Antonio Stradivari

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Image:Antonio stradivari.jpg
Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument, in a Romantic 19th-century print.

Antonio Stradivari (1644December 18, 1737) was an Italian luthier (maker of violins and other stringed instruments), the most prominent member of that profession. The Latin form of his surname, "Stradivarius" - sometimes shortened to "Strad" - is often used to refer to his instruments.


[edit] Biography

Antonio Stradivari was born in the year 1644<ref>Some sources give dates 1649 or 1650.</ref> but his exact birth place is not documented, apart from the fact that he was born in Italy to Alessandro Stradivari and Anna Moroni. It is possible that in the years 1667 through 1679 he served as a pupil in Niccolò Amati's workshop, though there is much evidence to dispute this fact.

In 1680 Stradivari set up for himself in the Piazza San Domenico, Cremona, and his fame as an instrument-maker was soon established. He began to show his originality, and to make alterations in Amati's model. The arching was improved, the various degrees of thickness in the wood were more exactly determined, the formation of the scroll altered, and the varnish more highly coloured. His instruments are recognized by their inscription in Latin: Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date] (Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, made in the year ...). It is generally acknowledged that his finest instruments were manufactured from 1698 to 1725 (peaking around 1715), exceeding in quality those manufactured between 1725 and 1730. After 1730, some of the instruments are signed Sotto la Desciplina d'Antonio Stradivari F. in Cremona [date], and were probably made by his sons, Omobono and Francesco.

Image:PalacioReal Stradivarius1.jpg
Stradivarius Palacio Real, Madrid.

Apart from violins, Stradivari also made guitars, violas, cellos, and at least one harp — more than 1,100 instruments in all, by current estimate. About 650 of these instruments survive today.

Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy on December 18, 1737 and is buried in Cremona.

His instruments are regarded as amongst the finest stringed instruments ever created, are highly prized, and still played by professionals today. Only one other maker, Joseph Guarneri del Gesù, commands the same respect among violinists. It should be noted, however, that there are fashions in music as in other things, and the accepted supremacy of Stradivari's and del Gesù's instruments is only true today. In the past, instruments by Nicolo Amati, and Jacob Stainer, were preferred for their subtle sweetness of tone.

On May 16, 2006, Christie's auctioned a Stradivarius called "The Hammer" for a record US$3,544,000. It is the most paid at public auction for any musical instrument [1]. It was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder. The previous record price paid at a public auction for a Stradivarius was US$2,032,000 for the "Lady Tennant" at Christie's in New York, April 2005 [2]. Private sales are often more accurate examples.

Other famous Stradivarius instruments are the Davidov Strad, a cello currently owned and played by Yo-Yo Ma, and the Duport Strad cello owned by Mstislav Rostropovich. The Soil Strad of 1714 is owned by virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, and many consider it among the finest of all Stradivaris. The “Countess Polignac” is currently played by Gil Shaham. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra uses several Stradivarius instruments that were purchased by the OeNB (Austrian National Bank) and other sponsors: "Chaconne", 1725, "ex Hämmerle", 1709, "ex Smith-Quersin", 1714, "ex-Arnold Rose, ex Viotti", 1718 and "ex Halphen", 1727.

The usual label for a Stradivarius instrument, whether genuine or false, uses the Latin inscription Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date]. This inscription indicates the maker (Antonio Stradivari), the town (Cremona), and "made in the year," followed by a date that is either printed or handwritten. Copies made after 1891 may also have a country of origin printed in English at the bottom of the label, such as "Made in Czechoslovakia," or simply "Germany." Since thousands of instruments are based on Stradivari's models and bear the same name as his models, many unwary people are tricked into buying fake Stradivarius instruments, though this can be avoided by having an instrument authenticated.

The world's two largest publicly accessible collections of Stradivari instruments belong to the King of Spain, consisting of two violins, two cellos, and a viola, exhibited in the Music Museum at the former Royal Palace (Palacio Real) in Madrid, and the U.S Library of Congress' collection of three violins, a viola, and a cello. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has the largest number of Stradivari in its string section, purchased in 2003 from the collection of Herbert R. Axelrod. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra uses four violins and one cello.

