker (Jack Nicholson) in the first Batman movie "Where do you get all of those wonderful toys???"

September 27, 2005 at 02:03 PM · Thanks for the thanks; I've posted

http://www.jose-sanchez-penzo.net/strad.html

like 10 days ago already in this thread ;-)

FMF

September 28, 2005 at 02:00 AM · Sorry Frank. I didn't see your post. Looks like I was only browzing the first page. Certainly wasn't trying to steal your thunder. :-)

At any rate, it's a wonderful site that anyone interested in old instruments and the players who used them should know about.

September 28, 2005 at 02:15 AM · who has Heifetz's instrument now?

September 28, 2005 at 03:43 AM · Hi,

Heifetz's instrument belongs to a museum in San Fran - Heifetz left it to them to be kept in a glass case. However, a deal was signed and it is now on loan to the concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony, who can play it while the orchestra is in town. The fiddle cannot leave the city!

Cheers!

September 28, 2005 at 09:31 AM · Julia Fischer plays on a Guadignini - it has a really beautiful quality quite different to a more powerful Strad or DG.

NB Heifetz had a Strad AND a DG - which are we talking about, and where's the other one?

September 28, 2005 at 10:07 AM · "Heifetz's instrument belongs to a museum in San Fran - Heifetz left it to them to be kept in a glass case. However, a deal was signed and it is now on loan to the concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony, who can play it while the orchestra is in town. The fiddle cannot leave the city!"

That'll be Sasha Barantschik then. Used to love seeing him with the LSO.

BW

Jx

September 28, 2005 at 10:59 AM · My dad has been a concertmeister for over 25 years. in 1980's at the Bolshoi. now in the Uk.an interesting story he told me. In 1980's he bought a Maggini fiddle in Moscow for 4o,ooo roubles which was a lot of money. you could by a 2 bedroom flat for 14,ooo. Literally 3 weeks later he was approached and offered to buy a Del Gesu for 80,ooo. Of course he was totally out of money with debts to everyone he knew and could not buy that. Some 15 years later he sold the Maggini at Sotheby's not very expensively because that fiddle was too large for him and also lacked brilliance on the top stings. but can you imagine that had he then purchased the D-G, he'b absolutely minted now. well... it's life... now he plays a matteo gofriller, and seems happy.

September 28, 2005 at 03:27 PM · I thought his name was Alexander Barantschik..

September 30, 2005 at 12:23 AM · For all instrument lovers, check out the current issue of STRINGS:

RARE BEAUTIES...Mondo Italiano!

David Fulton is the steward of the world's largest private collection of rare Italian stringed instruments and bows—and he loves every minute of it. By Erin Shrader.

Read the story online

http://www.stringsmagazine.com/article/132/132,3354,Feature-1.asp

September 30, 2005 at 06:23 AM · Sascha is a common nickname in Russia for Alexander

September 30, 2005 at 04:19 PM · oops mistake pam frank plays wieniawksi's violin not vieuxtemps, forgot... I read this in a boo called 21st century violinists produced by strings magazine

September 30, 2005 at 09:56 PM · i thought that Lu siqing is playing on the wieniawski del guse??

October 4, 2005 at 02:57 PM · Martin Chalifour, the LA Phil’s concertmaster, plays the strad that belonged to Jack Benny.

October 4, 2005 at 06:27 PM · Does he really? I just saw/met him this summer. He was teaching at Domaine and he did a concert with the Quebec Symphony!

October 4, 2005 at 06:58 PM · there is more than one wieniawski del gesu one is 1737 the other is 1742 - pam frank plays the 1737 one

October 5, 2005 at 02:19 PM · re: Chalifour

Yup, I saw him at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival in July, once in recital & once as first violin in the Schubert 2-cello quintet. 1st cello was his LA Phil colleague, Peter Stumpf… the one with the cello-that-almost-became-a-CD-cabinet.

October 5, 2005 at 03:30 PM · Tale of a violin:

At the edge of the city, half-wrapped in a veil of early-morning fog, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum stands atop a windy hill, overlooking San Francisco Bay. With opening time still hours away, the old museum's massive stone walls warm slowly in the growing light, while deep inside the building—locked within a thick-walled, temperature-controlled, Plexiglas display case and handsomely bathed in the softest of lights—the Ferdinand David Guarneri sits waiting.

The David is a 260-year-old violin.

