'Lady Tennant' Stradivarius Loaned to Violinist Yang Liu

Classic Arts News   'Lady Tennant' Stradivarius Loaned to Violinist Yang Liu
The anonymous collector who purchased the "Lady Tennant" Stradivarius violin for more than $2 million in April has loaned it indefinitely to violinist Yang Liu.

Liu, a medalist at the 2002 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, will perform on the instrument at a recital at the Kennedy Center on June 15. The event will mark the first public performance of the violin in 25 years.

The 6 p.m. concert takes place on the center's Millennium Stage and is free and open to the public. It can also be viewed live online at http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium.

The loan to Liu 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 Nicol‹ 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 $2,032,000 paid for the violin, sold by Christie's at auction, was the highest price ever for a musical instrument.

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