The Herald Magazine: The (Real) Red Violin

I try and vary my investigations: I stagger doing articles about nasty subjects with the odd one about something lighter but still aiming for an in-depth and revelatory piece. Stradivarius violins, for example, have fascinated me for years and after watching the brilliant cult-classic film ‘The Red Violin’ with Samuel L. Jackson I decided to dig into the story of the ‘real ‘ instrument. That led me on a merry dance across continents and waves of emails and opinions/demonstrations from violin experts, also uncovering how the violin was stolen in the midst of snowstorm in New York and finally, a meeting with its current owner, violin legend Josh Bell. I’ll never forget also finally meeting the violin itself and looking at it sitting on a pillow in the afternoon sunlight. Boy, the stories it could have told.

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