What an awesome afternoon! Elizabeth Pitcairn, world-renowned American virtuoso and owner of the 1720 Red Mendelssohn Violin performed this afternoon at Little Bridges in Claremont for The Southern California Association of Violin Makers. Elizabeth’s violin was previously owned by descendents of Felix Mendelssohn, hence its name. Before that, virtually no one knew where it was for 200 years. Elizabeth acquired the violin when she was seventeen and has since performed throughout the world with this historic instrument.
This afternoon, I was privileged to be part of the quartet that played the orchestral parts for the Bach Double while Elizabeth played the first violin soloist part with Lauri Niles, Lydia Brown, and Laura Rosky-Santoni each taking a movement as second violin soloists. Each musician in the ensemble performed on amazing instruments one of which was the “Jackson” Stradivarius from 1714. I performed on the 1742 “Sloan” Guarneri del Gesù. For a split second, the sound that issued forth when I first touched the strings actually put me into shock! After the Bach Double performance, Elizabeth Pitcairn presented tonal comparisons of several Strads and the Guarneri. Each one had such a unique voice. At the end of the event, she played on my own violin. The sound she drew from the instrument was incredible. She congratulated me and said it’s a beautiful instrument. That was just the cherry on top of an overall fantastic afternoon! Special thanks to J. Brown violin maker from Claremont for inviting me to participate in this outstanding event, jbviolin.com.
Ms. Pitcairn appeared today for the benefit of Luzerne Music Center Youth Summer Camp, www.luzernemusic.org.
Here’s me and the 1742 “Sloan” Guarneri del Gesù.