Classical Music Buzz > Prone to Violins
Prone to Violins
violinhunter
About violinists, violins, and the violence that occurs between the two.
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I have written a few times regarding the need for new music, though perhaps not in this blog. I did write concerning the fact that we have no new violin concertos, as of 1948, which have gained a permanent place in the repertory.  Oscar Wilde once said: "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." If you think about it, this applies to ALL art. That's why dissonant, incoherent contemporary music has failed so dramatically and resoundingly. Nobody is interested in listening to it a second time. Mascagni's opera, Cavalleria Rusticana, has been performed over 44,000 times since it was composed in the late 1800s - about 350 times per year. By comparison, the modern opera, Nixon in China (by John Adams), has perhaps been produced 10 times and performed 50 times since it premiered in 1987 in Houston, an average of 2 times per year. I believe it may as well be dead. This opera, in fact, is one of the better known works of the Twentieth Century. After Elgar premiered his First Symphony in 1908, it was performed no fewer than one hundred times in its first year. There are over twenty recordings of it and it is still being regularly programmed by conductors around the world. Nowadays, composers write a piece, it is performed a half dozen times and then put away for good. Audiences really do know what they want and what they like. Composers should have been taught to trust and respect the audience's judgment long ago. Instead, modern composers have wanted to teach classical music audiences what is good for them to listen to; the audiences have not been fooled. Music is to the point where it sounds like it was written by engineers and mathematicians. We are back to square one. Perhaps what I hear about the modern concert hall being nothing more than a museum is true. We need new music more than ever - but not the kind we have been getting for the last sixty years.
2 years ago | |
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Ferdinand Laub was a Czech violinist, teacher, and composer, born (in Prague) on January 19, 1832.  Though he worked closely with Tchaikovsky and other famous musicians, he is almost completely forgotten today.  It has been said that he lived the life of a Romantic (Bohemian) because he had no permanent residence.  Since he gave a public concert at age six, he must have had lessons from infancy, though it is not known with whom he began his violin studies – it may have been his father or mother.  By age nine, he was already being praised by well-known musicians, including the Norwegian violinist, Ole Bull.  In 1843, he entered the Prague Conservatory, where he studied with Moritz Mildner.  He was 11 years old.  Archduke Stephan subsequently gave him an Amati violin and recommendations which helped Laub in Vienna.  Upon leaving the Conservatory in 1846, he played in the Imperial band (Court Orchestra) in Vienna.  He was 14 years old.  Hungarian violinist Joseph Bohm was playing in the same orchestra at that time.  In 1850, he toured Europe as a soloist and was very well received in Paris and London.  From 1853 to 1855, he taught at a music school in Weimar, where Joseph Joachim had previously taught.  From 1855 to 1862, he taught at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin.  He was also concertmaster of the Court Orchestra there (until 1864.)  In 1864, he undertook another European tour with three other musicians.  Musicians with whom he came in contact included Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, Hans Von Bulow, Clara Schumann, Bedrich Smetana, Heinrich Ernst, and Joseph Joachim.  In 1866, at age 34, he became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory.  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky called him “the best violinist of our time.”  Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky did not write his famous violin concerto for Laub – Laub died before the concerto was even begun.  Perhaps it might have been – we will never know.  Tchaikovsky wrote the concerto for Joseph Kotek (who later refused to play it) but dedicated it to Leopold Auer, a teacher at the St Petersburg Conservatory, who did not particularly like it and did not play its premiere.  However, Laub, as first violinist of a string quartet, did give the first performances of Tchaikovsky’s first and second string quartets.  In 1874, Laub was forced to stop working altogether because of illness.  On March 17, 1875, he died (in Gries, Northern Italy), on his way to a spa, being only 43 years old.  Laub played the Laub Stradivarius of 1722 (or 1727 – sources differ) which later went to violinist Alexander Petschnikoff and later still to Calvin Sieb, concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony.  It is now presumably in the hands of one of the concertmasters of that orchestra, since the violin belongs to the orchestra.  Laub’s compositions include violin and vocal works which are now never performed.
