Skip to comments.Stradivarius violin stolen in armed robbery in Milwaukee
Posted on 01/28/2014 2:37:27 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
A rare Stradivarius violin on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond was stolen during an armed robbery Monday night.
The instrument, known in musical circles as the Lipinski violin, was taken around 10:20 p.m. Monday in a parking lot in the rear of Wisconsin Lutheran College on W. Wisconsin Ave., police said. Almond had played a concert at Wisconsin Lutheran Monday evening as part of his Frankly Music series.
In a 2008 feature on the violin, Chicago violin dealer Stefan Hersh said the Lipinski violin was comparable in value to another Strad that sold for more than $3.5 million in a 2006 auction.
The instrument was on indefinite loan to Almond from its anonymous owners. Almond has characterized them as people with "strong ties to Milwaukee." It's a common practice in the music world for the owners of such exquisite instruments to loan them to virtuosi such as Almond.
The violin's early owners included the virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), known to listeners for his "Devil's Trill" Sonata. The instrument has also belonged to Polish violinist Karol Lipinski (1790-1861), whose name has stayed attached to it.
Local music writer Elaine Schmidt, who held the instrument during a 2013 interview with Almond, described it as "light, far lighter than one would expect, and an absolutely gorgeous example of craftsmanship."
During that 2013 interview, Almond explained that the Lipinski, is "finicky" about temperature and humidity, responding differently some days than others.
(Excerpt) Read more at jsonline.com ...
Ah...the old Tommy Gun in the Violin Case trick....
BOLO! Oh no! This was a major story when the Lipiinski violin was found in a vault in Milwaukee and loaned to the Frank Almond and the MSO. The sound is just incredible! I hope that they find it and that it suffers no damage.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin ping list.
Simply round up all the criminal masterminds who also happen to be world class concert musicians.
Classical music ping
Or, who have clients who are world class musicians!
Betting its not random. It was setup by the guy who had the violin or somebody close to him.
Peter Sellers did it.
That could be anyone who knew he was playing a concert that night. I’m surprised that he didn’t have an armed guard with him.
Why would he have an armed guard just because he’s walking around with a $3.5 million violin? /s//
Because it doesn’t belong to him?
This has all the earmarks of the classic white elephant kind of theft, whether its an artwork, famous jewels or a super-expensive and rare musical instrument, like this Lipinski violin. The thief either didn’t know what he had when he stole it, or knew what he had but underestimated ow impossible it would be to get rid of it and make anything like the value the instrument has from any possible buyer.The violin is now radioactive.The thief’s only hope is to get ransom for it, and thieves this stupid usually screw up that process too, and wind up getting nabbed,and going to prison.
I had a passin “acquAintance” with a guy in the early 70s who I assessed as a no-good, and found out 6 years later, had gotten a job in the shipping dept. at Chicago’s Art Institute and decided to ship a number of very
valuable paintings to nis own house along with the legitimate destinations
for other paintings. He then demanded a huge ransom payoff, made the even bigger mistake of showing up at the ransom rendezvous wearing. gun in his belt, immediately got arrested, and send to prison for years. When he was released he made the news again when he blew his brains out.
As if there weren’t enough sax and violins in the world.
Whatever it is it is just awful. Insurance does not return the instrument which is magnificent. It will be a great loss if it is not found undamaged and intact.
Having said that, I look at every one I encounter at a garage sale.
Did they leave a note?
I studied the violin (not too successfully) for 6 years in elementary and middle school. I only had a borrowed school instrument to play. I’d love to have my own instrument, although I’m a little (a lot) old to take it up again. I’d love to have one from a garage sale.
The pictures of the Lipinski look a lot like the old school insturments I played LOL. But, I’ve heard the Lipinski and it sounds a lot better.
I’m sure Mr. Almond could identify it, if found.
So you think he doesn’t care that it got stolen? For one thing, he won’t get to play it anymore. For another, no one will lend him another Stradivarius; they’ll just find some other virtuoso.
I never said that Mr. Almod doesn’t care. I’m sure that he’s devastated, as well as being frightened half out of his wits.
They threw away the case. Clearly idiots, why would they throw away the case (and probably WITH their fingerprints all over the case) if it’s such an iffy temperature sensitive instrument?
BA-WOOSH! Now that’s a man’s flush, Bud.
Where does it say that they threw away the case?
The inspector is right...have the wax analyzed.
Can I say insurance fraud
I always try to buy musical instruments at garage sales too. I don’t play.
The other possibility is that the theft was contracted by someone who simply wants to have it. They'd have to keep it secret of course, for a very long time. This would be a wealthy individual, perhaps someone who has tried to buy it in the past only to find it not for sale.
Aw man, what a shame. Playing guitar for over 10 years, this hurts on a personal level.
For anyone interested, here’s a video on the magnificent violin. . .
A Violin’s Life - The “Lipinski Stradivarius”
I only just now read the WHOLE article,from JS online, and think you’re right.I didn’t know a stun gun was used,or any of those other details.Yes, it looks like someone just Wanted it. I expect a sting operation will be assembled soon.
“For anyone interested, heres a video on the magnificent violin. . .”
Interesting! I have to admit that normally I wouldn’t have watched that but since the state of the union is on I had time. It must be quite a thrill to play such an instrument.
On it’s way to Japan or China in a shipping container, probably.
BOLO at Ebay, that’s for sure.
It’s not like you can just fence that piece of artwork anywhere...
Something like that, that hot, would be for big spenders... probably overseas.
i wonder if the sound can be synthesized, given our ability to manufacture noise ..
I’m partial to the SAS assault in Patriot Games. Reminds me of the 3rd Mov. in Schostakovich’s 5th symphony.
Thank you for posting that video.
I have a friend whose daughter is a concert violist. A friend of theirs bought a “private dinner in a home” at a local charity auction and gave 2 of the tickets to my friend. My friends arrived at the address given without knowing the names of the hosts.
The lady of the house was busy in the kitchen, and cocktails and hors d’oevres were being served in the library. Suddenly, everyone hushed; and Frank Almond appeared at the top of the stairs and entered the room playing the Lipinski. This was just after it was discovered in a Milwaukee bank vault and loaned to the MSO for Almond’s use. He had not played it in public yet.
He entertained the 8 or 10 guests for an hour before dinner. My friends do not remember what was served for dinner.
Seems like two or three times every year, somebody acts careless with a Stradivarius or other extremely sensitive instrument. Are these musicians so into their craft that they forget to take precautions? One of my most favorite violin compositions, as I may have mentioned before, is Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op 64 by Felix Mendelssohn. It’s lively stirring, melodic and at times overwhelming.