Tags: roman totenberg | stradivarius | violin | stage

Roman Totenberg's Stradivarius Violin Returns to the Stage

Image: Roman Totenberg's Stradivarius Violin Returns to the Stage

Mira Wang plays the Ames Stradivarius violin in New York on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017 08:23 AM

Roman Totenberg's Stradivarius violin was played at a private club in Manhattan Monday night, more than three decades after it was stolen.

The violin was taken after a concert in 1980 and Totenberg died in 2012 believing that it would never be found, according to The Washington Post. Mira Wang, a former student of Totenberg's, played the violin in public for the first time since it was taken.

"May he hear the violin tonight," Wang told an audience of 200 people, according to the Post.

The 283-year-old violin was snatched from Totenberg's office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and did not turn up again until after the cancer-related death of violinist Philip Johnson, who had attended that 1980 concert, the Boston Globe reported.

Four years after his death, Johnson's ex-wife took the violin to an appraiser in 2015. The appraiser, though, recognized the violin and called authorities.

"Our father taught us not to dwell in the past and to move on with our lives," Jill Totenberg told the Boston Globe last week. "So that's what we did. But there’s enormous joy and excitement that the violin is back and going to be played."

The U.S. Attorney's Office held a formal ceremony in 2015 to turn the violin over to Totenberg's three daughters, Nina, Jill, and Amy, under an agreement filed with the court, National Public Radio reported.

"It's nice to return something of great value to a family or a country or an institution," then U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, said in 2015. "(These) are moments of celebration that we don't have that often here."

The Stradivarius was built in 1734 and only 500 or so of the 1,000 violins dating before Antonio Stradivari’s death in 1737 have survived, according to the Post.

The Globe wrote that Wang, an immigrant from China, moved to Boston University to study under Totenberg, where he was a professor.

"My parents gave me life, and he taught me how to live it," Wang said of Totenberg after his death, according to the Globe. "As a teacher, he was the most generous man I have ever met."

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Roman Totenberg's Stradivarius violin was played at a private club in Manhattan Monday night, more than three decades after it was stolen.
roman totenberg, stradivarius, violin, stage
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2017-23-14
Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017 08:23 AM
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