2 years ago | |
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Joseph Böhm (Josef Bohm) was a Hungarian violinist and composer born (in Budapest) on March 4, 1795.  He is best known for having been the Director of the Vienna Conservatory and the teacher of famous violinists; Joseph Joachim, Jeno Hubay, Jacob Grun, Heinrich Ernst, Eduard Remenyi, and Jacob Dont among them.  He is also considered the founder of something called the Viennese School of violin playing, whatever that means.  His first teacher was his father, concertmaster of the Pest Theatre Orchestra.  Later, he studied with Pierre Rode.  Bohm made his public debut in Vienna in 1816.  He was 21 years old.  He toured Europe as a soloist for several years.  In 1819, he became the first violin professor at the Vienna Conservatory.  Vienna was the musical capital of Europe at the time.  In 1821, Bohm established a string quartet.  He also became a member of the Court Orchestra - the Imperial band.  He continued to tour but retired from concertizing in 1827.  He retired from the Conservatory in 1848, but only because the Revolution caused it to close its doors.  He was 53 years old.  He continued to play in the Court Orchestra until 1868.  He was 73 years old by then.  He worked with Beethoven but how much time he spent in his company is unknown.  Beethoven never dedicated any works to him.  Bohm’s quartet sort of premiered Beethoven’s string quartet number 12 (opus 127, written in 1825), which turned out to be the first of Beethoven’s late quartets.  The actual premiere took place on March 6, 1825, under the direction of violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh.  That performance was a flop and Beethoven was very displeased.  Beethoven then asked Bohm to take charge of a second premiere which took place in late April, 1825.  That second premiere was, by all accounts, an unqualified success.  Beethoven was by this time completely and irrevocably deaf but he could tell how things went by watching the movement of the performers.  Bohm played none other than the Prince Khevenhuller Stradivarius of 1733 (from 1820 until the day he died – 56 years he had it.)  Upon his death, the violin went to his nephew (Louis Bohm) and eventually (in 1930) ended up in the hands of another famous violinist – Yehudi Menuhin.  Bohm died (in Vienna) on March 28, 1876, at age 81.  Beethoven had been dead 49 years.
2 years ago | |
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The following is an abstract from an article which appeared earlier this month in some journal of the academy of science. The New York Times said something about it too.  It testifies to something I have been saying for years. New instruments are just as good, if not better, than old ones. Anyone spending a million dollars on an old violin is just wasting their money, unless they are buying it as an investment, the way one would buy an antique.  If you just want a violin to actually play on, buy a new one.  You will save a bundle.  By the way, the exact same thing applies to bows.  “Most violinists believe that instruments by Stradivari and Guarneri “del Gesu” are tonally superior to other violins - and to new violins in particular.  Many mechanical and acoustical factors have been proposed to account for this superiority; however, the fundamental premise of tonal superiority has not yet been properly investigated.  Player's judgments about a Stradivari's sound may be biased by the violin's extraordinary monetary value and historical importance, but no studies designed to preclude such biasing factors have yet been published.  We asked 21 experienced violinists to compare violins by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu with high-quality new instruments.  The resulting preferences were based on the violinists’ individual experiences of playing the instruments under double-blind conditions in a room with relatively dry acoustics.  We found that (i) the most-preferred violin was new; (ii) the least-preferred was by Stradivari; (iii) there was scant correlation between an instrument's age and monetary value and its perceived quality; and (iv) most players seemed unable to tell whether their most-preferred instrument was new or old.  These results present a striking challenge to conventional wisdom.  Differences in taste among individual players, along with differences in playing qualities among individual instruments, appear more important than any general differences between new and old violins.  Rather than searching for the secret of Stradivari, future research might best be focused on how violinists evaluate instruments, on which specific playing qualities are most important to them, and on how these qualities relate to measurable attributes of the instruments, whether old or new.”  
