15 Sep 2014
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Stolen Stradivarius

Stolen Stradivarius
Saw a report on the news about a local violinist who has been using a "priceless" Strad (think millions most likely - it does have a price) that was loaned to him by the owner.  Apparently last night after a concert at Wisconsin Lutheran College it was stolen by two guys who jumped out of a van, tasered the violinist, grabbed it and took off.  The case and the violinist's iPad were recovered near Washington Park.

The first question that came to my mind was "What the heck is he doing taking this violin around and playing it at venues like this one"?  The report on Channel 12 compared it to a "Picasso".  Well, people don't ordinarily take Picassos to school art exhibits and, if they do, they properly transport and guard them.  They don't have one person carry them from the exhibit to their car.  It certainly doesn't make sense to have the violin transported in this fashion when the Symphony, of which this person is a member, has been promoting both him using the instrument and a recording he made using it.

I'm not an expert but I do know a bit about vintage musical instruments and I know guys who play ones that are probably worth about a 10th of what this one is worth and they wouldn't think of taking them to venues such as this one, much less walking across a parking lot on their own, at night carrying them.  The real value in these instruments, basically, is in how they record - not how they perform in concert.  

Either there's a whole lot of boneheaded irresponsibility going on here...or....

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