Built by the legendary master Giuseppe Guarneri "del Gesu" in 1742, the rare, time-weathered instrument was left to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco by Jascha Heifetz, the late virtuoso who had possessed the violin for 65 years. Named for an earlier owner, mid–19th-century violinist Ferdinand David who was concertmaster of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig. Felix Mendelssohn conducted the Gewandhaus orchestra and wrote his E minor concerto for David. The David Guarneri was purchased by Heifetz in 1922, and until his death in 1987 it was the instrument he played in most of his major performances and recordings.

Upon leaving it to the city of San Francisco, Heifetz stipulated that the remarkable instrument—its worth estimated at over $10 million, making it one of the most valuable violins in the world—must not become a mere object d'art, or some benign historical curiosity. The David was meant to be played, and must be played, according to Heifetz' will, "on Special Occasions—by worthy performers."

Recognizing the merit of Heifetz’ directions, the San Francisco Museums, in collaboration with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, formed a special committee to organize public performances and review musicians' requests to play the instrument. The rest of the time, the famous instrument stays securely locked in its see-through case on the museum's mezzanine. On such days, of course, the violin remains silent, seen but not touched, guarded but not played.

Since Heifetz' death, his violin has made music in the hands of such "worthy performers" as Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Jorja Fleezanis, Gil Shaham, and Stuart Canin. In addition, once a year, a handful of students from the San Francisco Conservatory have been chosen to perform on Heifetz' Guarneri.

The board of directors of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum has stipulated that the current concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony can play the Ferdinand David Guarneri while the orchestra is in town. The agreement, as it stands, stipulates that the violin must not be taken out of the corporate limits of San Francisco.

Though the history of the rare Guarneri is fairly well documented back to the mid-19th century—when J.B. Vuillaume of Paris sold it to Ferdinand David—almost nothing is known of its story before that. Also uncertain are how many brothers and sisters the David has, since no one knows the exact number of Guarneri violins that still exist in the world.

"Whatever the number, it's not very many," says Roland Feller, the Northern California–based violinmaker and repair expert who has become the David's official checkup man before and after all of its play dates. Best guesses place the existing number of Guarneris as slightly above 130, says Feller, far fewer than the 1,000 instruments left behind by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri's famous predecessor.

Ted K

October 5, 2005 at 05:07 PM · isnt that "David" Del Gesu being played by Alexander Barantchik at the moment in san francisco? I seem to remember there being an article on that matter in The Strad a few years back.

October 5, 2005 at 07:54 PM · Dimochka,

Scroll up my man:)))))))

October 5, 2005 at 10:57 PM · LOL

October 5, 2005 at 10:56 PM · Are there any soloists playing on "second tier" or great instruments of the 20th C. like Scarampalla. Rocca, Degani etc.??

There will probably come a time when many of the strads and guarneris become too fragile and people will have to play on other instruments.

October 6, 2005 at 03:56 AM · What "tier" would Antoniazzis fit in? Just curious...

October 6, 2005 at 11:29 AM · iliusha, my up button doesnt work...

October 6, 2005 at 01:07 PM · Thanks, Ted, very interesting - journalese notwithstanding ;-)

Interesting that he had the DG for so long - he was playing on a Tononi at his US debut and I thought the Dolphin Strad came soon after - which he had first on loan then later purchased. If the info above is correct that is.

October 24, 2005 at 10:10 PM · Many top players own contemporary violins as well. See this site for example: http://www.bormanviolins.com/gallery.htm

October 25, 2005 at 06:23 AM · I heard that Vuillaume's violins were sometimes made by others such as Silvestre. How would I tell if a violin was made by Vuillaume since they all feature the same labels.

October 25, 2005 at 03:26 PM · An expert will look for the label last, if at all. Paper labels are easy to forge. The details of a violin's construction and artistry can tell you everything you need to know about the maker, if you know what to look for.

I wish I knew what to look for! :)

October 26, 2005 at 09:31 PM · If everybody was an expert, life would not be as much fun. Same as in any field. That is why we marvel at the likes of Heifetz, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Sacconi etc. ;)

October 26, 2005 at 10:48 PM · I love how Mr. Borman puts Laredo twice on the same page:)In need of filling the gap, Terry?:)

October 27, 2005 at 06:12 PM · Ilya, if you don't mind, do you have any favorite contemporary builders, or even some who have impressed you highly? I doubt that I'm the only one on this forum who would be interested to hear your comments.

thanks,

Mike

October 29, 2005 at 02:18 PM · Mike,

Greiner probably. Although I haven't tried enough of others, and they keep telling me about the Italian "21st century violin-making renaissance", of which I haven't found proof yet. Apparently Bologna is where all the action is these days...