2 years ago | |
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Hans Letz (Jean Letz) was a German violinist born (in Ittenheim) on March 18, 1887.  He is mostly remembered as a teacher of many students at Juilliard (New York.)  He studied at the Strasbourg Conservatory and at the Berlin Royal Academy of Music with the famous Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), concertized in Europe for a while then came to the U.S. in June of 1908.  He was 21 years old.  He soon joined the Chicago Symphony (in 1909) and was appointed concertmaster in 1910.  Theodore Thomas had already left the scene, so to speak.  Letz left this position in the spring of 1912 and in May of that year joined the Kneisel Quartet (the best string quartet in the country according to several critics) as second violinist.  (For some odd reason, Chicago Symphony concertmasters do not stay on for long periods, unlike other top orchestra concertmasters at the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.)  Letz also began teaching at the Institute of Musical Art (now Juilliard) in 1912 and continued doing so until 1920.  When Kneisel disbanded the quartet in 1917, Letz formed his own – the Hans Letz Quartet it was called.  It was active until 1925.  It is doubtful that any recordings of the quartet exist – I do not know.  Letz then again taught at Juilliard (the Institute of Musical Art) from 1925 onward.  He was 38 years old.  Letz retired from Juilliard in 1960, though he took two years off between 1956 and 1958.  He had been there more than forty years.  Letz played a Pressenda violin from 1829, a Guadagnini from 1783, a Testore from 1739, and a Montagnana from 1730.  The Guadagnini eventually ended up in the hands of Lorin Maazel, a sometime violinist who became a conductor - he sold it late last year for an undisclosed sum.  Letz is said to have favored a small, refined tone, especially suited to chamber music.  Among Letz’ many pupils are Mary Canberg, Dorothy DeLay, Sally Thomas, Vittorio Giannini, Anatoly Kaminsky, Robert Kurka, Peter Marsh, Calvin Sieb, Andor Toth, and Patricia Travers.  Hans Letz died (in Hackensack, New Jersey) on November 14, 1969, at age 82, largely forgotten.
2 years ago | |
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Miranda Cuckson is an American violinist, violist, and teacher known for her lucid and translucent performances of contemporary works.  She is also known for her stunningly precise technique.  Her extremely fine, silken sound is often and uniquely juxtaposed against angular, rugged, and muscular music which she champions.  However, her tastes are famously eclectic and her repertoire very broad.  She has played complete Beethoven sonata cycles as well as – on the opposite side of the spectrum - music by Luigi Nono (La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura) for violin and electronic tape.  She is largely responsible for bringing the music of a single person - Ralph Shapey, well-known but cantankerous Chicago composer - to the general public’s attention.  Cuckson’s career has taken her to the most famous concert venues in the U.S., Europe, and China, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Berlin Philharmonie.  Anthony Tommasini, one of the most regarded music critics in the world at present, has described her playing this way: “Miranda Cuckson is a brilliant young performer who plays daunting contemporary music with insight, honesty, and temperament.”  (I should point out that her surname is often mispronounced: it is COOKSUN and not COXSUN.)  She first began to study violin at age 5, having arrived in the U.S. from Australia with her parents while still a very young child.  At the age of nine, Cuckson began her studies at Juilliard and went on to receive her BM, MM and DMA degrees there as well.  She studied with Dorothy DeLay, Shirley Givens, Robert Mann, and Felix Galimir, among others.  She made her recital debut in Carnegie Hall in 2003 playing an all-American program, and her concerto debut there in 2010 playing Walter Piston’s Concerto No. 1.  Precisely because she champions contemporary music, she has in recent years been a greatly sought-after advocate in that area of music performance.  She has also given numerous premieres of solo and chamber pieces, some of which have been written expressly for her.  Her father is composer Robert Cuckson and she sometimes plays his works, including several he has written for her.  This year, on February 3, she will perform a new work (at the Library of Congress) by Harold Meltzer, which was commissioned for her by the McKim Fund in honor of Fritz Kreisler.  The McKim Fund is tied to the late American violinist Leonora Jackson – Jackson played what used to be Joseph Joachim’s violin for many years but retired at age 36 and died in obscurity.  Cuckson’s first CD recording was a disk of concertos by Erich Korngold and Manuel Ponce with the Czech National Symphony, on Centaur Records.  She subsequently made four recital CDs of 20th-century American music for Centaur: disks of music by Ralph Shapey (a two-CD set), Donald Martino and Ross Lee Finney.  In 2010, Vanguard Classics released her CD “the wreckage of flowers”, comprising violin and violin/piano music by Michael Hersch, with pianist Blair McMillen.  Upcoming releases include solo and duo works by Anna Weesner and a disk of microtonal solo violin pieces. She directs the concert series nunc (previously called Transit Circle), which she founded in 2007.  Among the many organizations Cuckson plays with in New York are counter)induction, Sequitur, ACME, Talea Ensemble, Astoria Music Society, and the ISCM.  She was the founding violinist of the Momenta Quartet, with which she played for three years.  As of 2005, Cuckson has been teaching violin at Mannes College and also teaches classical violin to students of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.  She is on the faculty at the Composers Conference at Wellesley College and has given numerous master classes and workshops for both performers and composers, at schools such as Peabody Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Temple, Cornell, Columbia, Yale and Princeton universities.  Since 1996, Cuckson has been playing the Bazzini Guadagnini, the one from 1742 (there are two Bazzini Guadagninis – the other one is from 1758.)  As were Eugene Ysaye and  Jascha Heifetz, she is a devoted tennis fan.  YouTube has several videos of her, one of which is here.
