Anne Akiko Meyers Receives Lifetime Use of “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesù

“I have never heard another violin with such a beautiful spectrum of colour,” Anne Akiko Meyers said about the “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesù in a press release recently.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive lifetime use of the instrument, and I look forward to taking the violin to audiences all over the world.”

When the Chicago based rare instrument dealer Bein & Fushi had the stunning 1741 “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesù violin for sale, the asking price was $18 million.

No one is saying how much the instrument actually fetched. The world famous violin known as the “Mona Lisa of violins” was bought for Anne’s lifetime use by an anonymous sponsor.

The former owner Ian Stoutzker, a London banker, sold it through the dealer J & A Beares, Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

The selling price is said to have exceeded the previous world-record sale price of the 1721 “Lady Blunt” Stradivari, which was sold in 2011 by Tarisio Auctions for $15.9 million.

Cremonese lutherie gets UNESCO listing

The traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona has been inscribed on the Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

Cremonese violin craftsmanship is well known for its traditional process of fashioning and restoring violins, violas, cellos and contrabasses.

Cremonese violin-makers are deeply convinced that sharing their knowledge is fundamental to the

growth of their craftsmanship, and dialogue with musicians is deemed essential so as to understand their needs.
Traditional violin making is rudimentary to the identity of Cremona and plays a fundamental role in its social and cultural life.

The violin making traditions are promoted by two violin makers’ associations, ‘Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari’ and ‘Associazione Liutaria Italiana.

Cremona eyes high-tech future


City plans cutting-edge research centre to help luthiers improve instrument acoustics

A CONSORTIUM OF UNIVERSITIES has announced plans to make Cremona a world-class centre for stringed instrument research. Academics from Italy and Sweden have devised a year- long program to train science and engineering graduates in the latest acoustic analysis techniques, and to investigate how scientific knowledge applies to violin making.

Up to 30 graduates are expected to enroll on the Stradivari Master course when it is launched in October 2012. The curriculum includes vibration analysis, vibroacoustics, spatial audio, numerical simulation and optimization methods, and the physics of stringed instruments.

There are also plans for a laboratory where researchers will investigate wood and varnish treatments, instrument ergonomics, advance recording technologies and other areas.

Stradivari Master of Science and Technology of String Instruments

Vibroacoustic comparisons between modern (far left) and Baroque violin set-ups

Backed by Cremona institutions including the Stradivari Foundation and the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria, the project is a collaboration between the universities of Genoa, Pavia and Mid Sweden, and the Politecnico di Milano, which has a campus in Cremona.

Staffan Borseman, a Cremona-based violin expert who helped bring the researchers together, said: ‘The violin world has traditionally not been very good at sharing information. We want to set new standards for cooperation between scientists and violin makers’.

Stradivari Foundation president Paolo Bodini said that the concentration of makers and instruments in Cremona makes it an ideal centre for research. ‘The scientists will have a great number of historical and contemporary instruments to study, and the makers can apply that research directly, to help improve the acoustics of their instruments’.

The universities’ announcement comes at a time when city authorities are pressing to get UNESCO protection for Cremonese violin making. ‘Tradition and production have defined Cremona,’ acknowledged Bodini, ‘but a research centre adds another important element to the mix’.

The article is reprinted here with the Strad Magazine’s permission.

Visit the Stradivari Master course’s website for more details.

New Master’s Program Mixes Science, Tech & Violins


By Greq Orwell Strings Frebruary 2012

Masters program in the science and technology of stringed instrumentsStradivari Master of Science and Technology of String Instruments would have opportunities to work in acoustics research or in musical-instrument quality assessment and research, preservation, and music production.

Beginning next fall, a new, first-of-its-kind program will offer a master’s degree in the science and technology of stringed instruments. The Cremona campus of Politecnico di Milano will offer a master’s program in the science and technology of stringed instruments.

Read the full article in the Strings magazine…

Visit the Stradivari Master course’s website for more details.

Stradivari Cello Sells for Record Price

One of the greatest cellos in existence, the beautifully preserved instrument by Antonio Stradivari known as Countess of Stanlein, ex Paganini of 1707, was sold to a Montreal patroness of the arts.

The sale price was in excess of $6 million; the exact amount paid for the instrument is unknown.

The previous owner, Bernard Greenhouse, was a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Mr. Greenhouse owned the Countess of Stanlein from 1957 to 2011. The instrument was his love and life-long companion from which he was unable to part. He died last year.

