April 2008


This Irish tune is driving me nuts – but it’s the next one on my list to learn after Paddy Ryan’s Dream which I’ve nearly learnt.

Last week it was the Fleur de Mandragore – a great tune that I heard at the National Folk Festival this year. I’m still having trouble with Tommy’s Tarbukas – but I’m getting there on that one too :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Imagine how you’d feel! After 18 months of negotiations you get to borrow a 1723 Stradivarius violin – the “ex-Keisewetter” – worth $4m, only to accidentally leave it in a New York taxi. That’s what happened to Grammy-nominated violinist Philippe Quint on Monday 21 April.

The frantic Quint phoned the cab company and the police. Meanwhile the violin lay in its case in a bag in the back of the cab overnight on a Newark street. It stayed there while the cabbie – Mohamed Khalil – took a fare to Kearny and on to Queens for a vehicle inspection.

A call went out across the cab network and a fellow cabbie asked Khalil if he’d found anything left in the back of his cab. Minutes later Quint was reunited with the violin, whereupon the violinist dropped to his knees and wept with joy and relief. Khalil made light of his honesty – “You have to be honest. Even if it was worth $10 million, it doesn’t belong to me” he is quoted as saying.

You can read more about Quint here.

And if you are ever in Khalil’s cab – make sure you give him an extra tip :-)

Cheers
Jerry

My box-style pochette (travel fiddle) attracted quite a lot of attention when I took it to the National Folk Festival in Canberra. I’m still thinking through some further modifications, and no I’m not going into commercial production – others like Rickert and Ringholz already make fine box pochettes – but here is mine being played by Sydney fiddle player Tony Pryzakowski

Cheers
Jerry

Named for the late Barbara Penny, first woman in the strings section of Britain’s Royal Philharmonic orchestra, this stradivarius violin was made in the 1700s. It was sold at auction at Christie’s following Barbara Penny’s death last year. The violin was estimated to be worth 1.5m. Penny owned the violin from 1965. She was a member of the London Mozart Players.

The Penny'' Stradivarius

Cheers
Jerry

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