Why Strad A free concert that's fully insured

Published: 14 November 2011 at 14:11

Anglia Ruskin student to perform with one of the world’s most expensive violins

Anglia Ruskin University music student Mateja Kaluza will realise the dream of violinists across the world when she plays a Stradivarius in concert on Friday, 18 November (1.10pm).

Why Strad?, which is taking place at Anglia Ruskin’s Mumford Theatre in Cambridge, will feature a talk by Nigel Brown OBE, while Mateja will demonstrate the differences between a Stradivarius and more humble instruments by performing pieces by Sarasate, Vitali, Lalo, Piazzolla and Bach.

Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, Italy, is probably the most famous of all instrument makers and violins produced during his golden period (1700-1725) change hands for seven-figure sums. In June, a Stradivarius known as the Lady Blunt was sold for £9.8million in an online auction to raise money for disaster relief in Japan.

Mateja admits that playing one of these rare and incredibly valuable instruments will be a dream come true. She said:

“I’m honoured to be given this opportunity. Everyone has their own dream; some want to drive a Formula One car, others want to climb Everest. Mine has always been to play a Stradivarius but I never thought it would come true.

“I can’t wait to hold the violin in my hand and try and experience the feelings that people like Nigel Kennedy and Anne Sophie Mutter have felt when playing Stradivari violins.”

Nigel Brown, who received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy award from Anglia Ruskin in 2004, is founder and trustee of the Stradivari Trust, which has helped many professional string players – including Nigel Kennedy, Steven Isserlis, Lawrence Power and Natalie Clein – to acquire world-class instruments.

The Trust puts together syndicates to purchase fine string instruments including Stradivari, Guarneri and Gofriller violins and cellos, and violas by Amati and Brenzi, and these are given to professional musicians for their exclusive use.

Why Strad? is part of Anglia Ruskin’s free Lunchtime Concert series and everyone is welcome to attend.