2 years ago | |
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Elias Breeskin was a Russian (Ukrainian) violinist, composer, arranger, teacher, and conductor born in 1896 – the exact date is unknown.  One source gives his year of birth as 1897, but that source (Cozio) is usually messy and unreliable.  He was a notorious gambler and con man who was a very successful musician in spite of his addiction to gambling.  He began violin lessons very early in life and, according to one source, by age 7 was studying formally at a conservatory in Poland.  He played in public at age 8 and was acclaimed.  It has been said that he studied with Leopold Auer in Russia.  Whether that is true is quite debatable.  At age 10 (1906), he played for Franz Joseph, the Austrian Emperor.  After this performance, the Emperor supposedly gave him a priceless ring right off his finger.  That, too, is highly questionable.  Soon after, the family came to the U.S. and settled in Washington D.C., a very odd place for a European musical family to settle – then and even now.  Sponsored by a Washington benefactor, he may have first gone to Baltimore to study at the Peabody Conservatory.  However, Breeskin himself stated that after securing financing from (among a few others) Frank Damrosch (brother of conductor Walter Damrosch and, at the time, Director of the Institute of Musical Arts which later became Juilliard), he began his American musical education at Juilliard (New York) in the spring of 1908.  He studied with Franz Kneisel for about seven years.  A magazine from that era (The Violinist) and the New York Times reported that Breeskin attended Columbia University after hours, studying languages and other subjects.  Possibly upon graduation from Juilliard – in 1915 - he shared the Loeb Memorial Prize with Sascha Jacobsen.  He was 19 years old.  Afterward, as part of the Loeb Prize awarded him, he made his debut in Carnegie Hall and was very well received.  In February or March of 1917, he received (on loan) a Stradivarius violin (the 1703 Rougemont Strad) and a Tourte bow from a benefactor – Edward Schafer – which he used for about ten years.  In 1929, for understandable reasons, the violin was returned to the benefactor to help him with payment of debts after the stock market crash.  The Rougemont was later played for two years by Jacques Gordon, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.  I do not know where it is now.  Breeskin joined the New York Symphony in 1917.  At that time, this orchestra was being conducted by Walter Damrosch.  Though it was organized many years after the New York Philharmonic, it was the first American orchestra to tour Europe - it merged with the Philharmonic in 1928.  Among the New York Symphony’s members were Mischa Elman and Pablo Casals.  In early February, 1917, Breeskin appeared in recital at the Aeolian Hall in New York City.  A little over a year later (February 28, 1918), he played there again.  One of the works he played at this second recital was Bruch’s second concerto with Lawrence Goodman at the piano.  On April 1, 1919, he finally made his Carnegie Hall debut, a debut which for unknown reasons, had been postponed several times.  Among the works he played was Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnol.  This time, he was accompanied by pianist Josef Adler.  He was very favorably received at each of his recitals.  In June of 1920, he married into a very wealthy American family.  Anyone else would have used these newly-acquired resources to become a very major and influential figure in music, but not Breeskin.  He was about 24 years old.  At about the same time, it became known that he was a serious gambler.  Around this time, he also became concertmaster of the Capitol Theatre Orchestra in New York.  He was named conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony in 1925.  Because of his gambling habit and the consequent accumulation of gambling debts, that job did not last long.  Having left Minneapolis within the year, he went to Pittsburgh where he helped re-organize the Pittsburgh Symphony.  There, he was concertmaster and associate conductor.  The gambling continued.  His last year in Pittsburgh (1929-1930), he was named Principal Conductor.  He left Pittsburgh after his divorce from his wealthy wife.  