[edit] Stradivaris instruments

[edit] Violins

model year of manufacture Owner notes
Aranyi Stradivarius 1667
ex Captain Saville Stradivarius 1667 Andre Rieu
Amatese Stradivarius 1668
Oistrakh Stradivarius 1671 David Oistrach stolen 1996, still missing
Spanish Stradivarius 1677
Paganini-Desaint Stradivarius (Paganini-Quartett) 1680 Nippon Music Foundation [3] on loan to Kikuei Ikeda vom Tokyo String Quartet
Fleming Stradivarius 1681 Stradivari Society [4] on loan to Cecily Ward
Bucher Stradivarius 1683
Cipriani Potter Stradivarius 1683
Cobbett ex Holloway Stradivarius 1683
ex Arma Senkrah Stradivarius 1685
ex Castelbarco Stradivarius 1685
Auer Stradivarius 1689 Stradivari Society on loan to Vadim Gluzman
Arditi Stradivarius 1689
Baumgartner Stradivarius 1689
Bingham Stradivarius 1690
Bennett Stradivarius 1692 Winterthur-Versicherungen on loan to Hanna Weinmeister
Falmouth Stradivarius 1692 Leonidas Kavakos
Baillot-Pommerau Stradivarius 1694
Fetzer Stradivarius 1695 Stradivari Society on loan to Ruggero Allifranchini
Cabriac Stradivarius 1698
ex Baron Knoop Stradivarius 1698
Lady Tennant Stradivarius 1699 auctioned from Christie's in New York for over 2 million US dollars
Longuet Stradivarius 1699
Countess Polignac Stradivarius 1699
Castelbarco Stradivarius 1699
Cristiani Stradivarius 1700
Taft ex Emil Heermann Stradivarius 1700 Canada Council for the Arts on loan to Jessica Linnebach
Dushkin Stradivarius 1701 Stradivari Society on loan to Frank Almond
The Irish Stradivarius 1702 OKO Bank, Finnland on loan to Réka Szilvay
Conte di Fontana Stradivarius, ex Oistrach 1702 Oistrach played that instrument for ca. 8 years since 1953.
King Maximilian Joseph Stradivarius about 1702 Stradivari Society on loan to Berent Korfker
Lyall Stradivarius 1702 Stradivari Society on loan to Stefan Milenkovich
La Rouse Boughton Stradivarius 1703 Österreichische Nationalbank [5] on loan to Boris Kuschnir of the Kopelman Quartet
Allegretti Stradivarius 1703
Alsager Stradivarius 1703
Emiliani Stradivarius 1703 Anne-Sophie Mutter
Betts Stradivarius 1704
ex Marsick Stradivarius, also a ex Oistrach 1705 For this violin D.O. exchanged his "Fontana-1702"
ex Brüstlein Stradivarius 1707 Österreichische Nationalbank
La Cathédrale Stradivarius 1707 Stradivari Society on loan to Tamaki Kawakubo
Hammer Stradivarius 1707 auctioned from Christie's in New York for 3.544 million US dollars (world record)
Burstein Bagshawe Stradivarius 1708 Stradivari Society on loan to Janice Martin
Huggins Stradivarius 1708 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Sergey Khachatryan [6]
Duc de Camposelice Stradivarius 1708 state of Czech republic Formerly owned and played by Váša Príhoda, now on loan to Josef Suk
Ruby Stradivarius 1708 Stradivari Society temporarily played by Leila Josefowicz, played by Vadim Repin
Berlin Hochschule Stradivarius 1709
Hämmerle 1709 Österreichische Nationalbank Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on loan to Werner Hink
Ernst Stradivarius 1709
Engleman Stradivarius 1709 Nippon Music Foundation Werner Hink Lisa Batiashvili
Lord Dunn Raven Stradivarius 1710 Anne-Sophie Mutter her favourite strad
ex Roederer Stradivarius 1710 played by David Grimal
ex Vieuxtemps Stradivarius 1710
Liegnitz Stradivarius 1711
Boissier Stradivarius 1713
Gibson ex Hubermann Stradivarius 1713 Joshua Bell
Dolphin Stradivarius 1714 Nippon Music Foundation Werner Hink Akiko Suwanai [7]
Soil Stradivarius 1714 Itzhak Perlman
