Frank Almond, de concertmeester van het Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, werd met een taser uitgeschakeld en van zijn peperdure Strad beroofd. Almond bleef relatief schadevrij, laten we hopen dat de onvervangbare Lipinski het ook overleeft. Alle bespelers van kostbare instrumenten hebben er weer een stressfactor bij.

 Het gaat van kwaad tot erger met de diefstal van kostbare instrumenten.

Kan je nog zonder beveiligers over de straat met je Strad?
Als een Rembrandt of Vermeer wordt vervoerd gaat dat gepaard met uitgebreide veiligheidsmaatregelen.
Welke eisen zullen de eigenaars gaan stellen als ze hun miljoeneninvestering aan een (top)solist uitlenen?

Als je na een concert leeg en uitgeput naar buiten gaat ben je minder weerbaar en een gemakkelijke prooi.  

Er moet een actieplan komen om musici te beschermen tegen de internationaal opererende kunstrovers.


Hieronder het artikel uit de Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. 

'Priceless' Stradivarius violin stolen in armed robbery in Milwaukee

The Lipinski violin

By Jesse Garza and Jim Higgins of the Journal Sentinel     28/01/2014


A 300-year-old Stradivarius violin on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond was stolen during an armed robbery after a performance by Almond at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Tuesday.

Almond was attacked with a stun gun and robbed of the instrument — Flynn said it was valued in the "high seven figures" — shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday in a parking lot in the rear of the school, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave., the chief said at a news conference.

As Almond lay on the pavement the robber fled to a nearby vehicle, described as a maroon or burgundy minivan driven by an accomplice, which then left the scene, Flynn said.

Almond had played a concert Monday evening at Wisconsin Lutheran as part of his Frankly Music series.

"The artistic heritage of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed last night," Flynn told reporters during the conference at the Police Administration Building.

Investigators believe the instrument, known in musical circles as the Lipinski Stradivarius, was the primary target of the robbery, Flynn said.

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.

Flynn, who described the violin taken in the robbery as "priceless," said its value could only be appreciated by a very small population.

"It can't be easily sold for even a fraction of its value," he said. "These are wildly valuable to a tiny slice of the art world."

The violin was crafted in 1715 in Cremona, Italy, and has a unique pattern on its back.

Though police have not ruled out that the robbery was a random street crime, they are working with investigators with the FBI's art crimes team based in Quantico, Va., which specializes in high-end art thefts, and have notified Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, Flynn said.

"This is a potentially international crime," Flynn said, adding that investigators are searching everywhere from pawn shops to international databases.

He described the vehicle used in the robbery as similar to a late 1980s or early 1990s maroon or burgundy Plymouth or Dodge Caravan.

Mark Niehaus, MSO president and executive director, said Almond was recovering from the attack and would not be on stage this weekend.

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 lend them to virtuosos 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.

"One of the really mysterious things about these instruments is that they really maximize our strengths if we can figure out how to play them," he said. He added that the Lipinski, which he began playing in 2008, has a counterintuitive way of tightening and narrowing its sound as the player exerts more bow pressure.

"It's like a high performance car," he said. "You have to learn to drive it."

Almond said in a previous interview that he was told the violin had been stored in a vault at M&I Bank, now BMO Harris Bank, just a short distance from where Almond was playing with the MSO. He met the violin owners at the bank, and they asked him if he wanted to play it on loan. Of course, he said yes.

Niehaus said that because the violin is made of wood, "it needs to be touched, it needs to be played."

"The vibrations of the music keep it alive."

Almond conducted a Kickstarter campaign to fund "A Violin's Life," a recording that memorialized the history of the violin.

In 2013, British Transport Police recovered a stolen 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that had been missing for more than two years.