I am guessing that up to this time, his wife’s family may have been taking care of his huge gambling debts.  Then, he returned to New York.  He worked as an orchestral musician and arranger for a few years.  He did some recording as conductor of a pickup orchestra for the KBS (Keystone Broadcasting System) label.  Those recordings may still be available though they mostly feature light classical or salon music.  He also recorded several violin pieces with pianist Theodore Saidenberg for KBS, one of which can be found on YouTube.  Breeskin may have also recorded for the RCA and Brunswick labels.  Many years later (1937), he found himself in Hollywood.  There, he wrote and arranged music and he helped form the Hollywood Bowl Symphony.  Nevertheless, having at one point in 1940 stolen the orchestra’s payroll, he exited to Mexico City, where he worked as musical director for radio stations XEW, XEX, and XEB, gave lessons, and composed movie soundtracks.  His second family later joined him.  If it’s true that he studied languages at Columbia, those studies now came in handy.  One source has it that he lived like a king, surrounded by servants.  As far as I know, he never set foot in the U.S. again.  In any case, his great success in Mexico lasted about five years.  The gambling had continued and he was finally imprisoned for supposedly being on the wrong side of the political agenda – he may have been a Communist - and, presumably, for his gambling debts as well.  He was pardoned in 1958.  He was 62 years old.  While in prison, he wrote a piece entitled the City of the Dead.  It got good reviews when he premiered it later on.  Whether it is still performed is anyone’s guess – I’m guessing it is not.  He married for a third and final time after leaving prison.  Breeskin died May 9, 1969, at about age 73.  He left three wives (Adelyn, Anna, and Lena) and seven children.
2 years ago | |
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Simon Jacobsohn (Simon E. Jacobsohn) was a Russian violinist and teacher born on December 24, 1839 (in Mitau or Jelgava, Latvia – Latvia and Lithuania are closely related – Heifetz was born in Vilnius, Lithuania) – Brahms was about six years old.  He was a very highly respected and successful violinist and educator working in the U.S. in the late 1800s.  Many American orchestras owe him a great debt for having prepared so many high caliber musicians who later occupied their ranks.  He came from a very modest family - he had to help support them from age seven by playing at social functions.  His father had died by then and left them penniless.  Though it cannot be said that Jacobsohn was entirely self-taught, he did not receive formal training until he was 15 years old.  At age 20 he made his way to Germany.  He studied with none other than Ferdinand David (Mendelssohn’s concertmaster) in Leipzig, where among his fellow pupils were Joseph Joachim, August Wilhelmj, Johan Svendsen, Edvard Grieg, and Henry Schradieck.  He served as concertmaster in Bremen (Germany) from 1860 to 1872.  In Europe, Jacobsohn also formed the Jacobsohn Quartet which achieved fame and was highly regarded.  In 1872, he came to the U.S.  In this country, one of his first jobs was as concertmaster for the Theodore Thomas Orchestra.  He was 33 years old.  In 1877 he joined the Mendelssohn Quintet of Boston then afterwards was invited to teach at the Cincinnati College of Music but continued giving concerts before moving permanently to Chicago in the fall of 1887.  Henry Schradieck was also teaching violin at the Cincinnati College of Music at the time – it is possible that the invitation to teach in Cincinnati came from him.  In 1890, the Chicago Symphony was beginning to take shape – I do not know whether Jacobsohn ever played in it but that’s unlikely since no source out of ten that I checked mentions it.  In Chicago, he also again established a string quartet – the Jacobsohn String Quartet - in which Theodore Thomas played second violin.  Nevertheless, just as is the custom of the Emerson String Quartet in more modern times, Thomas and Jacobsohn alternated playing the first and second violin parts.  Among Jacobsohn’s hundreds of pupils were Nahan Franko, Max Bendix, Nicholas Longworth, and Hugh McGibney.  He was a teacher of violin at the Chicago College of Music until the day he died.  Jacobsohn died in Chicago on October 3, 1902 at age 62.