ex Berou ex Thibaud Stradivarius 1714
Le Maurien Stradivarius 1714 stolen 2002, still missing
Leonora Jackson Stradivarius 1714
Smith-Quersin 1714 Österreichische Nationalbank Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on loan to Rainer Honeck
Lipinski Stradivarius 1715 missing since 1962
Cremonese, ex Joachim Stradivarius 1715 city of Cremona
Titian Stradivarius 1715
Alard Stradivarius 1715
ex Bazzini Stradivarius 1715
Cessole Stradivarius 1716
Berthier Stradivarius 1716
Booth Stradivarius 1716 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Arabella Steinbacher, formerly played by Julia Fischer
Colossus Stradivarius 1716 stolen 1998, still missing
Monasterio Stradivarius 1716
Provigny Stradivarius 1716
Messiah Stradivarius 1716
ex Windsor Weinstein Stradivarius 1716 The Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank [8]
ex Wieniawski Stradivarius 1717
Sasserno Stradivarius 1717 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Viviane Hagner
Viotti Stradivarius / Rose 1718 Österreichische Nationalbank Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on loan to Volkhard Steude
Firebird ex Saint Exupéry Stradivarius 1718 Salvatore Accardo
San Lorenzo Stradivarius 1718 Talbot Aachen played by David Garrett
Madrileño Stradivarius 1720
ex Beckerath Stradivarius 1720
Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius 1720 played by Elizabeth Pitcairn
Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis 1721 found in southern Germany in the year 2006
Artot Stradivarius 1722
Jupiter Stradivarius 1722 Nippon Music Foundation formerly on loan to Midori Goto, now to Daishin Kashimoto
Laub Petschnikoff Stradivarius 1722
Jules Falk Stradivarius 1722 Viktoria Mullova
Kiesewetter Stradivarius 1723 Stradivari Society on loan to Stefan Jackiw
Le Sarastre Stradivarius 1724 Real Conservatorio Superior de Música, Madrid [9]
Brancaccio Stradivarius 1725
Barrere Stradivarius 1725 Stradivari Society on loan to Janine Jansen
Chaconne 1725 Österreichische Nationalbank Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on loan to Rainer Küchel
Wilhelmj Stradivarius 1725 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Baiba Skride
Davidoff Morini Stradivarius 1727 stolen 1995, still missing [10]
ex General Dupont Stradivarius 1727 on loan to Jennifer Koh
Holroyd Stradivarius 1727
Kreutzer Stradivarius 1727
Hart ex Francescatti Stradivarius 1727 Salvatore Accardo
Paganini Comte Cozio di Salbue Stradivarius (Paganini Quartett) 1727 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Martin Beaver of the Tokyo String Quartet
Halphen Violine 1727 Dkfm. Angelika Prokopp private foundation Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on loan to Eckhard Seifert
Benny Stradivarius 1729 Jack Benny handed down to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association [11]
Lady Jeanne 1731 Donald Kahn Foundation on loan to Benjamin Schmid [12]
Herkules Stradivarius 1732 owned by Eugène Ysaye stolen 1908, still misssing
Des Rosiers Stradivarius 1733
Rode Stradivarius 1733
Ames Stradivarius 1734 stolen, Still missing
ex Baron von Feilitzsch Stradivarius 1734
Habeneck Stradivarius 1734 Royal Academy of Music
Lamoureux Stradivarius 1735 stolen, still missing
Muntz Stradivarius 1736 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Arabella Steinbacher [13]
Comte d'Amaille Stradivarius 1737
Lord Norton Stradivarius 1737
Chant du Cygne - Swan Song Stradivarius 1737

[edit] Violas

Thirteen Stradivarius violas are still known to exist.

modell year of manufacture Owner notes
Archinto Stradivarius 1667 Royal Academy of Music
Paganini Mendelssohn Stradivarius (Paganini-Quartett) 1731 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Kazuhide Isomura of the Tokyo String Quartet

[edit] Cellos

Antonio Stradivari built between 70 and 80 Celli in his life, of which 60 still exist.

modell year of manufacture Owner notes
General Kyd ex Leo Stern Stradivarius 1684 Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Am 27. April 2004 wurde das Instrument aus dem Haus des Cello-Stimmführers gestohlen, von einer Familie in der Stadt im Müllcontainer gefunden und sollte zu einem CD-Regal umgebaut werden, bevor der wahre Wert des Cellos erkannt wurde. Drei Wochen später wurde es zurückgegeben. [14] (Tr: On April 27, 2004, the instrument was stolen out of the house of a cello instructor, found in a garbage container by a family in the city, and was to be converted into a CD shelf until its insured value became known. Three weeks later, it was returned.)
Barjanski Stradivarius 1690 played by Julian Lloyd Webber
ex-Gendron 1693 Stifung für Kunst und Kultur des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen Played by Maria Kliegel. Was played by Maurice Gendron from 1958 to 1985.
Bonjour Stradivarius 1696 Abel Bonjour on loan to Kaori Yamagami
Lord Aylesford Stradivarius 1696 Nippon Music Foundation played by Janos Starker from 1950 to 1965
Castelbarco Stradivarius (Cello) 1697
Servais Stradivarius 1701 played by Anner Bylsma; a special big instrument, formerly may have been tuned one tone deeper.
Paganini Countess of Stanlein Stradivarius 1707 Bernard Greenhouse
Gore Booth Stradivarius 1710
Duport Stradivarius 1711 Mstislaw Rostropowitsch
Mara 1711 Heinrich Schiff
Davidow 1712 Yo-Yo Ma named after Karl Juljewitsch Dawidow, who was called Zar der Celli from Tschaikovski; formerly owned by Jacqueline du Pré
Batta Stradivarius 1714 Gregor Piatigorsky
Becker Stradivarius 1719
Piatti Stradivarius 1720
Baudiot Stradivarius 1725 Gregor Piatigorsky
Stradivarius Portugal (Model B) 1725 Music Museum (Lisbon)
De Munck ex Feuermann Stradivarius 1730 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Steven Isserlis
Braga 1731
Paganini Ladenburg Stradivarius (Paganini-Quartett) 1736 Nippon Music Foundation on loan to Clive Greensmith of the Tokyo String Quartet

[edit] Guitars

Two complete guitars built by Stradivari still exist, as well as a few fragments.

modell year of manufacture Owner notes
Hill Stradivarius 1680 or 1688
Rawlins Stradivarius 1700 National Music Museum South Dakota [15]

[edit] Harps

Antonio Stradivari built only one harp in his life.

[edit] Notes


[edit] See also

  • Stradivarius (includes a list of Stradivari’s instruments)

The National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, United States( has in its collection one of two known Stradivari guitars, one of 11 known viola de gambas (later modified into a cello form), one of two known Choral Mandolins, and one of six Strad violins that still retain their original neck.

  • W E Hill & Sons handled a number of Stradivari's instruments and published a book in 1901, which is now available online.

[edit] External links

Explanation of Little Ice Age Theory:

This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia. bs:Antonio Stradivari cs:Antonio Stradivari da:Antonio Stradivari de:Antonio Stradivari et:Antonio Stradivari es:Antonio Stradivari eo:Antonio Stradivari fr:Antonio Stradivari ko:안토니오 스트라디바리 is:Antonio Stradivari it:Antonio Stradivari he:אנטוניו סטרדיווארי lv:Antonio Stradivāri lt:Antonijus Stradivarijus hu:Antonio Stradivari nl:Antonio Stradivari ja:アントニオ・ストラディバリ no:Antonio Stradivari pl:Antonio Stradivari pt:Antonio Stradivari ru:Страдивари, Антонио sk:Antonio Stradivari sl:Antonio Stradivari sr:Антонио Страдивари fi:Antonio Stradivari sv:Antonio Stradivari zh:安东尼奥·斯特拉迪瓦里

Antonio Stradivari

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