One of our violins is a Stradivarius!

For those of you who wonder what it might feel like to get your hands on millions of pounds then look no further than a performance by the energetic and exciting musician Tamsin Waley-Cohen.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen with the Stradivarius
Tamsin Waley-Cohen with the Stradivarius

The violin she tucks under her chin – before every performance –  is a Stradivarius – made in 1721 towards the end of the legendary craftsman’s golden period – and her constant concert companion since 2007.

Tamsin’s talents were recognised by the Trust who own the instrument and she has been playing it around the world  ever since. Though she is naturally reluctant to talk about monetary values – in 2011 a violin – made in the same year as Tamsin’s ‘Strad’ – sold at auction for £9.8 million.

Conductor Jason Thornton in conversation with Tamsin Waley-Cohen
Conductor Jason Thornton in conversation with Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Tamsin joined members of Bath Philharmonia for a ‘priceless’ performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons at St Swithin’s Church at Walcot in Bath. A Georgian building that did not exist until 21 years after that violin – played so sweetly under its roof last night ( April 4th 2014)  – was crafted.

Bath Philharmonia getting ready for the concert at St Swithin's.
Bath Philharmonia getting ready for the concert at St Swithin’s.

Conductor Jason Thornton also chose three little ‘musical gems’ to accompany Vivaldi’s ‘masterpiece’ – including a lushly orchestrated work by Bath composer Paul Carr.

Prior to the concert Tamsin chatted to Jason about her very special violin. She referred to all the scientific investigations that have been undertaken to try and discover what makes a Stradivarius so special but explained that – for her –  it was an instrument that had been played for nearly three hundred years and that in itself  had impacted on its sound quality.

The Stradivari family made stringed instruments during the 17th and 18th centuries and 650 original instruments – harps,guitars,violas, cellos and violins – survive today.

Tagged with: