On Saturday, October 18, a fascinating and mysterious piece of music history comes to the Yardley Community Center. Beside the fine artistry of violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and pianist John Novacek, the famous “Red Violin” will play a major role into making this event quite remarkle.
This “Red” Stradivarius, built in 1720, has captivated historians, musicians, and even Hollywood producers. From its mysterious and legendary tragic beginning to its subsequent owners, it creates quite a tale of sorrow and joy. Its legacy even made its way to the modern screen when the 1999 Oscar winning film, “The Red Violin,” was released, a movie that captured the life of this magnificent but haunted violin as it traveled “through time and space.” Highly regarded American composer John Corigliano, composer of the film score, also composed a great concerto, “The Red Violin Concerto,” based upon the story of this instrument.
The “Red Violin” is also known as the “Mendelssohn” Strad because it was one of the Strads owned and played by the Mendelssohn family Quartet (descendants of the great composer’s family). In 1945 it was purchased by an anonymous industrialist, supposedly played on by none other than Isaac Stern, and then did not appear until it came up for auction in 1990 at Christie’s (London). The successful bid was won by Pitcairn’s paternal grandfather, who gave the instrument to the then 16-year-old Elizabeth.
The Red Violin Concerto, Saturday, October 18, 7:30 p.m., Bucks County Performing Arts Center at the Yardley Community Center, 64 South Main Street, Yardley, PA. Violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and pianist John Novacek present musical history with the famous red Stradivarius, built in 1720. The film, “The Red Violin,” captures the life of the violin. Register. $15. 215-493-3010 or www.bcpac.org.