2 years ago | |
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Eugene Ormandy (Jeno Blau) was a Hungarian violinist, conductor, and arranger born (in Budapest) on November 18, 1899.  Since he became a famous conductor, hardly anyone remembers that he played violin.  He enjoyed the longest tenure (unlikely to ever be surpassed) of any American conductor – 44 years with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Nobody seems to know where the name “Ormandy” came from – he only adopted it after coming to the U.S. in 1921.  He began studying violin at the Royal Academy of Music (the Franz Liszt Academy) at age 5 then studied with Jeno Hubay (from age 9) for a number of years graduating at age 14, though some sources say at age 17.  Eddy Brown was a fellow student of his – in fact, when Brown and Ormandy competed in the Budapest Concerto Competition, Ormandy took second prize and Brown took first.  He then also studied Philosophy and received a degree in that subject in 1920.  For a time, Ormandy served as concertmaster of the Bluthner Orchestra in Germany and made recital and concert appearances as well.  In the U.S., he started out playing second violin in the Capitol Theatre Orchestra in New York City.  This was a rather large orchestra comprised of about 75 players of which Elias Breeskin, the notorious gambler and future father of Olga Breeskin, was concertmaster.  However, being a superlative violinist, Ormandy was soon promoted to concertmaster.  He was 22 years old.  Though he had been trained as a concert violinist, he never got a chance to concertize in this country since he quickly developed a taste for conducting.  Nevertheless, he recorded as a solo violinist between 1923 and 1929.  I do not know where those recordings can be found; perhaps among his archives at the University of Pennsylvania.  Among other conductors who entirely abandoned the instrument are Neville Marriner, David Zinman, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, Orlando Barera, Theodore Thomas, and Jaap Van Zweden.  Though he conducted the New York Philharmonic in 1929, Ormandy’s big break came on October 30, 1931, when he was asked to substitute in Philadelphia for an indisposed Toscanini – the ill-tempered Italian conductor.  Many a big career has been launched under similar circumstances.  It is known that Arthur Judson, another violinist who abandoned the violin (in favor of concert management), helped him to establish his career.  In 1931, he was appointed conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony and stayed until 1936.  That year (1936), he was appointed to his post in Philadelphia where he stayed for 44 years (1936-1980.)  He actually shared the post with Stokowski for the first two years.  Though he conducted many U.S. premieres, he never came close to Theodore Thomas’ record of 112 works premiered with the Chicago Symphony.  His most historic recording might be the three Rachmaninoff piano concertos he recorded with the composer at the keyboard.  His recorded legacy is very extensive and can be easily accessed on the Internet.  The Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy was the first to tour China (1973) and the first to appear on American Television (1948.)  He sometimes guest conducted other orchestras too - the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera among them.  Ormandy died (in Philadelphia) on March 12, 1985, at age 85.  He died of pneumonia, just as did Theodore Thomas eighty years before him.
2 years ago | |
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You may have read the story about an “antique violin” and PayPal recently.  It appears that a lady named Erica sold a violin (advertised on Ebay) worth approximately $2,500 to a buyer in Canada.  The buyer used PayPal to pay Erica for it.  However, Erica never got the money because, before PayPal paid her, the buyer claimed the violin was a fake, even though it was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity by a well-known Australian expert.  PayPal agreed to return the money to the buyer but insisted that he destroy the “fake” violin (above shown) before it did so.  The buyer then obediently destroyed the violin and subsequently got his $2,500 returned to him.  Erica, of course, will never see her violin in one piece again.  To be fair, PayPal said it was merely applying its policies in this matter, even if they did immediately side with the buyer and not the seller who had actual proof that the violin was genuine.  Erica was quoted as saying that "In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them.  Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless."  Even if Erica’s violin was a very, very cheap violin by professional standards, she was lucky the disputed label was not attached to a Strad – not that anyone would sell one through Ebay or transact the payment through Paypal, of course.  Cheap as it was, I hope Erica’s violin was insured. 
2 years ago | |
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