On permanent loan to violinist, Yang Liu.
Presented to violinist, Yang Liu.]

Christie’s Musical Instruments, of New York sold the chance to own a famous Stradivarius to a lucky bidder on April 22, 2005 (a person who, as a benefactor and patron of the Arts, has chosen to remain anonymous).  The violin in question -- the last lot of the auction was The "Lady Tennant".  She is believed to have been constructed in 1699 and the earliest record of ownership was with the violinist Charles Philippe Lafont (a contemporary of Paganini).  In 1900 the violin was sold to Scottish industrialist and financier Sir Charles Tennant and presented to his wife by her husband.   A dendrochronology test has verified that the year rings match other known Stradivari instruments.  The anonymous buyer who purchased the "Lady Tennant" Stradivarius violin (for more than $2 million in April 2005) presented it to be played by violinist, Yang Liu in 2005, then to Xiang Gao in 2007.   Yang Liu (a medalist at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow), performed on the instrument at a recital at the Kennedy Center on June 15, 2005. That event marked the first public performance of the violin in 25 years  The concert took place on the center's Millennium Stage and was free and open to the public.  The program included the: "Bach Chaconne", "Beethoven Spring Sonata", and the "Prokofiev Sonata Op. 94a in D major". 

See and hear this performance event (Audio & Video) ...using RealPlayer (broadband Internet -- DSL or cable is recommended), link :

Get RealPlayer for Windows (click here).

"The Lady Tennant" Stradivari violin.
"The Lady Tennant", Stradivari violin.

The loan to Professor Liu (Roosevelt University, Chicago) was made through the Stradivari Society, which helps to match the owners of rare instruments with musicians. In announcing the loan, Geoff Fushi, the organization's president, said, "Liu's rare and sensitive artistry…can only be enhanced by his partnership with Lady Tennant.", "This is one of the world's greatest instruments," he added, "and it is with a reverence for its past glory that we put it into Yang's worthy hands." 

Liu said, "I have been given a soul mate for life, one with whom I shall share the most intimate communication with the world."

The instrument was built by Antonio Stradivari in 1699 and was owned at one time by Philippe Lafont, a violin virtuoso of the early 19th century and a rival of Nicolò Paganini. It was purchased after his death in 1839 by W. E. Hill and Sons, a London violin dealer. In 1900, Hill sold it to Charles Tennant, a Scottish businessman, who gave it to his wife, an amateur violinist. It has since been called "The Lady Tennant."

"The Lady Tennant" Stradivari violin.
"The Lady Tennant" violin (front & back).

The $2,032,000 paid for the violin, sold by Christie's of New York, was sold at the highest price ever for a musical instrument (at auction).  

"Lady Tennant" being displayed during the auction at Christies of New York.
"Lady Tennant" being displayed during the auction at Christies of New York.

A new Guinness Book of World Records was established.

About Antonio Stradivari: or Antonius Stradivarius [ăntō'nēus strădivâr'ēus] , 1644–1737, Italian violin maker of Cremona; pupil of Niccolò Amati. He was apprenticed to Amati c.1658 and may have remained with him until Amati's death in 1684. Stradivari's earliest extant label is dated 1666 and his last 1737. His finest instruments were made after 1700. He produced at least 1,116 instruments, of which 540 violins, 12 violas, and 50 cellos were known. He also made fine viols, guitars, and mandolins. His workmanship brought the violin to perfection, and later artisans have tried to imitate his instruments. His commissions included those from James II of England and Charles III of Spain. Two of his sons, Francesco Stradivari (1671–1743) and Omobono Stradivari (1679–1742), worked with him and continued the craft after his death, producing a number of fine instruments.  The Lady Tennant violin was made by Stradivari when he was 55 years old.

Copyright ©2005-2013 - R.C. Kuhmann - All Rights Reserved
http://www.KUHMANN.com - QMann-at-Kuhmann.Com  (remove the "-at-" )

Graphics With Splash ! Design by TechniQ U.S. Associates LLC