His family entrusted the sale of the instrument to the Boston violin-dealer Christopher Reuning.

“Stradivari” Master Study

As announced in the December 2011 issue of The Strad Magazine, Staffan Borseman has organized a consortium of Universities to make Cremona a world-class centre for stringed instrument research.

Academics from Sweden and Italy have devised a year-long programme to train science and engineering graduates in the latest acoustic analysis techniques, and to investigate how scientific knowledge applies to violin-making.

Up to 30 graduates are expected to enroll in the “Stradivari” Master on Science and Technology of String Instruments course when it is launched in October 2012.

Stradivari Master Study

Visit the Stradivari Master Study’s website.

René A. Morel (11 Mar 1932 - 16 Nov 2011)

René A. Morel died Wednesday morning at the age of 79. His 67-year career as a luthier has come to an end.

Morel’s legacy will live on through the pupils he mentored and the many rare instruments he skillfully restored and brought new life to.
René A. Morel came from a family of violinmakers. He began making violins at the age of 12 following the great tradition on both sides of his family. Later on he worked for Amédée Dieudonné in Mirecourt, as well as Marius Didier, and Bossard Bonnel in Rennes.
After serving in the French Air Force, Morel moved to America. He spent some years with Kagan and Gaines in Chicago.
In 1955 he moved to New York, where he worked with Simone F. Sacconi at Rembert Wurlitzer’s shop. Simone F. Sacconi was in charge of the repair and restoration and taught Morel many new concepts about violin restoration.

I met René Morel the first time in the mid-70s at the shop of Jacques Français, Rare Violins, Inc.

where, in 1964, Morel opened his own shop. He loved talking about wine and food. He also shared with me his strong urge to be in the out of doors.

With his adjustments, Morel performed a very sensitive sound improvement of bow stringed instruments.

As far as I know, Morel was not interested in writing certificates. This business was taken care of by Français. More importantly, Français and Morel had a very fruitful collaboration.
Morel was a much appreciated jury member of many violin-making competitions. The International Society of Violin and Bow Makers (Entente) and the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers had the privilege of naming him as a member. 
Morel was sought out by players throughout the world, specifically for sound adjustment in their instruments.

René A. Morel’s loss will be felt around the world.

By Staffan Borseman


If the violin responds to the feeling, to the heart of the human being who plays on it, this, to him, it’s his love, it’s his life. If it is an instrument which has only the power but he cannot sculpt, he cannot mold, cannot phrase, then he says, ‘Oh, it’s a strong violin, but he won’t fall in love with that.
René A. Morel

Record Prices of Rare String Instruments


Regardless of the slow world economy, sale of rare stringed instruments is growing both in the USA and worldwide. The interest in the acquisition of the great Italian violins made by Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù are on the rise.

rare string instrumentAlso other types of rare instruments have enjoyed growing buyer’s interest worldwide last year. The Song Shi Jian Yi imperial guqin, which is an ancient string instrument, was sold for $25,000,000, setting a new auction world record for ancient musical instrument. The instrument had been Emperor Qian Long’s personal instrument.

On June 20 this year, the “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius of 1721 set a new rare violin record when it sold for $15,894,000 at the Tarisio action.

The Russian government acquired recently six exquisite instruments from a major American collection for a price of about $42,000,000.

The sales of these magnificent instruments for record prices show that even in the slow world economy the rare violin market stays strong.

‘Lady Blunt’ sells for $15,894,000


June 21, 2011, London

One of the best preserved Stradivari violins in existence, The “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius of 1721, was sold at the Tarisio online auction for a new wold record of $15,894,000 to an anonymous bidder.

All of the proceeds from the sale goes to the Nippon Foundation‘s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

The ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721


Stradivarius Lady Blunt

Confronted by the tragic events of the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis, The Nippon Music Foundation has made an extraordinary offer to assist in the recovery efforts of their native Japan.

In a gesture of profound generosity they have decided to sell what is considered the finest violin of their collection, the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721, and have pledged the entire proceeds of the sale to The Nippon Foundation’s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

The ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721 - one of the best-preserved Stradivari violins in existence - will be auctioned off  at Tarisio’s auction June 20th.

Stradivari Invest strongly recommends our visitors to visit The Nippon Foundation’s website.

The photography kindly provided by Tarisio.