It’s not every day a luthier gets to work on a real Strad but, this was no ordinary day. As resident luthier at the recently held West Branch International Music Festival & Academy, I had the privilege of meeting and working with many of the high level musicians and their instruments during this event. One of the highlights of this event was working on the 1714 “Yoldi-Moldenhauer” Antonious Stradivarius violin. This instrument has been owned by the Royal Danish Theater since 1860 and has been in the possession of the Concertmaster for the Royal Danish Orchestra, Lars Bjornkjaer since 1993. This instrument is also said to be the sister to the “Soil Strad” owned by Itzhak Perlman.
What makes this instrument so interesting is that it is in such fine condition and shows very little if any signs of structural tampering. For an instrument that’s 296 years old and pressed into service every day, speaks highly of the integrity of this maker and the structure of this violin.
Antonio Stradivari was born in the year 1644 in Cremona, Italy to Alessandro Stradivari and Anna Moroni. Probably in the years 1667 through 1679 he served as a pupil in Amati’s workshop. More than 1,100 instruments in all, by current estimate. About 650 of these instruments survive today. Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy on December 18, 1737 at the age of 92.
I was able to observe this instrument for over 8 hours during the time it was being worked on in my little cabin shop and took many photos and measurements, some of which I am including below with comments below each photo (click to view larger). Enjoy!
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