IG

October 29, 2005 at 06:37 PM · This is to Ilya. When u coming to south africa for a performance hey? U top guys never come here.We feel robbed of your special gifts and we should have the same opportunities as the north to listen to u live besides listening to your cd's!But i suppose you're booked for the next 5 years...or something!

October 29, 2005 at 09:04 PM · Tia,

If this is of any consolation, I've never played in North Africa either:). From my side of things, I do have to say though, that I've been very much insulted by South Africans' utter inability to engage me:)

IG

October 30, 2005 at 01:53 AM · Hahaha, famous soloists are wanted everywhere these days... if they could all come to my house, I'd be very very happy. :)

November 1, 2005 at 04:56 PM · Ilya, have u ever crossed paths with South African people? If so,on a personal level or South african audiences? Because what u say is a very ''closed'' thing to say. Sorry for being abrupt but surely an artist of your status should be more open to experiencing new audiences and environments. And i think its unfair that we buy your records and u don't play for us, its important to give back to us too. Although fair that u haven't visited north africa and other places, im sure sparing a couple of concerts with new york phil or berlin phil won't damage u that much? I mean you've must have played with those orchestras thousands of times. What harm would it do to play with the Cape Town philharmonic at the baxter hall instead of the carnegie hall for possibly the first and only time in your life? Vengie did it, Menuhin did it, Bell did it and so did Graffin and thats about it. SO we're waiting for u. Maybe if u do...then we'll start getting all of them to visit south africa. Lol...think about it please. Hmmmm this is supposed to be a discussion about violins right? Sorry guys :-)

November 1, 2005 at 05:42 PM · Tia,

I'm not sure that goading is going to work! South Africa is a long way away. Last time I checked, it is about a 40 day journey by sailing ship. I'm not sure any airplanes even go there--wouldn't they run out of fuel? ;-0

Don't you think that the musician is an individual of Free Will and should have sovereignty over his own prerogatives and choices for places to go?

I'm not sure what any of this has to do with old violins though :-) speaking of which an amusing thing to do is to search for "stradivarius for sale" or similar on Google. Good for a laugh.

November 1, 2005 at 06:03 PM · Tia:)

It's amazing how many things I learn about myself from you:) To my knowledge, I haven't played with the ny phil...or the berlin phil:) plus I am all about far-flung places - that's a sure way to get gold mileage cards, remember? My Lufthansa Senator status is gonna expire next February, so a good little visit to Capetown would actually come in handy:)

IG

November 1, 2005 at 09:04 PM · Tia, pretty much only the President of the United States gets to choose where he will be the guest of honor.

I have no doubt that Ilya would love to play all over the world, but he is only one man and there are only 365 days in a year, plus he is young, so relax and maybe he will get there eventually.

Also, please don't misrepresent South Africans by being so unreasonable.

November 1, 2005 at 10:37 PM ·

November 1, 2005 at 11:49 PM · DUDE, I LOVE LUFTANSA. They have THE BEST airplane snacks in the WORLD!

November 2, 2005 at 05:47 PM · Yeah Ilya i was merely using those orchestras as exmaples but i'm sure u understand my connotations. I mean u do play with these really good orchestras (not that the cape philharmonic isn't lovely)and like i said it would be something new for u if u tried. Pieter are u south african? I don't think i offended south africans in anyway. When Ilya actually gets here (we hope) everyone will be thanking me including u(if u are south afrcan) if you're not my apologies. Ur name sounds as though it could be afrikaans but anyway...are we even sure Ilya on violinist.com is really the Ilya we want him to be? He could be some 12 year old Ilya Gringolts fan who poses as him here. So...well that shouldnt matter because the point is..great artists of that calibre should promote their art in places that know little of it. And saying that ''audiences disengage them'' is a bit...to put it politely worrying.Why do u think that the standard of music in the west is so high? Because they're constantly exposed to so many great artists like Ilya right?We need inspiration man...cd's and dvd's can only take us so much!

November 12, 2005 at 02:32 AM · I am quite sure that the violin Sarah Chang was using at her concert here was a Del Gesu.

Preston

November 21, 2005 at 10:30 AM · Tia

I think you may have misunderstood Ilya's use of the word 'engage'. Engage also means to book or hire someones services. That's why he joked that he felt insulted by South Africa's inability to do this. He cannot invite himself, but would probably gladly go if there was an offer.

David

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