Joshua Bell's Violin Wed, Dec 13, 2017
So I recently came across this crazy fact the other day - and it’s one of those ones that was just so flabbergasting to me that it’s been in the back of my mind for weeks.
If you’re at all familiar with modern classical, you’ve heard of the child prodigy, Josh Bell, who debuted in Carnegie Hall at age 17. He’s a master with the violin.
Well this crazy fact is about his violin. It’s over three centuries old! Amazingly, Bell's instrument is a 300-year old Stradivarius violin called the 'Gibson ex Huberman', which was made in 1713 during what is known as Stradivari's Golden Era. The violin had been stolen twice from the previous owner, Bronisław Huberman; the final time the thief confessed to the act on his deathbed. Bell paid just under the 4 million dollar asking price for the antique instrument. The craziest part about all of this, to me anyway, was that he actually plays it!! My first reaction was of shock and awe - most antiques that old are packed safely away behind glass in museums, yet he takes it out often and plays it.
It just goes to show that true craftsmanship will always stand the test of time. Whether it be violins or belts..or watches.
Also, here’s a picture from the social experiment that Josh Bell conducted in 2008 with his violin, when the renowned musician played in a public subway for 45 minutes and only 6 of the hundreds of busy passersbys paused to listen to him play: