Stradivarius in Vancouver

February 8, 2014

If you’re a lover of rare instruments, this Sunday, the Szymanowski String Quartet will be treating us to the sound of a Stradivarius violin.

Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644 and based himself out of Cremona, Italy. What made him so special? His design of the violin has been the model for violin makers over 250 years.

Stradivari’s understanding of the instrument and his mastery of his craft is unmatched. In fact, violinists often tease each other about not owning one as they are as rare as they are expensive. One writer/musician described playing a Stradivarius for the first time as

… the same feeling you’d get if you’d driven a Mazda all your life, then stepped into a Ferrari and accidentally floored it.

Stradivarius violins are powerful and rich in sound. This same writer went on to describe playing the violin as if he had an entire concert hall under his chin! Unlike the sound, however, the design of the Strad fairly understated, marked only by a small latin inscription stating the maker, location, and date.

Of the 1,100 instruments Stradivari was said to have made, only 650 survive today. Some of his instruments have been sold for over $1.6M in public auction and are sometimes double that if sold privately.

If you are interesting in hearing the soft power of the Stradivarius violin, join us on January 19th for our performance with the Szymanowski String Quartet as one of the players will be donning his very own Strad. See if you can figure out which one!

Image ©

“Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Stradivarius Violins.” Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Stradivarius Violins. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014. <>.

John, Emma. “What’s so Special about a Stradivarius?” Guardian News and Media, 06 Aug. 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2014. <>.

“Stradivarius Violins.” Stradivarius Violins. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014. <>.